Yes, you read the title correctly. Most websites are shy and they show it. We often let our websites get away with things that we wouldn’t do in person. Here are my top tips to build your website’s confidence – in the eyes of the search engines and your visitors.
Unless the sole purpose of your site is to save you a few pence on printing costs, it needs to be much more than just an electronic brochure.
Site visitors are used to things like videos so if your business lends itself to a video, use one. It doesn’t have to be a full-on BBC style production. A talking head filmed on your digital camera works. So does a PowerPoint style slide show with a voiceover. They’re both easy to do and will lift your site.
Give your site a personality
Sure, some people won’t like it. But you can’t be all things to all men.
You’ve got a personality in real life. Let it shine through on your website. You’ll alienate some people but that will be more than made up by the number of people who – by the time they’ve finished reading your site – think they actually know you and are happy to call you to do business with them.
If that’s a step too far, get a personal blog and show your personality there, linking back to your website at appropriate times.
Engage with your visitors
A lot of sites offer an email newsletter of some sort. If you don’t do this, it’s a good way to keep in touch with people without forever pestering them.
The trouble with email newsletters is that we get so many of them (some of which we’ve even asked for) that you need to find a way to break through the white noise that passes for your email inbox. Think personality as well.
It’s also well worth giving people a reason to hand over their email address to you. Simply saying “give me your email address” doesn’t cut it nowadays. A free report or a discount voucher is more likely to grab their attention.
Or you could get them to like your Facebook and stay in touch that way.
Don’t waffle but don’t sell yourself short
Google thrives on words. It’s what it does best. So if your idea of a long website page is one that’s more than two or three sentences, think again.
Put a call to action “above the fold” (near the top of the page) but then write engagingly about your subject.
Use a good design so it doesn’t look daunting.
Use short paragraphs.
And bullet points.
So that your long web pages don’t look like a wall of text that has to be climbed.
If you’re no good at stringing words together, find someone who is. Or talk your page and let your computer type it for you – you can do this with Windows Vista and Windows 7, it’s built in but hidden until you activate it.
Follow these simple ideas and you’ll find that your website starts to brim over with confidence. And that will translate to more visitors and more business.