Our web design and marketing agency is one of the best SEO firms located in Houston. We provide a wide range of SEO services to help develop a full service digital marketing plan for your business. Our web developers will help make you vision a reality by working with you every step of the way until your custom website is built out.
Our team works continuously, adding fresh content to your website on a routine basis to get you the most value out of your online marketing campaign. Whether you are familiar with internet marketing or are new, our web design and development process will ensure you are getting more traffic to your website.
- Outdated Information: A clear sign of a dated website is dated content. If your website copyright states “copyright 2003” or your last blog entry was three years ago, this makes your site look dated. It can even give the impression that your company is no longer in business. Change the copyright date every year and update your company’s blog regularly. You can even hire a freelance blogger to write entries if necessary. Outdated information on products or services can confuse and annoy customers. The products and services you offer must be in compliance with current regulations, especially financial services. If your site advertises services that are no longer compliant, this can get you into hot water with regulatory authorities.
- Text and Fonts: The wrong font can quickly give your site a dated feel. Avoid dated, gimmicky and non-Web-safe fonts; notorious offenders are Papyrus and Comic Sans. Avoid scrolling and blinking text. This is dated and can actually make your site less accessible, especially to people with flicker-sensitive epilepsy and migraines.
- Splash Pages: The first page a customer sees should be your homepage, with an introduction and navigation buttons that easily let them find the rest of the site. A splash page containing no information other than your logo and an “Enter” button wastes users’ time and looks old-fashioned. A splash page is acceptable if you need to have an adult content warning; otherwise you should simply have a homepage.
- Animations and Flash: Animated graphics on a Web page went out of date sometime in the early 1990s. They’re irritating and distracting, and they create accessibility issues. Flash elements are now truly out of date; they do not display on iPhones, iPads or on computers that don’t have Flash installed. The worst offender is the animated Flash introduction, which hampers site access and wastes time. Flash elements such as buttons should also be avoided.
- Autoplaying Media: An audio or video introduction can be useful for your visitors but this should not play automatically. Allow users to decide whether they want to listen to an announcement. Don’t include music on your site unless you’re promoting a band; even then, autoplaying music is considered both passé and unprofessional.
- “Best Viewed” Instructions and Unresponsive Design: Back in the days when there were only two major Web browsers, it was common to see Instructions telling visitors that the site was “Best Viewed With…” a particular browser. Now that there are at least five major browsers for desktops and your users may be surfing from a smartphone or a tablet, “Best Viewed” instructions are best avoided. Instead, adopt responsive Web design tactics that allow your site to be viewed on a wide range of browsers and devices.
- Images: Intrusive background images are a sure sign of an antiquated website. Large images slow down your page and can make text hard to read. If used at all, background images should be subtle and should not compromise loading times or readability. Any graphics on your site should improve the user’s experience and convey information.
- Old Coding: Old-style Web programming can give your page a dated look and feel. Table based sites and sites using numerous unnecessary HTML tags can make your page load more slowly, deterring users. Google’s search algorithm now factors loading times into their page rankings, so a slow site will affect your place in the search results. It’s also harder to update your page. Switch to modern Web design methods.
- Cluttered Design: A site that is cluttered with multiple images and elements is ugly to look at and bewildering to navigate. Avoid this kind of “cereal box” design. Keep your site clean and modern, with a few well-chosen elements.
Why Does My Website Matter?
- Your web site reflects you as a business owner and professional.
If your web site looks professional, your potential clients will think you’re a professional who has enough clients and enough income to have a site built for you. If potential clients visit your web site and it looks half-assed and home-built that’s how they’ll perceive you.
If you’re a web developer, by all means, build your own site, as that will reflect your capabilities. Everyone else, hire a solid company that can do a good job, not just in building your web site, but in getting it seen and in building it wisely to maximize the traffic you’ll get.
- Your web site can mean extra local business.
Even if you’re primarily brick and mortar, having a solid web site can mean extra business. Local clientele often perform seaches online and find your web site, encouraging them to walk into your store. If they find your competitors and they look more reputable or solid than you (or if they have a web site and you don’t), you’ll lose business, just because of your web site. And, when you’re mentioned in the media or on review sites like Angie’s List, you’ll need a web site to help people find you.
- Your web site can mean global business.
Did you ever think about getting orders from Australia or Malaysia? Launching a fantastic web site means you’ll instantly become a global business, allowing you to expand your clientele to a much larger audience. Your web site is visible in almost every country around the globe, and that means you expand your potential client base by millions. You’ll still want to keep your target market in mind, but an international audience may still find you appealing.
- Your web site can generate media interest.
If a journalist is looking for an expert in your field to quote for an article, s/he is more likely to choose the business owner whose web site looks professional and clean than someone who looks like they don’t really know what they’re doing. And as most of you know, a mention in the media can be powerful for your business!
Don’t do your business a disservice by putting up a shoddy web site. Take care and invest wisely in your business web site by hiring someone who knows what they’re doing. Next week I’ll talk about what components you need in your web, and in two weeks, I’ll cover how to hire a web company.
Web Design Company in Houston
Stop missing out on potential customers and become a force within your industry! From excellent web design and social media management to Google Business Listing optimization and a weekly-updated blog, the team at Houston Small Business Marketing is here to help you get to the next level. Grow your business when you expand your reach online. If you are tired of giving away potential customers to your competitors, contact us today!
We dedicate ourselves to working closely with business owners to come up with a marketing plan that helps them succeed. We provide each customer with a free consultation for your website and social media to let you know how you can improve your placement online and grow your engagement with local potential customers looking for your services. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.