We all know that your website speaks volumes to your credibility, quality of work, and brand. I am always amazed when I come across a company, in our industry or others, that does not have a high-quality website. With the tools available today, it is easy and fast to create a great-looking website, whether your do it yourself or hire a professional designer.
Just this morning I was talking with a colleague who owns a home technology company in NYC, and he had just finished revamping his website. His previous site had been built and managed by a friend of his from business school who was doing web design on the side. The friend got a full-time job that did not leave enough time to properly manage client websites, so Home Theater Advisors decided to take their site management in-house. In less than a day, the site was totally redesigned and launched using Wix.com, a great DIY website development tool.
[Our Systems Break… Lead With That]
My colleague is marketing savvy with a solid grasp of software packages (like most of us), but he is not as comfortable with graphic design and layout. However, with the old site’s content, and a recently completed 16-page brochure in hand (developed by J2Designs, a design shop we both work with), there was plenty of content to put toward the new site. It just took selecting a Wix template, deciding what pictures and copy go where, and a lot of copying and pasting. Once the content was done, adding links, meta-data and other SEO-friendly content was done for a few pages, and more will be added as time allows on the calendar, with specific days currently blocked out.
Coincidentally, we are getting ready to re-launch my company’s website, as well. We took a different approach. I love to design, but spend too much time programming Crestron systems to get in front of a computer to develop the website. I would have constantly been distracted and never would have finished up. So, I instead spent my time on drawing up layouts and graphic design, then I outsourced development of the site to J2Designs to have them get it ready to launch. They did a fantastic job, taking my designs and turning them into a beautiful, functional, easy-to-navigate and easy-to-update site.
While we took very different approaches, both companies now have very appealing, SEO-friendly, easy-to-manage and update websites that look like they were both designed and developed by professionals. We both have links to our social media and the flexibility to add and update blogs, add new pictures to our gallery, and links to press/testimonials. We also both have the ability to create hidden landing pages, so we can run Adwords campaigns that link back to pages within our site where we can track the performance of each campaign. If you create unique pages for different campaigns, you can then measure how many clicks you get on your phone number or email address or “contact us” link from each campaign. That way, you can evaluate what is working and what is not, allowing you to more efficiently invest your digital marketing dollars.
One of the keys to keep in mind when updating your website is flexibility. Even if you are not blogging today, you should consider it; keeping your content updated and fresh is key to successful SEO rankings. So are links to relevant articles and other sites, as well as backlinks from third-party sites back to your site. The latter point is critical and is another reason to be active on social media, linking back to relevant pages on your site.
With the tools available today, there is no excuse for not having a gorgeous website. Check out Wix.com or work with a design firm to get exactly what you want and what your brand deserves.