It is time to take your website seriously
There hasn’t been a single marketing tool in all of history that has been as important to any business than a website, so why in 2021 do many businesses still not take their website seriously enough to keep it looking and working its best?
I see there are a couple of reasons for this.
The first reason is time, especially with small businesses. Often you get focused on making sales and doing the work that you forget to actually work on the business, and before you know it you haven’t posted a news or blog article in 12 months, haven’t checked that your contact form still works, or your business has shifted, and your content is now out of date.
Block out some time every week (or at least every month) to look at your site, update and refresh your content, add a new blog post or swap some images – all this can really help keep your site fresh and looking its best and help prevent website wilt. It will also provide your site visitors with your latest information and details, helping them find what they’re looking for with greater ease – after all, it’s these visitors who are also your potential customers.
Skills – or lack thereof
This is a big one, and it is a bold statement – not everyone has the skills to manage a website.
Sure we’re told by the likes of companies like Squarespace, Wix and faceless people on Internet forums that you can do it yourself, but even basic website management needs skills.
What skills do you need to manage a website? A lot, and as a web developer even I don’t have them all, but let’s look at some of the basics - and don’t worry if you need help: the talented Mity team are here to help across all of these skill sets.
Given that content is king when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), being able to produce content that is well written, speaks to your audience, conveys your message and ticks the boxes for good SEO copy is one of the most important skills website managers should have.
But here is the thing – not everyone can write good content, and I’m the first to put my hand up and say, “I’m not a good copywriter”, so I rely on those that are – expert copywriters, including others in the Mity team.
A good copywriter will get to know you and your business, understand who you are targeting and what you are offering them, and write clear, concise and effective copy for you – helping you connect with your audience and convert sales.
Image manipulation / processing
Imagery is probably the biggest area I see people struggle with. A picture tells a thousand words so being able to select the appropriate image, resize or crop it to fit your website takes skill – skills I think everyone working on the web should learn.
On top of that, with mobile phones taking such great quality images, many people take their own photos (which I love), but a photo taken directly from your iPhone could be at least 3mb and large enough to print and wallpaper your wall – way too big for your website.
Large images (in terms of file size) will just slow your website down – remember back in the early 2000’s on dialup Internet when you had to sit and watch an image load? It sucked didn’t it! Not only will it annoy your visitors, but website load speed is one of Google's top ranking metrics.
Basic content formatting
When adding content to your site there are a few rules in terms of formatting your content. For example:
Tables - these should only be used to display data, not laying out images or text. Tables are not very responsive (mobile friendly) and can create accessibility issues.
Headings – use these appropriately. Only a single H1 on a page, then use H2s and H3s to show content structure.
Links – sometimes you might need to link to another site. When doing so make sure you don’t just paste the link on the page. Add some text and “call to action” that describes the target of the link (i.e. avoid “click here”) and link that to the external site. This will help readability and accessibility, but also some URLs can be very long and on mobiles they won’t “wrap” so will break your site on mobiles.
Images – make sure images are resized appropriately (see above).
This one might sound silly – after all it is your brand… but truly understanding your brand and its elements is very important. This is especially true around the use of your logo (no, bigger isn’t better) and colours, and how they should be used (or in some cases not used).
Using your branding elements and colours appropriately helps keep your site looking professional and polished.
A website is definitely not a “set and forget” thing. It takes time, effort and skills to keep your website design looking and functioning at its best. Take some time to upskill so that you can keep your site looking great. You can speak with your developer or there are a huge number of online resources that can help – you’ll find some great videos on YouTube.
Michael brings his technical, web and sales expertise to every project, backed by almost 30 years’ experience in the IT industry.
In 2018, Michael became one of Australia’s first Certified Joomla Administrators.
Michael is also a qualified chef, although cooking is now in a domestic kitchen. Michael is a bit of a history buff and is currently researching his own family history.