With the growth in popularity of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Myspace, many have begun to question if having a professional website is still necessary. Undoubtedly, a website for your church, ministry, nonprofit or business is mandatory. While it is tempting to save money by letting a volunteer try to build one, you may need to rely on professional help when it comes to design and implementation.
You should have a basic knowledge when planning and designing a good website. This will help when making decisions about your organizations site. Here are a few tips to consider:
Simple is Superior. Today websites are scaling back. The day of fancy flash and intricate coding has come to an end. Make sure the site is well-maintained above all.
Hire Higher. Your website is your virtual business card. Don’t trust the design to an armature. Work with a trustworthy marketing company to do your website design. Ask to see sites they have previously built.
Budget Better. Set a budget. Decide how much money you can truly afford. But don’t be cheap. You want the best your money can buy. Apply for grants that are willing support marketing and branding initiatives.
Opt to Manage. Most sites are built with a Content Management System. This system allows for someone with even basis computer skills to maintain and update the site. Even if you hire someone to do your management, have the CMS available.
Will the Seeking Find You. So now you have spent a ton of money and you own the most amazingly designed website ever. But the question still remains, “Are you findable?” Being able to be found on search engines like Google requires an important step called Search Engine Optimization. Learn about it. Invest in it.
Measure Success. Analytics and statistics can be intimidating words but are vital to measuring the success of your site. They give you information about traffic coming to your site. Who is visiting? And how did they find you?
Know Yourself. Before hiring a marketer to build your site, know what you want. Ask yourself a couple of questions. How soon do I need this project finished? How much money should I spend? What do I expect? Who is responsible for research and gathering information? Doing this will save a lot of time and money.
Design for Your Audience. When making decisions about your website design and functionality, you must think like those who will be using the site.
Poll Your Pals. Your members, fans, clients, colleagues and friends can get involved here. Ask them questions about what they think is important in the improvement of your site. Each of them might have different, but helpful answers.
Reach Out and Touch. Reach the right people with your site, and then encourage a specific behavior. Your sites should evoke a reaction. Do you want them to cry, cuss, or call?
Help Wanted. No, Needed. Most sites come with a content management system. This enables you to personally make minor corrections and updates to your site. But it is paramount to know when a change is outside of your ability.
Use these tips to evaluate the effectiveness of your website design. It is not too late for a redesign or to start all over. Make quality priority!
Terrell L. McTyer
Website, Graphic Design, Branding and Marketing
My name is Terrell L. I am the owner and lead strategist for M/I Promotions. We do marketing, eblasts, promotions, social media marketing, branding, design, virtual assistance, networking, business development, image development, web traffic generation, product sales, event marketing, digital music distribution, public relations, advertising, search and video engine optimization, and booking.