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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

5 Ways to Improve Your Website

Creating a website is a fantastic way to promote your business or cause, but encouraging people to visit your site and making it stand out requires knowledge, skills, and time you may not have. Here are five great tips for improving your website, store or blog—and some resources available in case you need help putting these ideas into action.
1. Graphic design

The truism that you have only one chance to make a good first impression definitely applies to your site, and that first impression is always visual. Basic themes, fonts and page styles are the perfect place to start, but you’ll also want an attractive logo and some high-resolution graphic images that support your messaging and show off your products. Not a graphic artist? Think you can’t afford to hire one? Don’t worry. In today’s Gig Economy, you can find affordable designers and graphic artists who can help you make your site look just the way you want: professional, fun, elegant, you name it.

2. Written content

Once visitors are interested in your site, you need to give them a reason to stay—and that means engaging content. What kind of written content can you present besides your product and service descriptions? A well-written and regularly published blog is one of the best additions to your site. It provides a forum for you to repeat your messages and encourages visitors to come back again and again. You can also create customer success stories, offer history and trivia related to your topic or industry, provide a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs), and include links to related sites. If you aren’t a great writer or don’t have the time to write, you can find great writers on service marketplaces, freelance job sites and by checking with friends, colleagues, and customers for references of writers they rely on.

3. Videos and Animations

Another form of content is high-quality video and animation. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a few seconds of high-quality video and animation may be worth 2,000 or even 10,000 words. A professionally crafted video reflects the care you take with you products and services. Whether it’s a video of your product, a customer testimonial, or even just you speaking about your cause or passion, video engages visitors and encourages them to stay on your site. Whiteboard animation is also great for explaining complex ideas in a way that is highly engaging and fun.

4. Social buttons

Now that your visitors are engaged, you want them to tell others about your site. Don’t forget to leverage social buttons that will encourage people to share your site on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. And while you’re at it, you may want to create your own social accounts on these sites and participate in relevant communities.

5. Online Marketing

To propel your online presence into the 21st century, it’s essential to use various forms of online marketing. If you feel you don’t have time or enough knowledge, you can seek help from experts who offer these services at affordable prices. Whether you are looking for an in-depth SEO optimization report, tips to increase traffic, or a virtual assistant who can take on tasks such as data entry, research or accounting, the ability tap into outside experts can help take your website to the next level.

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