Monday, April 22, 2013

Is Your Website Too Ugly to Get You Clients?

Ten years ago, I'd estimate that about half of resume writers didn't have a website. They were expensive to set up (most resume writers couldn't set them up themselves), and -- at the time, folks weren't as comfortable buying services online as they are now.

Today, if you don't have a website, you're a rarity among resume writers. But having a website isn't enough -- you must have a GREAT website. Your website is usually the place where prospective clients first learn about you and what you have to offer. The first impression you make is critical.

You probably realize this yourself from thinking about the websites you look at most often. The best websites are attractively designed but more important -- they are well organized. A prospective client can clearly identify what you do, who you serve, and how you can help. And, it succinctly communicates how they can begin working with you.

With today's technology, it's easier than ever to have a website ... but it's also easy to have an ineffective, and sometimes even UGLY website.

Yes, you can set up a website in 5 or 10 minutes, using a platform that gives you everything you need.

But that's not the end of the story. Think about a cupcake. You know what the finished product is supposed to look like — yummy and good smelling. But, just because someone sets out the ingredients doesn't guarantee that you will put them together in the right away to come up with a scrumptious cupcake. It could turn out to be a mess.

It's the same with your website. Just because you throw some parts and pieces together doesn't mean that the end result will be "yummy" for prospective visitors. It takes some thought — and planning — to create a website that will attract clients.

What are some characteristics of ugly websites?

  • Not user-friendly. You've done the hard work of getting a prospective client to your website. Now, help them become a client by making your site easy to navigate, structured logically to address three main issues: who you are, how you can help, and how they can start working with you.
  • Links that don't work. Test all of your buttons before you go live. But once the site is up, make sure the links keep working. There's nothing worse than broken links for driving a site visitor away.
  • Poor color scheme. It is important that your content and images are easy to see and read. White text on a black background is hard to read. The same goes for lettering in yellow on a white background. Choose black on white for your content.
  • Pop-ups. While one pop-up can be effective to offer a free special report to build your mailing list, but one should be your limit. If someone has to keep clicking to exit boxes all the time, the reader will be distracted and annoyed.

Take a look at your website. Are you guilty of any of these? Don't worry. It can be fixed.

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