Here’s a bit of advice on avoiding bad advice when it comes to your online presence.
For most of us, the 90s were primarily about having a crush on Jordan Catalano, watching new episode of Friends each week(when it aired…for the first time…on TV) collecting LipSmackers chapstick and defining our own style with as much flannel as possible. As 80s kids and 90s teens, we grew up as the internet unfolded, and we learned to grow with it. We remember the sound of AOL dialing up, and the first report we ever completed – from research to writing – on the computer.
Maybe that’s why we didn’t listen when that scientist in 1995 told us the internet was just a fad. It’s also quite possibly why we became the web nerds that we are today. Growing up with that much changing technology inspired us, and we wanted to be a part of it.
So now that we have a few decades of web experience behind us (professionally speaking, of course – the school reports don’t count), we thought we’d share some of the worst pieces of web advice we’ve ever heard. Bad fashion advice from the 90s? That is a blog for a different day. (Think: “Yes, you do need a few more butterfly clips in your hair!” or “Every guy looks good in bowling shirts!”)
- Just get something up fast. (Wrong – Google picks up on your site faster than your visitors. Make their first impression a good one.)
- Create it yourself or use one of those web builder thingies. (Wrong – while some may be web savvy, you’ve got to make sure you’re covering all bases: properly targeted and written content, intuitive site flow, engaging and effective visual messaging, SEO, overall site strategy and the functionality to make it happen.)
- Just pick images. Save the money. (Wrong – images should be carefully selected and targeted at the right audience, visually representing the right message instantly… and you can find those on a budget.)
- Stay away from Social Media. (Wrong – an active social media presence makes people aware of you. Not just that you exist, but that you’re a functioning, responsive business with something current and interesting going on. Even if your customers don’t hang out on FB, there’s Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Reddit and others – allowing you to find your social media niche and your audience. You need to be there, engaging with them.)
- Small Businesses don’t need a web site. (Wrong. For so many reasons…but let’s just pick one right now. The majority of consumers start their search for a product or service online. Without a website they will never find you.)
Hopefully you haven’t heard those same bits of advice – and if you have, and if you even listened – it’s not too late. Just like we learned to that Mall Hair isn’t timeless, you can grow in your web style also. So lace up those Doc Martens and get that hair up in a scrunchy, and let us help you get to work on that web site.