It’s hard to be objective about your website. It’s your baby. Maybe a friend or one of your kids designed it. You don’t want to hurt their feelings. Unfortunately, if you refuse to take an objective look at your website, you’re hurting your own chances of being found and of acquiring new customers.
Websites basically are two things: aesthetics and content. Aesthetics refers to the site’s design. Is it laid out well? Is the navigation easy to use? Will people visiting your site for the first time be impressed with the way it looks? Aesthetics can include Flash movies and the like, but those items are accessories. Remember that what’s behind the design counts more than the look of it. If your site is “pretty,” but it won’t load because of bloated or broken code, your site is of no use to you or your customers. It’s best to focus on the design alone at first. Sometimes, the simplest sites are much more effective than the ones with all the bells and whistles.
Content is exactly what it says it is, which is complicated enough in and of itself. Content can be the website copy as well as a blog. It can be videos and podcasts. It can be a slideshow or a series of images. The key with any of that media is to update it regularly. A blog requires more attention than static copy; however, it can be a worthwhile investment. Videos, podcasts, and images also need to have descriptions and tags attached to them. Those components may look great on your site, but they aren’t going to do you much good if search engines can’t find them. Search engines require text in order to index things. If your multimedia content doesn’t have any text associated with it, guess what? Search engines basically are going to ignore it. It might be indexed, but it won’t be indexed in a way that it can be found by people looking for information about your product or company.
How is your website doing? Is it up to par aesthetically? Does it have updated content?