Websites are the heart of our businesses whether we are online businesses or offline brick-n-mortar companies. Our websites are where we share our products and services, allow potential customers to learn more about us, and provide a place for new clients to get a feel for our brand. In today’s modern world of business, our websites are our “home-base” and the place where much of our business originates.
Like any major component of business there is upkeep involved. Website owners need to be diligent about updating, optimizing and maintaining their sites in order to keep their home-bases humming at their true potential.[Tweet “Our websites are our “home-base” and the place where much of our business originates.”]
DO: Update your plug-ins! Plug-in developers continually update their plug-ins to fix the bugs and quirks discovered in previous versions, including loopholes for harmful viruses to sneak in. Updates to WordPress plug-ins and themes often increase security by patching vulnerabilities and strengthening against attacks. By keeping their plug-ins updated, users often gain more features and functionality.
DO: Offer easy ways for your readers to share your information and follow you on social media. Why is this important? Life happens and the prospect or client who fell in love with your services and products when they first visited your site may quickly forget about you unless they can easily connect via social media and see your updates on a regular basis. Plug-ins like Simple Share for Genesis, Add This and Simple Share Buttons Adder are all ways for your customers to keep tabs in your business and offerings.
DO: Use creative images within your site’s blog and About Pages. People want to do business with a person, not a brand or logo. You might try something called wordle.net. Wordle is a cool little tool that takes words on a page and creates word clouds for you. It was the perfect solution to my new Twitter background, my LinkedIn Business page banner and my new Facebook Business Page banner. Other great tools for adding creative images are Canva, PicMonkey and sites like Big Stock that supply high quality images for a very reasonable fee.
DON’T: Don’t forget to update your About Page on a regular basis! If a new visitor comes to your website they will typically take the time to visit your About Page to get a feel for what your business is all about. Customers want to do business with people, not brands or logos. That’s why having a robust (and current) About Page that pulls back the curtains of your company and lets them see the true you is a great way to turn a visitor into a customer. About Pages also allow your business to be transparent about who you are, your role in the business and even how your business came to be.
DON’T: Leave old, outdated images on your sidebar. You may be an avid supporter of Children’s Hunger or Small Business Networking events, but if your sidebar is littered with ads for events that have already passed it could give the wrong impression to those who visit your site. Keep information your new visitors see fresh and engaging so it doesn’t look like your website is suffering from neglect.
DON’T: Clutter up your site with unnecessary boxes, pop-ups, side bar images, ads and product images. Imagine walking into a cluttered room that has A LOT going on. Can you feel the anxiety rising in your chest? That’s how your website visitors might feel when they find your site crammed with information, ads and images. You customer shouldn’t feel like a gold miner who needs to sift through the clutter to get to the good stuff! Your customers should be able to navigate to what they need quickly and easily. Most of today’s web visitors spend 1-2 minutes per page (or less) and will abandon your site without taking any action at all if they have to spend a lot of time figuring out what your business is or how they can do business with you.