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Three Lies and a Truth: Website Edition
If you’ve never had the joy of playing this little icebreaker, it’s exactly like it sounds. Below are four statements. Three are lies, one is true. Today’s edition is regarding your website.
Feeling lucky? Take a guess!
- You have to have a .com
- Websites require daily maintenance
- Your website should include all information
- Any website is better than no website
Do you have your guess? The true statement is… drumroll…
#2 Websites require daily maintenance
But why is this? Can’t you just pay a web developer, pop up a site, check your email for contacts and let it be? You could, but you might be creating more work for yourself and losing clientele.
It’s very important that when you set up your site you build it securely and you build it to have the most efficient design with SEO (search engine optimization) in mind. There are bad people all over this world who get their jollies by hacking into websites- yours included. It’s important that you maintain your site daily to make sure no one is trying to break in, no malware is creeping in, and everything is functioning properly. It’s also important to track your website SEO to see what is and is not working, and you can use keywords to help draw traffic to your site.
Curious to know why the others are lies?
Lie: You have to have a .com
There was a time when this was true, but now there are several credible domains available. You could be a .com, .org, .us, .agency, etc. This opens up a lot of doors when choosing a website domain.
Lie: Your website should include all of your information
Information is good, but can also be overwhelming. You could lose your audience by posting too much. If you think of your website as a salesperson, picture what we call the “Look Here” approach. It can be very effective to have your audience “look here”, but what if you tell them “look here… and here… and here… and over there…” Soon your audience feels overwhelmed and will abandon the site. The best websites have a clean design and read like a conversation, ending with one clear call to action. (i.e.- contact us here; purchase here; sign up here; etc.)
Lie: Any website is better than no website
Never underestimate the power of bad design. As a people group, we make a lot of snap judgments based on appearance (whether or not that’s warranted is point aside). It takes the average person 7 secondsto form a permanent impression upon meeting someone- and your website is often your first impression. There are many things we advocate for the D.I.Y. approach, but websites are not one of them. Take for example the image of this professional development website.
Would you trust them to manage your resumé or recruit you for a career position? They could be excellent at what they do, but this excellence is not reflected in their site. We’ve also seen graphic designer sites built in Wix, Education Resource sites covered with typos, and a number of other faux pas that give us pause as to the organization’s credibility. Websites don’t have to be custom made, (there are plenty of amazing templates available now like Squarespace and WordPress to help companies develop affordable sites) but they should be a strategic part of your brand. Make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.
Bonus Tip: Make sure your site not only looks great on a computer, but also on a phone. Phones are quickly replacing computers in terms of internet usage, so make sure your site is mobile friendly.