Feb 13, 2011

Do You Have an Ugly Web Site?

If you don’t have a website and think you should skip this section, don’t. When I help my clients with their Google SEO, their website design is instrumental in the success of their results.  A great website will help you convert more customers!

I’m always amazed at what I find.

Ugly Sites

Yep, just plane ugly both in colors and style. If you’re not a graphic designer, stay away from graphic design. I’m not an artist or designer, most of us are not, so don’t try and be one. Stick with the templates that from your website hosting company.  Stay away from bright flashing things, they’re ugly and distracting, including the ads you might think you want on your page. Stick with a template or keep your site really simple with straight forward text, links and an easy to use menu and site map.

Website Content

Content, some may ask what’s content? These are actually words on your website. Yes you need some, not just some you need a lot! Good english, grammatically correct and meaningful. Many of the sites I deal with have very little content, and some have content that has nothing to do with the page’s keyword subject or the website for that matter.

Is your site selling?

Remember, you need a goal and purpose for your website. Does it do a great job of selling your product and service or is it just a bunch of $%@^? Clearly focus it on your objective to get more customers and more business… and more traffic!

Broken or bad links

Make sure you links work. If needed, install Google Webmaster Tools, this software will help identify links that are broken.

Junk Pictures

Remember this is your online brochure to sell your business! Your pictures should be of the quality your customers would expect of your work.  Yes you should have some pictures, all text sites are boring (like my blog).  You might not be the best subject for your pictures (ouch), I know my face doesn’t grace the front page of my websites… yet. Make sure the picture file name has been changed to a description of what’s in your picture. For example 123442.jpg, won’t tell the search engines anything about what’s in the picture. Rename your picture with it’s content like this-is-a-picture-of-Rich-Close-hard-at-work.jpg. Note the “-“ between the words and the search engines will have a little clue as to what this pictures about. This is actually an SEO tip you should employ on your website, more on SEO below.

To Much Flash

Flash is cool but who cares, not your customers unless you’re a consultant who creates flash websites. What’s even worse is if you don’t let your potential surfers, get past it without watching. They’re already moved on to the their next website. They take to long to load and will slow down your user. How about a great professional picture on every page instead.

Page and Site Optimization for Search Engines

Was it optimized for search engines. Was it optimized for people. Make sure the title, headings, content, links and meta tags on each page follow SEO best practices. It takes hardly any extra time when your creating a new page. If your page exists, it's quick to revise it. Remember you need a solid keyword strategy for your site and pages before you build or change the pages on your site.

Capture that lead

If your sales pitch is weak an you do nothing else but capturing your lead? You spend a lot of time and money to get people to your website. Do you have a form to easily capture their email address and name so you can keep marketing to them after they leave your website? Once there gone, they’re gone forever. There are billions of pages and they won't be back to yours.

I use AWeber to place a form on my sites and capture the lead. They also have some great tools for configuring and sending auto responder and email campaigns.

Hire a professional… maybe!

If you’re going to spend the time making a website, make it right or hire a professional to do it for you! Someone who knows what they’re doing can get you started on a simple website in 3-4 hours. That would include pulling the domain, and signing you up for a hosting plan and creating a few pages on a new website. Assuming you supply the content. If your going to do it yourself, use one of the pre-designed templates that come with most hosting packages and populate it with great content.