I like to think of a website as a "virtual office space". It's a place to develop a relationship with your target audience. Your website should allow both prospects and customers to feel welcome and create a desire to come back. To create a space that will have your audience coming back, you must factor in 2 components, Content and Audience Engagement.
The characteristics of great content on a website are:
1. Timely - The articles, videos, testimonials and etc. that you share on your website should be fresh. The latest post should be no older than 2 months.
2. Valuable - The content that you post should be of value to your target audience, and not just the customers or client, prospective customers/clients should be able to leave your site with something of value. Whether a fact sheet, a download or even information about the company.
3. Informative - This may seem like the obvious but your content should inform visitors about your business. What do you do and what are the effects on your clients, humanity and your staff?
4. Images - Pictures are really worth a thousand words and the images on your site are no different. They should in some way reflect your target audience, what you do, who you are and tell a story. Yes, the pictures should tell a story they should coincide with its page name on the site. Collectively, if you put all of the pictures into a collage they should tell the full story of your business.
The next component is Audience
Your website must be designed with your target visitors in mind, so if you built a website and now have trouble finding things yourself, don't worry there is still hope (keep reading). For a user-friendly website you must consider:
1. Navigation - Hopefully, you built out wireframes for your site before launch, however your visitors should be able to find their way around the site. If it takes more than 2-3 clicks to get to where your going on the site, the information is buried.
2. Conversion - Is it easy for visitors to make a purchase or download a freebie? Again these forms should not be buried in your site. Follow the 2 click rule.
3. Socialize - Your visitors should have a place to socialize that links to your website, therefore any social media accounts or communities that you moderate should be linked to your site.
4. Bookmarking - It should be easy for visitors to bookmark your site so that they can easily find their way back to you!
5. Tracking - You should have some type of analytical platform (ie. Google Analytics) to collect information about your visitors.
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