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Websites: KISS. (Keep It Simple, Stupid.)

Our clients are small business owners. And even though their businesses vary we see a lot of the same challenges arise when it comes to figuring out how to approach websites.

The most common hang-up that occurs with our clients is the desire to have a “pretty” website for their business. We get it. You want to have a website that has lots of great photos, content, looks fancy and most importantly, looks better than the competition’s. But, as we tell some of our clients that is not really what is important when you are looking to either upgrade your current website or create a new one.

Many people have a website that was put together a few years ago by a “website guy” who designed it in a complicated web program that only he can update. (Programs like Flash come to mind when we think about this issue.) When this happens, updates are complicated to complete and they usually require someone with expertise to make those changes. (And this usually comes with a cost each time a change needs to be made.) For a small business owner this can become an annoyance and therefore the website is very rarely updated with fresh content.

As we have mentioned many times on our blog, content is King! You want to make sure that you are constantly refreshing the content on your website, that your content is high-quality and corresponds to your Google efforts. If you have an outdated, hard-to-update website, this can really hurt your search efforts.

Our recommendation is to use a basic website design program that you are able to update yourself. Programs like WordPress are great! They are inexpensive and easy to manage. This will allow you to have more dynamic content on your site and save you the hassle of contacting a computer guru every time that you want to add a new promotion to your site.

The downside (and this often trips up a lot of people) is that programs like WordPress aren’t going to be very “fancy”. The reason that they are so easy to use is because they are basic. You aren’t going to have a lot of flexibility in the design but we feel that the benefits outweigh the costs on this one.

And really, at the end of the day, if nobody is going to your website you have bigger problems. It is very important that you are working diligently on driving people to visit your website. Then you can worry about how it looks. Spend more time checking the accuracy of your site, refreshing your content and thinking of ways to engage your website visitors.

(And speaking of website visitors, you should be visiting your own website every day. Don’t just put up a new site and walk away. It needs constant nurturing.)

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