By Genevieve Howe, Account Manager
Too often we hear ‘I don’t have enough time’ or ‘I don’t have enough money at the moment to do it right’. Excuses. Excuses.
Fact is, you will probably never have enough time and money to create your dream website. So make some time, set aside what you can afford, and get started.
Like everything else, it will grow and change with your organisation – but you cannot put it off any longer (the Hunters simply won’t let you). Whether you’re considering a DIY job, or planning to get a helping hand here’s our ten steps to get your website back on track.
1. Why am I doing this?
Ask yourself two important questions. What do people want to know? And what do I want to tell people?
The purpose of your website sits somewhere in the middle of these answers. From here, set your goals, set your targets, and start brainstorming.
2. Think outside the box.
Your website, and particularly your landing page, is like a window into your brand.
How can you creatively capture and display the meaning, messaging and personality of your organisation in a visually captivating way? You don’t need to give your visitor everything on the first page, you need to keep them interested enough to continue their journey.
3. Strip it back.
“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” – Coco Chanel
Very wise advice (unless you are ducking down to the shops in a kaftan). Once you have mapped out your website pages, take a break (a week is good).
Then, come back and clean it up. Remember your original goal as you critically review your plans. Consolidate where you can, remove areas where there is repetition, and keep asking yourself ‘why am I including this?’.
4. Spend time on your website every month (for real).
How often do you see your accountant? How often do you update socials? Your website is another element of your business that you need to maintain with regular TLC.
You don’t need to change your website every month, but you do need to block out 10 minutes and look through it.
Just like your car, your hair and your house – regular and minor maintenance mitigates the chances of disaster. We even made this handy little checklist, so you know where to start:
· What needs to be updated (staff, hours, contacts, availability etc.).
· Add some news (what happened this month, or what is the industry talking about).
· Review the analytics (what is working and what isn’t).
5. It’s not too late, to link it. Link it good.
Link with your network and your partners to support your SEO and discoverability. Your website is also the end-node for third party content, so make sure your shop front is ready when your digital PR strategy kicks off and it is raining back links!
6. Measure. Measure. Measure.
There is no reason not to have google analytics.
Get it. Check it. Interpret it. Incorporate it.
7. Make it really, really, ridiculously good looking
Don’t settle for average photos, inconsistent graphics, blurry bits, and please don’t try and take your own head shot on a web cam.
The inner beauty of a website will not be seen (unless you are in IT or coding) so you will need to put your superficial sunnies on and make sure that the site is looking schmick. This is one place where it is worth investing a little bit of coin.
8. Proofread, rinse and repeat.
PROOF READ EVERYTHING! Then get someone else to proof read it. Then proof read it again.
Having a spelling mistakes on your website is like parking your wheelie bin by your office door. Visitors might get over it, but it is pretty off putting.
It is also important to find someone (other than your partner or best friend) to be a fresh set of eyes over your website, and provide you with some objective feedback.
If you are relying on people to find you on google, you need to talk to a professional and get some advice. If the cost seems too good to be true, it probably is. Ask your network if they know someone, or put a call out on social media.
10. Set a date and celebrate.
Even though your website will be a living breathing organism which you feed and nurture on the regular – undertaking the new build or refresh of a website is not a small task.
When you think about starting this as a project, think about what will signify the end – before it just goes into a maintenance phase. Once you know this, set a due date (make it realistic) and work towards it. keep yourself accountable.
… and when it is finished CELEBRATE!!! 🥂🍾