We all know how quickly the web changes. What seems like a good idea today can turn obsolete before you know it.
Here's a few general things you'll want to avoid in this day and age.
If you have a direct link to your email address on your website, you are begging for trouble. It won't take the internet robots long to distribute that address to spam farmers around the globe, and before you know it, you'll be sludging through your inbox, waist-deep in spam emails.
We recommend having a Contact Form instead. Not only do these keep your address anonymous, these forms can be extremely versatile with the information they gather. You can even have different forms for different purposes, which can help streamline the process of wading through your emails.
Best of all, contact forms make it easier to give helpful auto-responses. An immediate reply that gives a 'thank-you,' as well as an estimate of when they can expect to actually hear back from you can be an effective gesture.
It's one thing to try to draw people in with mystique. However, your first goal should always be brand recognition. Unless you're Apple, you probably can't get away with cryptic headlines or obscure references.
Consider this: if a potential customer happens to make their way to your landing page, you've got about six seconds to grab their attention and keep them on your site before their attention runs out and they surf elsewhere.
Sadly, we see the opposite problem just as often: if your landing page is overstuffed with content, users might get overwhelmed by it, not knowing where to start. Aim for the sweet spot where you're able to identify exactly what you do in as few words as possible.
Come on, everyone knows that's not your team!
Never underestimate the power of images. They can do tremendous work, either in your favor or against. If the photos and illustrations you use are powerful and compelling, it will often go a long way to reaching and retaining users.
However, if you're using images that you've clearly pilfered from the search engines, that's a big turn-off. Your typical user can spot insincerity from a mile away. If they don't trust your images, then they won't trust you. Strange to say, but the internet has an easily-offended sense of integrity when it comes to this.
If you take a little time and money to do it right, you'll notice the difference immediately. Even if all you can do at the moment is a selfie on your smartphone, that's better than an image that's obviously fake. Sincerity and quality are the name of the game.
There are plenty of good practices when it comes to what you should and shouldn't do with your website, so keep your eyes on the Hazel Digital Media blog for tips on how to maximize your web presence.
If you have any specific questions or comments, we'd love to hear from you.