With Internet usage reaching the billions, how you market your business, especially on the Web, is even more important than ever. We consistently hear Internet marketing is growing and how important it is to jump on the bandwagon. You must have a presence on the Web or you will miss out on a large portion of people making buying decisions daily.
Website design has become very competitive. Businesses are attempting to attract customers in as many creative ways as possible. Outshining your competition and showing you have a better, flashier website than your competitors seems to make people believe that this is what the consumers are attracted to and what will make the difference between a successful Web campaign or not.
Back to Basics
Contrary to popular belief, studies have shown that sometimes going “back to the basics” is actually more beneficial to your business and to the person visiting your website. Knowing what audience you will be targeting is extremely important when creating an effective site. While the younger generation may appreciate loud musical content and flashy graphics, other age groups may be turned away.
A simple-to-read layout that provides quick, informative data is always safe. We live in an impatient society where website visitors expect to obtain clear, concise information quickly. Visitors should experience simple, clean navigation through your website without complicated flash. They prefer quick downloads with little waiting time. Fancy illustrations and banners may make your website look attractive, but if users are waiting for an extended period of time, you could potentially lose their attention causing them to leave your site for another.
Make sure your logo, phone number and address are large, noticeable and present on every page of your website. If users experience a long wait time for the next page to load or a technical issue with their system, they can pick up the phone and call or visit your physical location without having to click around and waste more time. A visitor should not have to click onto a separate page or “contact info” bar in order to obtain important phone numbers or physical address. Why risk losing them?
Simple Is Best
Website content should be written in a format that grabs the viewer quickly. Text length should be concise, highlighting your business’ products and services. Share with the visitor what makes your facility the best choice for storage. Make it snappy; make it quick.
Text should be in an easy-to-read font and void of spelling and grammar mistakes, which can turn a viewer away and create a negative impression for your business. Harsh text colors are hard on the eye and may also turn them away. If you are using large text, use lighter colors, reserving darker colors for smaller text formats.
Your color scheme should blend nicely with your logo, creating a visually friendly balance between graphics and content. This can boost the viewer impression of your website if done correctly. Basic color is always best to use since computer browsers view color differently.
Finally, it is suggested that you invest in a good content-management software. This will enable you to make ongoing changes to your website whenever you wish. Most programs enable you to update specials you are offering and alter them daily, weekly or monthly. These programs also give you the ability to change your content and add new features you offer or recent testimonials.
A good program will also allow you to update photos of your facility any time, placing you in control of updating the information you are relating to potential customers with no restrictions. Keeping your Web page fresh and updated shows you care about your business and sharing necessary information with others.
Let the Web Work in Your Favor
Being on the World Wide Web and having a website can work for or against you. If you have not taken a close look at what image you are projecting or whether your website if user-friendly, do so as soon as possible.
A good source of feedback comes from the customers contacting you. If they say they found you on the Web, ask them if they thought your site was user-friendly. Was it easy to navigate or did they have trouble finding where to go? Do they have any suggestions that might make it more appealing?
Ask if there was anything on the site in particular that caused them to contact you and, if so, consider making that item more predominate because it is probably something that would appeal to others. If you are going to spend the time and money to invest in the future of the Internet, make sure it pays off.
Michelle Millis is senior client service manager of Michaels Wilder Inc., an advertising agency specializing in Yellow Pages, Internet marketing and talent recruitment for the self-storage industry since 1989. For more information, visit www.michaelswilder.com.