What IS your website? You know you need an effective Web presence, but have you stopped to think about your site’s true purpose? You might say “to get exposure,” “to sell my product,” or “to promote my services.” These might all be true, but above all your website needs to communicate. Like any method of communication, your site needs to be clear, easy to understand, and good at getting to the heart of your message in order to work. The most well-designed site on the Web reaches no one if people click once, then leave.
As you work with a Web designer to create the perfect website, it helps to put yourself in the surfer’s shoes. Take these 5 steps to refine your message:
1. Tailor your text. Take time to craft clear language and omit typos and grammatical errors.
2. Appeal to the eye. Choose images that speak as loudly as the words.
3. Target your audience. Imagine your audience’s likes and dislikes, their environment, and the types of media they might use.
4. Keep it simple. Avoid clutter, both visual and verbal. Think short, easy to view and read, and simple to navigate.
5. Choose a wise design. Pick a design that doesn’t overpower or clash with your message.
Building a fan base for your business on social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube can get you higher visibility, increased website traffic, and more business. Using social media as a marketing platform goes hand in hand with SEO as far as driving more traffic to your site.
For example, you might use Facebook to survey customers about their experience with your company or ask them to offer ideas for new and improved products (especially effective if you offer a high-value incentive). With the immediacy of Twitter you can announce new products, last-minute deals, contests, or special offers. Social media sites can also be a place to network with other business owners and share ideas. The broad base of these sites can get you viewed (and shared) by thousands in a very short time, which can translate to lots of website traffic.
Take social media seriously and optimize it for better rankings, just as you do your website. For a good roadmap on how to get started using social media to boost rankings, check out this 2009 Mashable article by Lee Odden: