Optimize My Brand

Strategy, tactics, ideas and tips from Creative Company.

5 website ideas to build your business

website-ideasAs a business owner or manager it’s a challenge to even keep up your current website, much less look at what website ideas could improve it for better results. Try these website ideas.

Why is your website the heart of your marketing?

Your audiences are online. No matter what you offer, the first place people go to find your goods or services is a search engine–mostly Google, but also Bing, Yahoo and others. Those search engines might or might not deliver you as the answer to their search. Read further for website ideas that will make a difference.

Sure you can advertise. Or you might use direct mail to reach potential new customers. Or ask for referrals. Yet it’s inevitable, if someone is interested, has heard or read about you, they’re going to check you out online before taking the next step.

Website ideas: ONE
SEO is today’s advertising medium, don’t ignore it

Ignore SEO at your own peril. You must understand the ins and outs of how to be found online or risk being lost in the black hole of everyone who does what you do. Even simple keyword research and content optimization improves traffic. Tuning those keywords to your marketing message gives you an edge. Look for Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide … it’s a good primer to understand how search works.

Website ideas: TWO
Ask yourself, if someone finds you online, what do they see?

We are a visual culture. And we’re impatient, especially online. If someone finds you … home page or interior page … can they tell at a glance who you are, what you do and why they should care? I have seen many sites where it’s tough to figure out who the company is and what they offer.

Overwritten–lots of generic copy with plenty of “we, we, we” doesn’t inform or engage. It turns people off. Small text and long, dense sections of text will be ignored.

Overdesigned–cluttered, black backgrounds and reverse type. Too much movement and no place for your eye to land will encourage your visitors to flee quickly.

Design and content go hand in hand. Use pictures to tell a story and help people see quickly what you provide. Support images with simple, direct copy and messages. Tell your visitors why they should look further. Give them a clear call to action. Simple website ideas that will make a huge difference!

Website ideas: THREE
Your website is not a college textbook

How your site is written will drive someone to give up or to keep going. Use simple, clear copy that’s focused on benefits to the visitor, not on what you do. Avoid jargon. Keep in mind “what’s in it for me?” Use the Flesch Reading Score to objectively check your copy for reading ease and grade level.

Review how copy is laid out on the website, too. Body text no less than 16 pixels, brief paragraphs, lots of subheads and bullet lists will help visitors get through information easily. Web visitors scan, they don’t read. Use call-out boxes to emphasize key ideas. Format testimonial quotes to stand out and add value. Use other visual cues such as buttons or badges to urge action.

Website ideas: FOUR
Don’t leave visitors at a dead-end

A website is dynamic and fluid. Visitors may find your home page, or land on another page that delivers the answer to their search. Don’t assume people will go from home page to the next page or that people will read every page, either. That’s one reason Google likes sites with lots of pages … each page is another chance to answer a searcher’s question.

Ensure all of your website pages have links to other content that relates, a call to action, and contact information. Don’t leave readers struggling to figure out where to go next or whether to back up and start over. Give them specific next steps. Make it easy and obvious.

Website ideas: FIVE
Make it simple to contact you, think mobile

You’ve probably done this. Searched for a website on your smartphone with one purpose–map to an address or find the phone number. Isn’t it frustrating to have to find “Contact” on the menu, then open another page and scroll down?

Don’t do that. More than half of online searches are now on mobile. Put your phone number and address on the top of the home page and make them clickable on mobile. Of course, your website MUST be mobile-friendly, too. Google will penalize you if it’s not. Test your site here.

No matter what you offer, nearly anyone anywhere can find you online.

These website ideas may be simple, but they’ll make a big difference in your results. Really!

Read more about being a powerful online brand in my Flipboard magazine below.
View my Flipboard Magazine.

More website ideas?

Sure, here are a few more blog posts you might like, and a download for our website score card. Good stuff!


About the author

Jennifer Larsen Morrow

Jennifer's four decades of work in the industry, starting as a designer and adding marketing, copywriting and digital marketing, has generated response for clients since 1978.

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