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Get the Most Out of Your Website

by Scott Lewis

Websites may be today’s yellow pages, but how often do you actually spend time working on your website to make it current and relevant? Recent studies have shown that once a company’s website is online and working, more than 80% of the time, outside of minor changes and updates, rarely are they ever touched or overhauled again. Winning Technologies does a lot of websites, some more sophisticated than others. Some have databases and some are basic HTML type marketing sites. Whatever your site is for you and your business it is important to keep it updated, changing and relevant if you really want the site to work for your business.

What are some of the most common things you can do to help your website produce for your business? To start with we need to identify the audience. Who is your customer? This is important because of readability. You want the site to be easy to read and easily understood from your customers point of view. Readability is one of the hardest things to do in a website because we are trying to explain our business - what we can do for our clients - with the hope that what they read will drive them to order online or call.

Website readability can be achieved through many different models, ideas and pictures that speak directly to the subject on the page. Pictures can set the reader’s expectation around what you are trying to tell them to make the words fit into a predesigned concept. Colors are an important aspect to your website and the reader’s perception. Studies have shown that softer colors keep readers on your site longer than load overpowering colors. Typography is also important. You want your site to be clear and consistent. Don’t use small type, but don’t go overboard with big bold type either.

Readability, pictures, colors and typography are all important items to think about in order to get the reader engaged, because the goal is to get the reader to grasp and internalize your message quickly and completely using as few as words as possible. Keep in mind that people only read about 28% of the text on a web page so being clear and concise in your message is important.

Here are some quick tips on maximizing your website.

Keep the information concise,clear and to the point. Since people like to scan webpages it is important to get to the point as quickly as possible, avoid the feeling of having to explain every detail on your site.

Use headings and subheads to break up long articles or pages. By using headings it allows you to transition to new subjects,additional information or highlight a point you are trying to make on a page. It also makes the reader feel like the page is not so overwhelming with text.

Put the most important stuff at the top. This is a common thing we see on webpages because readers scan the pages. We try to set up the reader so they can have a frame of reference on what we are trying to explain. Keep in mind, people read only 28% of the text and that is going to be at the top of the page so make sure that you put the most important thing you are saying first and explain it later.

Use creative bullets and page formatting to increase eye appeal. By using bullets and page formatting it allows the reader to scan the page, while highlighting your points. It also gives the page a feeling of being right to the point, but be clear, be precise, and most of all be relevant to your message.

Use blocks and spacing. Don’t feel that you have to fill up the entire page. Although we want to fill the page, white space is helpful to the reader. When it comes to websites try to avoid the urge to fill the page. White space allows the reader to breath, and understand your message without overwhelming them with a lot of text. Short pages, bullet points, and pictures with surrounding white space can send a powerful message to your reader.

Use Hyperlinked text so that users can click if they want to know more. Hyperlinking is one of the least commonly used methods to keep people on your site and interested. Hyperlinking allows you to design your site with readability yet add depth to your site by allowing the reader to click on the keywords to learn more about the subject. Hyperlinking will also help you with search engine rankings through the use of keywords and tying the text and pages together properly will get you on the front page.

Use visuals such as pictures and videos. Pictures can say a thousand words. On a website this saying remains very true. Pictures tell us a story, they send us a message and they frame our perception, so they are a great tool to grab the audience’s attention and keep them interested in your site, which keeps them shopping your business. We all love to watch videos. It is a great way to send a quick message, and it keeps your site interesting and unique, which will translate into sales.

Scott Lewis is the President and CEO of Winning Technologies Group of Companies.  The Winning Technologies Group of companies is an international technology management company. Scott has more than 30 years of experience in the technology industry, is a nationally recognized speaker on technology subjects such as Collocation, Security, CIO level Management, Data and Voice Communications and Best Practices related to the management of technology resources.  Learn more about Winning Technologies at www.winningtech.com or call 877-379-8279.
Submitted 10 years 141 days ago
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