For a long time, the best tool to use in the fight against site speed was a slow website – a slower website will perform a little better because of better coding and optimization, but there are still a lot of slower websites out there.
When I say slower, I’m referring to a website created by a non-techy, non-marketing-minded designer (which is the majority of designers) and written by a non-marketing-minded writer. So how do you know you’re not being over-optimized while you’re writing the copy? Because when I say over-optimized, I’m talking about the number of people who visit your site, and when I say people, I’m referring to their 20-year-olds. If I look at your website through the eyes of a 20-year-old, I can see you’re being pushed to expand bigger and quicker to attract their customers – the customers they want, not the people they need. So the key is to write and design well, but keep in mind that if you’re writing for a 20-year-old audience, your website must be easy to find.
If I’m writing the copy, the design will mirror my target audience’s wants. If I’m writing a copy, I want to evoke an emotional reaction, and what will help me do that? A funny emotion. What can help me in evoking a humorous emotion with an emotional? A scary emotion. What will help me in evoking a scared emotion? It’s a sad and lonely feeling. And so forth.
Who writes for whom has a direct correlation. If I’m writing for a client, I’ll almost surely write for what the client wants – a humorous site will almost certainly be humorous, and a depressing site will almost certainly be depressing.
When you design your site, you’re probably going to want to be aware of how you write for your audience, because it will make a difference.
It’s not enough to write for clients that you have worked with before – you’ve got to know who your readers are, and write for them.
As a site owner, I’ve also become aware of the need to have my website tested for SEO. You see, I’ve seen sites I’ve helped create fail because they didn’t do enough to optimize themselves. Some of my clients have sent me links to sites they’ve seen that tell me “test it; you should test it.” and when I ask them why they think that, they respond, “Well we don’t know how people will react to it.” This is a bad message to send your future clients – if you don’t know how they’ll react to your site, then why would they trust you with their business? It’s your responsibility to figure out how people will react to your site.
I’ve found that the best way to do that is by running your site through the SEO Process, a checklist that helps you check over every page on your site for keywords and keyword phrases that are most likely to be used by people finding your site.
To put it in very simple terms, this checklist helps you look at every page on your site, in terms of when they’re used most, and whether you have enough of those keywords or not. You can check your sites here at Google Webmaster Tools.
The last piece of your puzzle is your site’s graphics. If you don’t have a graphic design background in place then it will show through on the site. Your website’s graphics will play a huge role in your site’s success and if you have bad graphics, then your whole site will be bad. My suggestion is that you get yourself a professional graphic design template, and work from that template to set your site up.
Here are some suggestions to help you get started with your website and make it a beautiful thing for your business.
Get a template!
There are a lot of free templates out there. For instance, go to the Great templates website, load it, set the background color and size, and print it out. Then you can use the print function to cut and paste it into your site. Then use the hot-linked features to put your contact info, your company logo, and other promotional items on the site. After that, if you want, you can add text boxes, lists, and even images to the template. Just ensure that you get a professional graphic design template and that it suits your business. And if you’re using the website layout, check out the newest version of the website layout to make sure it suits your business’s goals. Most businesses can’t even afford to pay a professional for a website layout, so check out the newest layout. If it fits, then you can use it.