A couple of weeks ago, I posted the first half of When Good Websites Go Bad.
So, how can we fix these common website mistakes?
Each page is a "wall of text". Especially the home page.
There's so much text that after one glance, visitors are instantly overwhelmed and don't bother reading any of it.
- Break up your content into relevant pages. You don't need to show all of your information on the home page. Your content is actually more likely to be read if you have it organized in appropriate ways. Break up remaining content into paragraphs. Add images in as well as spacing between paragraphs to help set apart the content. Take a look at the final formatting... would you sit down and read through all of this if it were on someone else's website?
|healingdream / FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
There are no pictures or anything visually pleasing.
- Use images to help tell your story. Pictures of yourself are great - clients will love to see YOU giving a massage, etc. (High quality pictures are best). Find a photographer to trade with to get some nice, professional pictures to use on your site.
Notice the photo to the left? And the link below it that gives credit to Free Digital Photos and the artist.
Or, if you are a member of ABMP, they have a beautiful library of royalty free images for your use. (Login to the member area of their website and hover over Marketing Center, click Photo Library.) Again, remember to give credit to ABMP.
Stolen pictures or content from other sites.
- NOT COOL. DON'T DO THIS.
Not only someone else's pictures, they're hot-linked. Don't think this will go unnoticed.
- NOT COOL. DON'T DO THIS.
Keep in mind that this image is not controlled by you. The person hosting the image will notice you're hot-linked, and may choose to teach you a lesson by changing the image.
No call to action to visitors.
- A call to action is a banner, button, or some type of graphic or text on a website meant to prompt a user to click through to convert them from a visitor to a client. What do you want your clients to do when visiting your site? Make an appointment, right? Have a clear and precise way for them to do that.
50 different fonts. And font sizes. And colors.
- Keep it simple. A uniform look and feel is best. If you're trying to draw attention to a certain area, there are more effective ways to do it than to get crazy with the fonts, colors, and sizes.
Talking flash graphics, pop-ups, or the windows that pop-up behind the browser. Or pop-ups that prevent visitors from leaving the site.
- Don't you hate these things on other people's websites? Then WHY would you put one on yours???
Same content and look since 2008. The site is never updated.
- There are many reasons to have fresh content on your site. For one, it helps with search engine optimization. But it also shows your site visitors that you are still here... give them something new so they come back to your site frequently. Your site is not just a static business card - it's an interactive experience.
Have a blog with tips for self-care for your clients in between massage appointments. Change the look or content according to the season. If you have a Facebook business page or a Twitter account, link those to your site so your clients can see your daily updates. (Don't use a personal FB or Twitter account.) If you post frequently, I would recommend you keep the FB or Twitter feed to the last 3 or 5 posts so as not to fill the whole page with updates.
Don't have time to blog or add fresh content to your site? Daily Om is a great site that publishes articles that could be of interest to your clientele. You can easily add it to your website, so you will get a constant stream of fresh content to your site - while you are massaging!
Following these simple rules will keep your website professional and effective. What other ways do you like to keep your website fresh?
Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling. She continues to operate her own private massage practice of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007. www.BodyworkBuddy.com