January’s post reviewed the importance of the first impression you’re making online with your website. It offered steps to consider for developing or updating your site. We’re speaking from recent experience here. For most of the year, we have been researching, developing, writing and designing the new precast.org website – from the ground up. So here are some additional nuggets from our trials and some best practices to consider when you are firming up the grip on your digital handshake.
- Think about what your call(s) to action will be. Define some desired end results such as the visitor contacting you, placing an order or signing up for a newsletter.
- Strongly consider adding a blog if you don’t have one. Google looks very favorably on blog content and it will help you show up higher in rankings for a variety of reasons. Committing to 300 words or so once every other week is an achievable place to start.
- Consider building your site on a content management system (CMS) that enables you to make minor updates in house. A CMS is the software that powers your site. WordPress, which NPCA uses, requires minimal training for simple updates.
- Use a clean design and reduce clutter. The best modern websites make it easy to understand where to go on the page. The more clutter, the harder it becomes.
- Make sure to use your color schemes and branding. If you don’t have a great visual brand, consider this a chance to start and extend that to everything else you do.
- Make sure the site is mobile friendly. A website that’s not mobile friendly is not modern. Referred to as “responsive design,” this mobile friendly system enables the website to conform to the size of the screen of the end user, making it easy to use whether you are on a smart phone, tablet or large monitor.
- Share examples of your work, either on your blog or in a case study section of your site. Include quotes from your customers.
- Ask your trusted customers to give you advice on what would make your site work for them as part of your research process.
- Talk to other NPCA members who have updated their sites.
- Talk to NPCA staff. There are multiple people on staff who can answer broad questions to help you get started.
Director of Communication & Marketing, NPCA