Dawn Psaromatis and Annie Gerson of Wellington Group, a marketing, public relations and social media firm that delivers creative and strategic communications programs, presented at ARA’s 2013 Convention about how to enhance your website. Here are some of their suggested tips:
Things to Consider:
- The shelf life of a website is 3-5 years – expectations and functions change quickly; It’s a worthwhile investment to stay on top of it.
- Strong design = more credibility; When trying to change the perception of your industry, having a professionally designed site will help.
- What was once thought of as professional and innovative 5-10 years ago is now considered outdated and sometimes brings about a red flag for clients. These things include:
- Scrolling text
- Spinning images or graphics
- Highlighted text
- Automated background music
- Anything that requires a plugin to download
- Talking person on your screen
Your Website Design Should Focus On:
- Perception – brand name, color scheme, photography, quality of images
- Separate pages by subject – think about what people will search for, even if it feels redundant
- If you serve different locations, do an extra page per location
- Consider separating by type of repossession (bus, car, motorcycle, etc)
- Include call-to-actions throughout your site (click now, contact us, call now)
- Make sure the phone number is loud and clear in the header and/or footer
- Have a Contact Us form – collect data to create a list to use for marketing purposes
- Make it interactive – obvious drop-down menu, imagery and videos
- Update content frequently (events, news, blog) – this will help improve your search rankings (SEO) to ensure you’re more easily found
- Fonts – work with a designer to come up with your own fonts for your brand and use them everywhere – not just on your website! Make it your own.
- Make it mobile-friendly – meet your clients where they are.
- Make sure all links and functions work at all times
- Think about your client first and foremost (What’s important to them? What problem(s) do they have that you can solve?)
- Negotiate for complete control of your website before starting – make sure you have access and training to update information without a programmer