On a LinkedIn group discussion a book author asked for help because people came to the website she had created but few people seemed interested in her book.
Other people in the group checked out her website and gave her insightful feedback about why her website didn’t work particularly well.
I looked at the platform she was using and thought, “You get what you pay for.”
The problem with free website-creation tools is that they aren’t known for teaching people what makes an effective website.
The list of issues for this particular book author included the problem of the site not looking “professional.” Someone pointed out that the unprofessional look of the site reflected badly on the book she wrote even though the book could be a gem.
She commented to the group that she was revising her site. When I read this I wondered if she had first spent time learning as much as possible about effective websites.
What makes achieving effective websites even more complicated is that website fashion changes. Yes, it really does.
Flash introductions were big years ago until people realized how Flash slowed down loading time and prevented the search engines from “reading” the home page.
Websites used to prevent site visitors from “piercing the corporate veil.” For example, “about” pages were written in the “royal we” while contact info was firstname.lastname@example.org
But in the era of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and now Google+, site visitors expect to know upfront who are the actual people behind a company site – their names, faces, roles, and Twitter usernames if possible.
In addition, it is important to consider how a site will look on a smartphone, as more and more people are accessing the Internet from their smartphones.
And don’t forget that silence is golden – no automatic music or video playing when people first arrive on a site.
If you truly want to create an effective website yourself, you need to spend a great deal of your time and effort learning as much as possible before using the free website-creation tools.
If you don’t have the time to do this, be warned that the site you build may hurt rather than help your marketing efforts.
Or if you are interested in having a “done for you” marketing-driven WordPress website, check out our WordPress website service now.
© 2011 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic, LLC, which offers “done for you” and “do it yourself” social media services including marketing-focused WordPress websites.
View information on Phyllis’ books and ebooks at http://budurl.com/PZMbooks