Clicked On Blog

Happy New Year, and a few resolutions!

Clicked On would like to wish all our customers and visitors a happy and prosperous 2007.

The New Year is often a time for reflection on the past year and looking forward to the next year. I hope some of the resolutions below will give you some ideas of how you could make 2007 a real online success story.

  1. Keep your website up-to-date I cannot stress enough how important this is. Any successful website depends on fresh, engaging content. Talk passionately about your subject – it draws in your readers, and search engines LOVE new content being added to your site.

    The ease-of-use of blogs and content management systems means you have no excuse for your site being outdated – your thoughts can be added in a matter of minutes. And if you don’t feel able to create engaging content yourself, consider having your website copy professionally written.

    Take a look at our Blogs Page to find out more about how a blog could benefit your business.

  2. Promote your websiteWith the mountain of tasks you will inevitably face as a small business owner, promoting your website will often find itself a low priority. Put simply, your website will only ever succeed if you let your market know about it.

    Create a marketing plan and implement it – it may include submitting your website address to directories, starting a paid web advertising campaign or increasing the presence of your web address in your ‘offline’ marketing.

    Contact us to find out more about how we can help you get your website seen by more customers.

  3. Follow published web standards The majority of us would never consider using a gas fitter who doesn’t follow CORGI standards, or drive a car which has failed an MOT test. Web design has it’s own professional body which publishes a set of standards for websites, the BSI has issued guidelines for commissioning accessible websites and the Disability Discrimination Act has enshrined the need for websites to be accessible in law.

    Following these standards will generally mean your website will be viewed (or heard, or felt!) by a wider audience, it will be more visible to search engines and you will be less likely to fall foul of recent legislation.

    Make sure whoever is building your website is aware of the published standards and will take reasonable precautions so they will be met.

  4. Hire Web ProfessionalsThis is similar to using web standards, really.

    It’s easy to knock up a website nowadays. Anyone with a glint of artistic flair can open a copy of their favourite graphics program (they often come free with a digital camera or on the front of a magazine), and produce a reasonable-looking logo.

    Put that together with some text in a WYSIWYG web editor, and voila! A website in a day – your 14 year old nephew would probably do it for £60!

    It’s a dream scenario – your company is embracing new technology and reaching out to a new audience, all for a bit of pocket money.

    That’s until the old “too good to be true” and “you get what you pay for” maxims come into force. Will your nephew be able to restore an email server within a reasonable time should the worst happen? Will his designs work in all modern web browsers (including mobile phones if required), or just the one he uses, and will the search engines pick it up? Does he know the legal requirements your site should adhere to?

    Only a true web professional can understand the more complex and subtle requirements of a successful website. A true understanding of good aesthetic design, usability, marketing, search engine visibility, legal requirements and the surrounding aspects of a high quality website comes with experience.

    Is it worth the gamble of trusting a non-professional to produce your website?

  5. Update your lookDesign trends on the internet are almost as seasonal as in clothing. If your website has lots of flashing images or scrolling text, it’s probably about time to look into getting a redesign!

    Keeping the same design for too long is akin to still wearing shoulder pads or shell suits. It can make your company look outdated, and even make visitors question whether you are still open for business.

    It needn’t be too big a task, either; content can (and in most cases should) be reused. If you have a content management system, it may simply be a case of changing the template design.

    Avoid the temptation to simply copy the prevailing trends though; good design should have a timeless base which can be tweaked for the newer trends.

I hope that we’ve given you some ideas of how you can improve your website in the coming year. E-Commerce and web influenced sales are set to continue rising in 2007 – it would be folly to miss out by having an ill-thought web policy.

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