One of my son’s favorite things to do is have me look up a character on Google Images and then draw it by hand. Luckily, he is only six and thinks that I’m a terrific artist (for the record, I am not), so he pretty much accepts anything that I do as being really great. But it isn’t always that easy to please other people.
Although beauty may really be in the eye of the beholder, there are some basic guidelines that can be followed in order to determine what makes a website stand out. Read more below to see if you’re doing all you can to make your site the best that it can be.
- A professional design. Your website is the first chance you’ll have to make an impression on a potential client—be sure it’s a good one! This starts with having a polished and professional-looking site that clearly demonstrates who you are. Whether it’s casual and friendly, sleek and modern, or formal and traditional, there is no “right” or “wrong” design for your site—as long as it looks professional and is an accurate representation of you and your firm.
- Targeted homepage content. When someone visits your site for the first time, you have only a few moments to capture his or her attention. Be sure that you have a concise message on your homepage that specifically mentions—and “speaks to”—the group(s) you would like to have as clients. This will also eliminate the need for you to spend time on the phone or e-mailing leads that are not a good fit for your practice.
- Intuitive layout. Once someone is on your site, it’s important that he or she can quickly and easily find the information for which he or she is looking. It starts with having all of your information organized into specific sections on the site. These areas should be labeled in a way that makes sense to visitors and provides them with a good understanding of what they will find in each section before they even click. In doing this, you’ll ensure that no one has to search too hard to find what he or she wants. If visitors get frustrated, they may go elsewhere.
- Accurate and complete biography information. Those coming to your site want to find out more about you. This is the perfect place for you to highlight your years of experience, unique outlook, and any certifications you have or awards you may have received. We also recommend adding some personal information (e.g., your family, interests, hobbies) so that potential clients have a way to establish a connection before coming in to meet with you.
- Fresh and up-to-date content. Now that people are visiting your site, give them a reason to come back for more. You can do this by keeping your content updated and relevant. In general, we also recommend reviewing your site, every six months or so, to be sure that all of the information is still accurate and current.
So now that you’ve read through this list, go back and take another look at your own website to be sure you’ve done all you can to make it really stand out.