Effective Websites

Are you fishing without Bait?

By now you know that your website can be much more than a 24/7 online brochure. It should be your primary hub of communication with the public and your customers.The place to publish your content and media, establish your domain expertise, attract visitors and convert them to leads and customers.You may be wondering how to get there or you may already be struggling with the complexities of making it all work together.

Functionality is Key to Effective Websites

The first step is to rethink the primary business reason you have a website.  In designing a new website or refreshing an existing site many businesspeople are still stuck in the brochure model. Their first concern is how they want the site to look.  That’s like buying a computer based on it’s color! A modern effective website requires an emphasis on functionality: (consistent updates, blogging, social media interaction, gathering customer data, analyzing visitor behavior, serving premium content, emailing offers to leads, etc). You’d better be concerned about function before form.  Unless you plan to hire a staff of programmers, a custom-designed site will probably not meet your needs — and if it does now, chances are that future web technology will render it obsolete.

For modern, effective small businesses websites, you must use a Content Management System (CMS) to provide the technical foundation. The least expensive of these is WordPress which is a good choice for small businesses. Drupal, Joomla and Hubspot are others.

Only after choosing a CMS to build your site on, should you think about the look. It is important to have a site that accurately reflects your company and brand but you can save a lot of money if you are willing to be flexible.  Each CMS has a variety of ”themes” that help you format your site. These are not the ugly, inflexible and technically inferior templates of the past. Each one can and should be customized to become a distinctive effective website that reflects your brand.