What do you expect? If you were sitting in front of a computer in the early 1990's and witnessed the birth of the worldwide web as we know it, then you know how much websites have changed since that time. Along with those changes have come much greater expectations. Today’s web users expect a rich experience based on a solid platform with a pleasant design, thoughtful layout, and easy navigation all sprinkled with high-resolution images, animation, video and cutting edge information. Long gone are the days where you could build a one or two page “website” with the information from your business card, a few paragraphs of text and a photo or two and leave it out on the internet like a book on a shelf for 5-10 years. Today’s web user simply demands more, and if you don’t provide it, rest assured that your competition will!
How do you satisfy the masses? A successful website on the modern internet requires a lot of planning, a lot of development, and a fair amount of maintenance to keep it current. You must consider that not everyone will view or use your website in the same manner. Some like to read and will read everything you have to say about your business and your products before making a decision. For them, you need thorough and engaging content. Some like to scan your website quickly for the details that interest them, well-organized content with appropriate page and paragraph headers will help them. Others try to glean as much information as they can by looking at the pictures and captions, you’ll need detailed and appropriate images to keep their attention. Still others have come to expect video presentation, you’ll want to address their needs, as well.
The final group is mostly the younger crowd who has
grown up with computers and video games and expects a fully interactive experience. They want to visually “play” their way through your website, but they still need to be able to easily find what they’re looking for! They also want you to communicate with them via the latest social media outlets, such as Twitter and Facebook.
Is your website alive? If you haven’t made any significant changes to your website content in over 3 years, or you don’t have a means to easily add new content (such as news, articles, or a web log), your website is dead! If your website is dead, not only will people notice, but so will the search engines. Stale content is usually obvious, especially to users who visit your website on more than one occasion. Even if they only visit your site every 6 months, if it’s exactly the same every time, they will notice. If the dates on your website are old, they will notice. Search engines look for fresh content, too, and they always consider new content on a well-established website to be of high value.
Branding and your website. Even if you have a business where clients must come to you for your products or services, in today’s internet-powered world, your website is often your first opportunity to establish your corporate brand firmly in the mind of the consumer. The first thing most people will do is go to your website to learn more about your business, to get your phone number, to find your address or directions to your location. We can help you decide what that first impression needs to be and make it happen for you! We recommend our Online Brand Analysis report to get you started on your way to stronger online branding!