If you want to promote your company you have to be on the web. It is the first place that people turn to for information.
In fact a recent survey found that a significant proportion of people distrust a company that does not have a website.
If you do not have a website you are missing a golden opportunity to display your wares/services 24/7 – it is your virtual shop window.
- Define your audience – Sounds obvious but many people forget it in favour of fancy graphics or flash imagery. Who is the audience you want to reach? Potential clients or investors? Journalists? Professionals from your field of expertise? The target audience determines what content you present
- Consider your content carefully. Content is key. Most of your visitors are unlikely to know the subject as well as you and won’t want to spend lots of time trying to understand it. Keep sentences short and simple, avoid jargon, be concise and be sure to include any successes you have had, customer/client endorsements etc. Think about other types of content that may be appropriate for your website such as video clips, which are becoming increasingly popular
- Make it look good – a good design reflects well on your organisation and if it looks nice, visitors will be drawn to it and are likely to spend longer on it. Avoid dark colours. Light colours work best with a few strong colours to support it. Also, keep your layout and presentation consistent
- Plan a clear structure to make the site easy to navigate. Visitors should find information in two to three clicks maximum. Lots of pages containing many layers of content is off-putting and will simply frustrate visitors to your site
- Offer searchable content that is easy to use – include a ‘search’ box on your home page
- Update your content regularly; Your site should be dynamic with content that changes regularly. Try to update it weekly, archiving old content, add new functions and remember to change any images regularly to keep it fresh
- Make it interactive – allow visitors to interact with the content, within reason as you would need to be careful about encouraging negative comments
- Be media-friendly – devote a section of your website to ‘news’ where journalists can find press releases, downloadable brochures, images, CVs of key people etc
- Be sure to include a contact number as many websites simply have an email contact form which many users find off-putting
- Make the most of web server statistics – how many visitors do you have? What pages do they frequent? This will provide really valuable information that can help to steer your business. Utilise a web tool to assist you in collecting these important statistics e.g . Google Analytics or Piwik are free or you can use something like Web Trends which is a corporate level service.