Eric Murrell wrote a great post back in May that supports exactly what I’m talking about here: you cannot rely on your website to be the only one-stop shop in town. He goes on to say, “Once Facebook made it so simple to pump all of our content directly into our Fan Page, our “fans” had all of the information they desired from us right where they wanted it; any time we post a message online, link to a new photo gallery or promote an upcoming event, it’s funneled right in front of their nose along with everything their friends are doing. ” His point was that your website does not need to be a dumping ground for all things. You have other avenues to share quality content.
Here are few tips to make the most of your site:
1) Streamline your navigation: Many sites I review in our workshops are loaded with navigation, leaving a visitor to wonder what to click and where to go next. Keep the navigation clean and simple. Top nav is easy to see and easy to understand. No, you don’t have to put everything on your website.
2) Make it easy to contact you – Part 1: As Murrell notes, give your folks the content they want in the way they want it. Today, that often means via Facebook, Twitter, blog or another social media application. Well, if that’s how they want to contact you, then make it easy. Place your social media assets at the top of EVERY page. Make it dummy-proof to fan you, follow you, ping you.
3) Make it easy to contact you – Part 2: I can’t tell you how many sites I have to poke around before I find an email address, a phone number, something that allows me to start a dialog or ask a question. Stop the madness! The site should convey a clear purpose, have a clear call to action and give prospects a clear way to get in touch.
4) Use valuable real estate wisely: If you have a long, vertical site that goes on and on with small, independent graphical elements, um, nobody is looking at it. In fact, much like the old-fashioned newspaper, what’s below the “fold” probably won’t get read. Don’t hobble your efforts by cluttering up that valuable real estate. Put your main attraction (remember that clear call to action/purpose I mentioned earlier?) above the fold so it can be reached without scrolling.