In this virtual world there are so many items to check off our online to-do list. Post on Facebook, Pin on Pinterest, take an amazing pic to throw on Instagram (oh, and the Tweeting)…. The list can seem never ending. One trouble area that I encounter when talking with clients is the feeling that they do not know where to start. So, I thought I would jot down some ideas for those of you who desperately want to move forward, but are unsure of your next virtual steps. Where should your priorities lie?
Step number one for most businesses? A website. Not just any website, but a good one. Your site is your first point of contact. Without a good website, all your other efforts are slighted. I once read that your website is like a “virtual handshake.” This is where you potential clients decide whether you are legit, whether they want to choose you or your competitor to do business with. This is where you send your customers off social media. This is where you create a landing page to collect email addresses to stay in touch with your customers. This is step number one!!!
And when I say a good website, I do not mean one that an expensive website that a designer builds for you. Almost anyone can build a decent website through GoDaddy, WordPress or Squarespace using Google search and You Tube videos as their aide. If you are asking my opinion, build a WordPress Site—easy to navigate but customizable. You can buy a URL and build your website with a customizable theme for under $200.
What should your priorities be on your website? Here are my top five:
Is your site clean and easy to navigate?
Do not over complicate matters on your website. Think of when you visit a site. You want to know the basics and you do not want have to search too hard for them! Do all your links go to a working web page?
Are you images fresh and up-to-date?
You will be AMAZED on how different a website can look by just switching out a few images! And, do not just throw any old image on your site without making sure the backend has the correct file info for Search Engine Optimization purposes. Making sure your images have the right file names, alt text and title text is essential for SEO.
Is your website mobile-friendly?
Your website NEEDS to be mobile-friendly. If is not then it needs to be redone. End of story. This is the first thing I look at when I am helping clients. More than half of all internet searches are done by users using their phone. That means if your site is not mobile-friendly they are likely to click off. Additionally, if your site is not mobile friendly Google’s spiders are moving you down, killing your SEO.
Do you have a clear “Contact Us” page?
Where can someone reach you at? Do yourself a favor and list your phone AND email. Do not make the person fill out a form to email you. This is one of my website pet-peeves. Yes, you can have an email submission form, but why would you make your client go through an extra step to email you for business?
Do you have a blog?
Didn’t think having a blog should be a priority? Think again. Do you know how Chip & Joanna Gaines were discovered? Joanna’s blog. Your blog is where you get to be the expert. Your blog is where you tell everyone why they should be using you. Your blog is where your personality shines through. Your blog helps SEO. Your blog is what gives you content to post on social media. Your blog should be a priority. Ideally, you should be posting a blog at least once a week.
Deep breaths, these blog posts do not have to long, 300-500 words is plenty. Check out my blog about blog posts here! You can blog about anything if you can circle it back to your business. Just be sure to include beautiful images. There are some great sites out there like Unsplash that offer free, downloadable images. Another new favorite of mine is Kate Max Stock. She sends two free images every month (The image above is one of her freebies!) . Creative Market is yet another great resource for no-cost pics. Just remember to optimize your image correctly for SEO (I sense I need to write a post about this in the very near future because it is SO IMPORTANT).
Need someone to take a look at your site and give you some ideas? Give me a call or shoot me an emaill. I love websites—that’s why I am in this biz!