Business

Tips for sprucing up your website

By Yvonne Grinam-Nicholson, ABC

Wednesday, September 05, 2012    

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THESE days everyone, from the large international conglomerate to the small, one-man band who wants to appear to be a

multi-national, has a website. The website is your storefront to the world and it says a lot about you and your business. What does your website communicate? Here are a few things you do not want your website to yell to the world.

Have you ever visited a corner shop or supermarket and seen some goods on the shelves that seem to have been there from 'Whappy killed Phillup?' You know what I mean, the tinned products have been hanging around so long that they seemed to have applied for and received birth certificates from the Registrar General's Department without using the express service. If the information on your website is screaming for an update you are in the same position as the owner of said corner shop. Your website is the place where the world comes to look and gawk at you and your products. John Q Public might flip absent-mindedly through the web pages and click on the links, and they of course, expect to be delighted, enthralled and interested so that they will come back. We are in the Internet age and content is king. The more interesting and riveting the content that you have to appeal to your public, the more often they will beat a path to your page. Always try and update your website content to keep it fresh and exciting. One of the easiest ways to do this is to change the images around your company activities as often as you can. Please remember to identify and place a context around the images on your website or we will all be lost. Please make sure the content on your website makes sense and does not appear to be the work of the Mad Hatter on one of his more

productive days.

I love to navigate websites for research purposes or just out of curiosity. My greatest annoyance is to find a website that does not have a link that tells me exactly what it is the business does. Your website is to give us full information about what it is that the company does, such information that we would otherwise get from a customer service representative. The information should be very clear that you are in the business of selling 'widgets'; how long you have been in the widget-selling business and the types of widgets that you sell. This information should be up front and prominent on the website or you will lose me as a potential customer. We also want to know how to contact you and it would be nice if the information is current. And the contact information should not be hidden deep within the bowels of the website either. Contact information should be prominent enough so that viewers do not have to do a Christopher Columbus to discover where contact can be made with

your business.

Whether we like it or not, we are in the age of instant gratification. People require information right away and they want all the bells and the whistles; they do not have long attention spans or time. The average website viewer would rather view images rather than read many words. The more images you give us the happier we are because, let's face it, we are a lazy bunch. A picture, they say can replace a thousand words, and many people prefer to view pictures rather than to read. It is not a bad idea to use as many images as you can on your website to illustrate what your company does in the course of its business. If, for example, you are in the business of accommodation in the tourist industry, place more images than you would words on your websites. We want to see what your rooms look like, so that we can decide whether or not to do business with you. Do not allow us to 'guess and spell' what the surroundings for your accommodations look like. Rest assured also that we are on to you, so not put up deceptive images of the facilities, services or products that you offer. The images must be real and must not be too large so that we have to wait eternally for them to load. People lose interest quickly so make sure that the images you use on your website are not large.

Every now and then you will visit a website that has too much: colour, images, words, and flash and dash. This type of website (perhaps created by a middle child) is screaming for attention and ends up achieving the opposite result of turning us off. Many times, less is more. Let your website communicate what you do in an interesting manner. Do not chase

us away.

Yvonne Grinam-Nicholson, (MBA, ABC) is a Business Communications Consultant with RO Communications Jamaica, specialising in business communications and financial publications. She can be contacted

at: yvonne@rocommunications.com. Visit her website at www.rocommunications.com

and post your comments.

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