Websites are valuable tools that help build credibility, provide information, and play a foundational role in all marketing efforts. If you’re looking to establish your online presence or wanting to polish an existing website, we have a list of tips and ideas to help you build a website that works for you.
Tip #1: Secure your URL and website.
For a new website, start thinking about your URL early. Use an online domain name search engine to check URL availability, you can see if the domain names you like are available and what extension (.com or .org, etc.) options you have. When choosing your domain name, you want something memorable and easy to say. Avoid using homophones like ‘two’ and ‘to’ as they don’t lend themselves well to being shared verbally. You can choose creative options for the domain extensions like epma.art if it makes sense for your organization. If you have an existing site, make sure you stay on top of your site security. Sites that are not secure or have broken links cause visitors to lose trust in the brand.
Tip #2: Ensure you have access to your brand assets.
Your website should have the most recent version of your identity and branding and updated images. Your website and marketing materials should all have a cohesive look with the same branding and visuals to help built rapport and trust with your target audience. For example, Tropicana Homes has the same identity and branding on their website, signage, social media, and more. If you’re building a new website, your web vendor will request access to your brand assets and the project will stall if you don’t have access to them.
Tip #3: Make sure your website answers the five Ws: who, what, when, where, and why.
Conduct an audit on your current website and put yourself in the mindset of your target audience. Does your website answer who you are, what you do, why you’re different, and how and when to contact you? Make sure your website is providing information and answering questions rather than posing more. Successful new sites are built on a solid foundation of content. Before you focus on the visuals, make sure the content, tone of voice, and organization of the information work together to support your goals. The Every Little Blessing Preschool website explains what they offer and who they serve in the opening lines of their website. The tone is inviting and knowledgeable, giving parents confidence and support.
Tip #4: Provide clear directions and calls to action.
What do you want website visitors to do? Examples include scheduling a demo, downloading a free resources, signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or calling to schedule an appointment. If you offer a unique service or need visitors to follow a specific set of instructions, clearly detailing the process can help them understand why you’re different or how to get results with you. Prince of Gold, a custom jewelry designer, has a clear summary of the custom ordering process on the website.
Tip #5: Use design to set yourself above the rest.
When possible, use a custom design and custom photography to ensure you stand out from competitors. Website design template vendors will pick specific industries to market to and if you use a template, you run the risk of looking exactly like competitors. Stock photography is frequently lacking in diversity of people and locations. A custom shoot will allow you to feature your team, your location, and better appeal to your audience. Franklin Star Wealth Planning is an El Paso-based wealth planning expert that serves young professionals. Custom photography captured lifestyle images of young couples at key spots in El Paso.
Tip #6: Use SEO best practices to improve your search ranking and help people find you organically.
SEO is addressed through proper programming, such as making sure the pages are tagged appropriately, a device-responsive design, and keyword-rich content that is regularly updated. It is both a part of the website development process and an ongoing effort to accommodate changes in search algorithms. Blogs are a great way to support SEO efforts. These multi-purpose marketing tools can be used to keep your website updated, share your expertise and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry, encourage your audience to visit your site more frequently, and provide marketing material for other channels like social media and newsletters. We hope you’re enjoying reading our blog and gathering insightful tips for your own site!
Tip #7: Empower your team to maintain the website.
You and your team know best what is happening within your organization. Being able to update your website quickly and accurately helps you provide relevant information, supports SEO best practices, and gives you control over your web presence. Ideally this is accomplished through a robust and user-friendly content management system. For an existing site, communicate with your vendor about who is responsible for updates and coordinate training for any team members who don’t know how to update your site but should. For a new website, ask your prospective vendor what level of control you’ll have over your site and how you’ll be able to keep it updated. The El Paso County Elections Department has a website and companion mobile application that are both easily managed through one simple content management system.
We believe that websites are never truly finished. There is always new content to add, updates to post from your organization, and more. Building a strong foundation for your website is critical to ensuring it will continue to grow and adjust with your organization. Reach out to us to discuss website development. We’d love to hear from you.