Yesterday marked my six-month “anniversary” of working at Nextfly Communications and I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been here. The things I’ve learned haven’t been about web design, specifically, but I’ve also learned a lot about myself. Since I’m a Ball State alum, I figured I’d take over this blog post with Letterman’s famous “Top 10” list.
So here we go…
Things I’ve Learned from Nextfly Web Design
- Blogging is fun! – A lot of businesses look at blogging as time-consuming and tedious. I look at it as a platform to engage with others about things that you are most passionate about. I love nothing more than thinking about a good blog idea and brainstorming the best way to write about it. Blogging is a vehicle where you can be yourself and show your audience how much you love what you do. I suggest all small businesses look into utilizing their blogging platform.
- Coding is a foreign language worth learning. – I didn’t know much about coding when I started at Nextfly, I’ll be honest. I’m slowly learning more and more about it as I continue to make changes to our client’s websites and I love doing it. Each time I want to make a change, I have to research how to do it and then apply that action. In life, I feel like it’s important to be uncomfortable and not to settle into what’s easy. To me, coding is a constant challenge, I am constantly learning and I love it.
- It’s important to constantly update your website! – Nothing is worse than going to a website that has outdated content. Examples:
-You go to an “events” page and find the most reason event was in 2008.
-You go to their blog and see the last blog entry was 7 months ago.
The websites we design at Nextfly Web Design all have content management system designs. This gives small businesses the opportunity to develop their own content and update their website whenever they’d like. This way, you won’t have to wait for a web designer to fit you in your schedule. It’s all in your hands!
- CMS websites are the best websites for small businesses. – Like I said in number 3, we build Content Management Systems at Nextfly. This allows businesses to upload their own content at their convenience. If you just took new photos at an event and want them featured on your website, go right on ahead and upload them! We provide training with the launching of all websites and are constantly available to help you answer questions so you are able to do it all and make the site exactly the way you envision it!
- It’s imperative to have good content on your website. – When developing a website, you MUST have content. Get your marketing department and staff together to have a brainstorming session about the company. Think about all of the things you do, the products you offer, and who you are as a company. What do you want people to know about your company? What do you want them to buy? Write it out in-depth and put it on your site! You can do better than a one-sentence description – I know it!
- You must optimize your site! – It’s great to have a website where you can lead existing customers who already know about your business, but what about potential customers? Search engine optimization for your website is important so that Google knows what your company does and what customers should find you for. Doing this will help get your website more eyeballs and more business for your company.
- If you have social media, you’ve got to keep up with it! – Social media is a great asset for your company. It is a way to communicate your company’s events, new products, and services. It is also a great way to engage with your customers. If you are going to have a social media presence, don’t leave it hanging up to dry. Use it! Show customers who you are and let them know that you are here to help them. Facebook and Twitter both serve as platforms for customer service. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to better your company by listening to your consumers.
- Get your business listed in Google Places. – Google, for the most part, is the first place people begin in their search for a business/service. When navigating their way around a city, Google maps is utilized often. Google is an important asset for your business. It is important to set up a Google Places page for your business so your customers know who you are, where you are located, what your hours are, and what your website is if they need any other additional information. Becoming best friends with Google is one of the best things you could do for your business.
- Template sites will only hurt your business. – A lot of companies offer template websites for an extremely low cost. Heck, even some big-name companies offer templated sites for A LOT of money. Regardless, DO NOT get a template site. A lot of the time what works for one company doesn’t work for you. Your company deserves better. You deserve a website with functionality that is specific to your company and its industry.
- Don’t copy content. – With the template sites, there often comes filler content that you can keep and just edit your company’s name in. STOP! Don’t fall for it! Google can see if your page has the same generic content as other websites and will penalize you for it. When they penalize you, it might take a while to recover. You could be sent back pages upon pages and risk never reaching your customers due to this. Have an original voice! What is quick and easy will end up hurting your company. Don’t have time to come up with original content? We’ll help with our content writing services!
There you have it. These are a few things I’ve learned in those six months. I’m sure there will be much more to come and I’m excited for the constant changes and challenges that come with working in web design!