I received a notification today from a company via one of the Social Media sites about some tech predictions for 2012. It was an interesting headline so I clicked on the link and waited as the page loaded line by line for this HUGE image to download. At first I thought maybe my connection was acting up so I reloaded the page and the same thing … the image loaded line by line and after 30 seconds I could see that I was only about 5% into the image.
I never did read the article, though I suppose it had loaded below the image. I just bounced away and proceeded to write this blog article. The worst part was these people advertised themselves as web developers and designers! You can expect to see a non-optimized image in a personal website or blog … but from a firm that says they are web designers? As I started to compose my rant it made me think there are other things that make us go hmmm when we get to a website. Following is a short list of things that can make your website visitors go hmmm and inevitably bounce away.
Spelling it boggles my mind to go to a web page and find it full of spelling errors. How is anyone going to trust that you can deliver what you promise if their first impression is hmmm? Spell checkers are available … take the time to use them and then check the results, as you don’t want to just accept the revised corrections or you can end up with some very strange words that are entirely out of place.
Wrong Words – My dear oldest sister, who was a very successful mortgage broker almost always used “loose” instead of “lose” … that one will lose me most every time. Too many times we see “to” used when “too” was the correct word or accept when except was the right choice. There are some things we just cannot accept, except occasionally these word errors can cause us to laugh. The list of incorrect word usage goes on and on and I am sure we could fill an entire blog with just such words.
Grammar – This will be short as my wife (the copywriter) is always correcting my writing and if/when she reads this blog she will ask me politely if I would like for her to “fix” it. Most times I do send through my posts to her first, but today she is out writing for a client so you are getting the raw copy! The bottom line is if you struggle with grammar then make use of someone to edit your writing. Check back here in a few days for the “finished” post.
Color or Colour Usage the spelling of which depends on whether you are north or south of the 49th Parallel. We write on our OTR site that anyone can build a website and it is true, today most anyone can build a website. However building a website that works and creates a good first impression is another thing altogether. Glaring colours, movement everywhere, a page that is not balanced and unwanted sound are all things that cause the visitor to your web pages to go hmmm and add to a poor first impression of your business or service.
Images are critical to your website. While it is true that the search bots read words it is also true that the search bots do not buy your products or services. People perform that function. Careful selection, optimization and page placement of relevant images will make the interest of your page increase exponentially. Clip art, irrelevant images, non-optimized images, annoying flash or too much movement will all drive your readers away and cause another hmmm.
Social Media Integration – How many websites even today do you go to and there is no social media integration into their website? Communicating with fresh up to date content and building a relationship with your target markets is vital to your overall web success. A blog, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all valuable relationship tools and can be managed with Social Media Management Software from your desktop. A workable Social Media plan can be found here that you can integrate into your web presence.
Search Engine Optimization – Often we go to a website and it looks nice and can even be designed well, but the all important SEO aspects have been left out. Some web designers will throw in a few keywords in the meta tag and think that is what is needed for SEO … there is a LOT more to it. Key phrase research, niche market research, local area search, content marketing, website architecture, copy that incorporates the key phrases in a manner that is readable. Each page having a purpose and a call to action … the list goes on.
We have barely touched what goes into a website that works, and by all means build your website yourself … just take the time to research and do it right. If however you have come to the conclusion that you neither have the time or the necessary skills to create a website that works, then contact OTR Web Solutions and we will work with you to build a site for your business … that works.