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7 Things You Should Know About Updating Your Website


Dave Gordon - Monday, 16 November, 2015

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With about five weeks left until 2016 – yes, it’s that close! – this could be the right time to spice up your company’s homepage.

Each year that goes by, you’re competing with more and more sites, with higher levels of sophistication.

Carl Woodin has some suggestions. He is a successful multimedia producer, from AZtech Multimedia & Training Group, who develops and designs websites, as well as supports the audio/visual aspects of meetings and events.

If you’re thinking about hiring someone to redo (or create) your site, what should you look for? Woodin explains:

  1. Is it cost effective?:  “A good designer/developer works within the client’s budget and makes sure nothing goes over budget. If the scope should change, the developer need to communicate this with the client.”
  2. Understands the need for SEO (search engine optimization): “This is crucial, especially for a company selling a product or service. When a consumer Googles something, they probably won’t go much past the first page. If you’re buried somewhere on the second or third page, you’re never going to be seen. The key search terms that the client feels somebody would use, are embedded into the code of the homepage, and featured prominently on the home page of the website. Google, however, does have a pay-per click system that can move you up.”
  3. Develops sites that are mobile friendly: “The website needs to be clearly and cleanly seen on a mobile device, and there shouldn’t be any issues with interaction. More people are looking at websites on mobile devices, so Flash websites might not work. Google is now ranking sites that are mobile friendly higher than sites that are not. The client also needs to decide if their site should look the same on a mobile device as it does on a computer or be condensed for the smaller screens.”
  4. Works with full branding and collateral in mind: “It’s important that the colors of site match the colors of logo, and the logo is fully utilized. The first thing I look at is the client’s logo, and if they don’t have one, I tell them to get one. The logo should appear on envelopes, business cards, letterhead, and be prominently featured on the homepage.”
  5. Understands the needs of the users of the site: “The designer has to be able to put themselves in the shoes of a person browsing that site. The user has to know right away what is this company selling, or what information they are providing. For example, a pediatrician’s website should have the ability to help you refill prescriptions, or a FAQ about a child’s health. If it can be done online vs. having I to wait for somebody, or be in phone purgatory, all the better!”
  6. Develops the site so that the user doesn’t get lost on the site: “The important contact information shouldn’t just be on a contact page, but on every single page. One of the things you want to do is have contact with this user. Maybe you want them to click on a link to request a personal response. You also want a phone number where they can call; you don’t want people to hunt for it.”
  7. The site has to work with secure protocols: “There are a couple of ways you can secure a webpage. It starts at http. You’ll also see https, the secure version (hypertext transfer protocol) – how websites talk to each other. This is for personal information, financial information, etc. and the site should be designed with that in mind.”

The key is to keep your website dynamic, secure, optimally functional, and visually compelling. It should also be updated periodically with fresh content to keep users coming back!

 

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