Web 7 - Expert Tips

Content, copy, words - they are the cornerstone of a good business website.

  1. People come to your website to seek information. Copy provides this, inspires visitors and encourages them to get in touch with you.
  2. Think of what information people will want from you. Here is an example of the information you need people to understand easily regarding your business:
    • What. What is the business about
    • When. When can they  contact you
    • How. How do your service/product work – how can you be of service to them
    • Who. Who should they contact
    • Where. Where are you based
    • Why. Why do they need to use your service
  3. Copy should not be repetitive throughout the site. This causes issues for (SEO) as it’s duplicate content and it will also annoy visitors, i.e. having to read information over again to get to the information they are looking for.
  4. Value proposition - What makes your business different to your competitors? This must be clear within the copy from the moment visitors hit your site.
  5. Call to action - Call to action is crucial! They should be strong and not hidden in copy throughout the site.
  6. Contact details should be clearly visible on every page. Create a button that sits against a white background at the top RHS of the page for instance.
  7. Your website's homepage is increasingly the first impression of your business, and this piece of prime real estate can make or break your credibility.
  8. So what can you do to keep your visitors reading?
  9. Make it blatantly obvious what your website is about
  10. Whilst this sounds pretty obvious, it's the one thing you need your website's homepage to achieve. Menus and headings should immediately identify who you are and what you do.
  11. Although your website's homepage does not have to be identical to the rest of your website, it's vital that it sets the theme and tone. Consistency between pages means your visitors won't have to re-learn the way your website works each time they browse to a new page.
  12. The layout grid, menu names, colours, fonts and writing style should not be up for negotiation. This is particularly important for those visitors who don't land on your homepage upon entry.
  13. Think of how you'd like your sections to flow together, then logically organise them on the page to lead to your call to action. Whether you'd like your visitors to sign up to your newsletter or read your blog, or you want them to buy a house online, all websites, regardless of size, need clarity of purpose.
  14. Make your homepage text easy to scan
  15. Having a contact page with your contact details may not be enough. If your call to action requires your visitor to pick up the phone and make a booking, then make sure the call to action and the phone number is on your website's homepage.
  16. Go one step further and have this available on every page. Many print a particular page from a website for future reference or to show someone else. Make it easy for them to contact you without having to revisit your website.
  17. DON'T make them think
  18. DON'T try to promote everything
    You'll only clutter your website's homepage, stuff up the layout and make your visitors think. Constantly remind yourself about the role of your homepage and stick to it.
  19. Don't have a Flash spectacular as your homepage
    Not only are you making it difficult for search engines to crawl and index the key page of your website, you are driving your visitors to click on one very popular button: skip this intro. Don't let your visitors start their website experience on the wrong click.
  20. DON'T scare the wits out of your visitors with music. They won't be impressed or likely to visit again. Enough said.
  21. DON'T use images that take an age to load
    Images too big in data size will keep your visitors waiting... and waiting. Use images which are small in size and load quickly yet are sharp and clean to view. Unprofessional images portray unprofessional business.

Revised:
May 2012