Have you seen your website lately? It’s f*ckin’ awful!
I love looking at websites, nothing says ‘interesting person’ more than looking at someones online presence.
Anyone I meet that has a website gets the same treatment. I like to give it a quick once over and ask what I would do differently, if anything.
I do this FOR FUN(you will need to pay me though)
Excellent work if your website is really sexy. Props to you if it uses the right keywords, has the top copywriter and web designer on the job. Ironically some great copywriters and web designers have terrible websites, bit like tradespeople with shitty homes. Too busy sorting everyone else out, meanwhile her indoors is getting really pissed off…
I don’t know what came over me then. I was possessed by both Arthur Daley (look him up youngsters) and Ray Winstone (always plays a chubby cockney, see also Sexy Beast, superb film).
Right, let the dog see the rabbit…
You might not know how crappy your website is or perhaps you think that any online piece of real estate is enough, regardless of the quality. A shitty website can do more harm than good. Imagine having a smashed boarded-up shop window with dog shit piled high near the door – puts people off.
Can users find what they need or does it take them an absolute age to get to the thing they want? Like Lucy blindly walking through that wardrobe only to find another land, a fawn and the start of a holy war when all she wanted was a downloadable PDF
I like to make a good first impression don’t you? Then you can slowly reveal your true hideous self….
Your website should grab your audience and keep them long enough to take action.
- Voice/Tone – Sounds like bollocks I know but what do you want people to feel when they visit? Speak directly to them. Please, for the love of Christ stop talking in the third person.
- User Experience – Is it easy to navigate? Can users find what they need or does it take them an absolute age to get to the thing they want? Like Lucy blindly walking through that wardrobe only to find another land, a fawn and the start of a holy war when all she wanted was a downloadable PDF.
- Purpose – What’s all for? Are you selling something? Be clear on who your audience is and what you’re offering.
Design & Branding
The fun bit! Some of the best sites are simple. That doesn’t mean they don’t look good. You can invest a lot of money in something really clever but it won’t generate any more traffic.
- Site Style – If you’re a photographer you’ll want a theme that allows you to showcase your images.
- Logo – If you have a business name then you should have a logo. This is basic stuff, people want something to remember your brand by so get on it.
- Brand Palette – The colours you will use throughout your website and all marketing material. Stick to a few colours that compliment each other. Text on certain backgrounds might not work or can be hard to read. Avoid giving people a migraine or epileptic fit.
Search engine shit is really goddamn important. You want your website to be seen and ranked by search engines otherwise there isn’t much point. It should influence all of what you do and certainly all your website copy.
Things To Think About
- Write A Blog – A website that is updated with new, consistent high-quality content is really important and something you can do with no technical knowledge of SEO. Check out my blog on How To Write An SEO Friendly Blog People Want To Read.
- Keywords & Key Phrases – the things people search for that are applicable to what you’re offering on your site. In other words, how do you want them to find you?
- Page Titles & Descriptions – are these attractive and easy to read and are they relevant to what your site is about?
- Internal Links – I’m talking about linking other relevant content within your site.
- Permalinks – These are pages URL structures (their title descriptions). If you want people to find your blog post via a Google search then they need to describe exactly what the content contains.
- Backlinks – Having a link to your website on a high ranking site will really help.
- Free Directories – add your site to some well-known business directories, most of them offer a free option.
There is so much more, like verifying your site with search engines, submitting site maps, but SEO is not my thing so I can’t pretend to tell you. You can design your site or get someone else to do it for you but it will pay to get an expert in the field to check the SEO as you go. I would urge you to get advice before the build, a site that isn’t visible is utterly pointless.
- Setting The Tone – Your website wording is responsible for the voice of your site. Are you a high end brand, is this for corporate business, are you a hobbyist baker who loves to read about murder in your spare time? What you are selling will inform the copy.
- Clear Objectives – Make it easy to read and understand. Instead of talking about how great you are make it all about your audience. Humans are selfish especially when we’re buying, even your About Page should be about the audience. What utter bastards we are.
- Less Is More – Not many like to read huge chunks of text on a site. Break it up with bullet points or separators. Be economic with language and use simple words. I know you yearn to show off your Stephen Fry-esque vocabulary but now is not the time Karen. Ditch the jargon, you sound like an arsehole.
- Call To Action – Now the user has the reason for their visit they’ll want to know what to do next. Get a CTA button on your home page. It could be a Book A Call button that links to a contact page. If you have information that is heavily text based add a Download button that links to a stunningly produced PDF. Phwoar!
If you can’t write for shit hire a copywriter, hire one specifically for websites. Chances are they’ll know all about the SEO side of things, unlike me.
But What Do I Know?
I have built several websites. My first was really bad. It was the early days of CMS websites and they were clunky and horrible to look at. I am always changing my own website because my business changes and what I thought looked good a month ago doesn’t look good now. I learned through getting it wrong. Thankfully as the platforms improved so did my skills. You might also like to check out my post on How To Build A Website With SEO In Mind.
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