Monday, October 18, 2010

5 Tips for Building an Effective Website

By Chris Daley

The inspiration for this blog came when I was building a website for a new client of ours. I conducted research and thought it was interesting how many sites weren’t fresh and updated, which is strange, since websites are your most important marketing tool.

It made me think of the Simpson’s episode where Homer decided to start his own online company. Who can forget these famous Homer quotes?

"Oh, they have the Internet on computers now?" or

"Where's the ‘Any’ key?" or

"The Internet? Is that thing still around?"

The Internet is still around and it has become the most popular way people get their news, according to a recent study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Everything in our lives is integrated with the Internet and your website has to look professional and be functional if you want it to be effective and represent your company in an engaging way.

With this in mind, I developed five tips to keep in mind for current businesses or new businesses wanting to build or update their websites.

  1. Create a website with room to grow it: If you are a new company, or are creating a website from scratch, don’t be so concerned with filling the website with fluff or generic photos. Keep it simple in the beginning, but leave the site wide open for adding new content and sections. You want to always be able to add news aspects to keep up with the times and keep it a living and breathing site.

  2. Avoid too much animation: It’s not the year 2000. Flash animation is not the coolest invention on the Internet anymore. Incorporate some animation but don’t have too much where it takes a few minutes to load up a web page. In general, people have little patience so in the time they’ve waited to watch your page load up, they’ve moved on.

  3. Incorporate new content regularly: It is important to continuously generate new and engaging content for your site. Update it a few times a week if possible. This does not always have to include news about your company. It can be a variety of things ranging from news within the industry you work in, blogs from you or your staff, new photos and/or videos, etc. It doesn’t look good if your site is never updated and people will never feel the need to come back to your site if the content is stale.

  4. Add photos/videos often: People love photos and video. If you were to ask a multimedia editor at a newspaper what are the most viewed sections on their website, they will most likely tell you it’s the photo galleries and videos. With this in mind, make sure you add photos to your site from recent events you attended or managed and maybe videos as well. Flip cams are very cheap and any amateur can record a nice video which will enhance your webpage.

  5. Mobile compatibility: Most people in our society are attached to their Blackberry, IPhone, etc. Nearly everyone checks the Internet on their phone when they’re on the go. This is only going to grow and soon everyone will have a phone that can connect to the Internet. So, be sure to build your site so that people can access it from their mobile devices.

Chris Daley is a Senior Account Executive. Contact him at

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