I was working in TV advertising when companies were first being approached about having a website. The company I was working for in the Boston area had asked us to sell websites to our TV clients and then someone in California would create them. It sounded easy, but that was my first introduction to the importance of knowing your web designer. We learned quickly that a site could hurt our client’s business. What our company didn’t understand that when you work with web designers who you do not know you are not sure if they can deliver what you are asking. The team that we were working with back then would have failed a first grade spelling test. This was before spell check, but when they couldn’t spell the simplest words and they continued to make error after error our own reputations as account executives were taking a hit.
The internet continued, spell check was added, and eventually websites were widely accepted as part of an advertising portfolio for every business. As a marketing coach and an advertising agency it is my job to look closely at what my clients currently have for a website. The first thing I determine is what the purpose of the site is and is it meeting their expectations. I check to see if it was designed for search engine optimization and if it actually comes up on searches. Then I give it a user friendly test. Would an average person be able to use your site with ease? Can they see your phone number and contact info quickly? Does it have so much word content that it loses me within a few seconds? Is it visually pleasing? Do I get what your brand is when I am on your site? Have you even determined that brand? Do you need to do some tweaking or a major overhaul to your site? Since I am someone who is very careful with spending a client’s money, I look to see if there is a work around so that we can use what they have and have it still work for them. However, if you are considering a new website design make sure that it is user friendly with buttons both on the side or top. Have your phone number on every page. Try to make it visually pleasing. Less words and more color and pictures, and be sure it actually serves the purpose for your business and sends the message you are wishing to send.
Review the spelling. My husband created my website after I wrote the content and told him what I wanted for the layout. The purpose of my site was for a glorified business card so when I approached a company for advertising I wouldn’t lose them with a site that didn’t look professional. I wasn’t looking for calls from my site since I do not have a large staff to handle volume. However, I still wanted people to be able to reach me so my phone and contact is only on the contact page. Though I had the site spell checked and reviewed by 3 people before it was launched, I didn’t anticipate a technical problem with using flash on my site with the diamond that moves. My husband who created the site with me had re-typed the word “advertising” on the home page where it says “advertising, marketing, sales”. No one caught the spelling error and since we already had used spell check we didn’t catch it when we did some changes. The site was up for months with no one mentioning the error. It was the Superintendent of the Beverly Schools, Dr. Hayes, who met me at a chamber event and went back to his office and read my entire site and found the one spelling error. Yes, I was embarrassed, but pleased that he had taken the time to review my site and help my business by sharing that there was a spelling error.
Your site may not be losing you money, but if I need to search for your contact info or phone number or it is too wordy and I hate to read….you may not get my business. Be sure your site is easy to use and clearly helps to build your brand. If you have a tagline and colors that you have been using on marketing materials pull this all together on your website. Add your picture and info about you. People relate to people. That is why TV commercials years ago shifted to using the owners of companies as their spokesmen. And, do not launch a site without being happy with it. There are so many talented web designers to use at affordable rates that making the call for help with your site is probably the best advice I can give you.
All my best to your success!
“Success wears the Purple Diamond!”