5 Ways To Make Your Website Appear More Professional

Make Your Website Appear More Professional

Having a giraffe in your website header might get you some attention, but it probably won't get you the results you're looking for. In fact, when it comes to landing that all-important first meeting, having a professional and well-designed website could be the difference between landing and losing a potential client. Follow these tips to ensure your website is as captivating as possible.

1. Use a professional domain name

You probably already have a personal domain name, but if you’re serious about blogging, you should also get a professional domain name with your blog name on it. It’s important to have both because it will help you stand out from other bloggers. Think of your blog as your portfolio, and having a strong personal domain name is important so you can highlight your work and skills, not just what you’ve written about.

Not only will being recognized help you with getting more clients, but having a personal domain name also establishes the uniqueness of your blog. People familiar with your post will know whom to expect when they click through. With several prominent blogging platforms having domain registration services, it’s important to pick a domain name that seems unique and stands out from others on the internet.

There are plenty of tools on the internet that allows you to pick different domain names that will have various prices. In this case, I’d recommend paying literally anything for a domain name in the $3,500 range. It’s really that inexpensive, and even if you get a little hit from Google for indexed domain names, you will save yourself a lot of heartache down the road.

Google won’t show you a list of all domain names unless you jump through complicated legal hoops, but it’s safe to assume you’ll pay somewhere between $1,500–3,500 for your domain.

Google won’t necessarily take you to the best site for your keyword if it has a silly name, like hoovergetst.com. Choose a domain name that is enticing and unique, and tell Google exactly what content you’ll put on it. Be sure to also check whether Google has it listed somewhere within their domain and if so, make sure it is well-designed. The best way to do that is to go directly to about.google.com and paste your first and last name into the search bar to see a complete overview of Google’s indexation.

2. Choose a great web design to start your online presence off right.

Your website is an important part of your brand’s online presence. It’s the first thing that people see when they visit your site, and it’s the thing that will make them decide whether or not to do business with you. Make sure your website looks professional and is easy to navigate. Your website header is most likely the first thing people see and this is a prime opportunity to use it creatively. You could use it to promote information about your products and services, or you could use it to showcase other useful services you provide. Try to keep it simple but effective to spark interest in your services.

The art of a great website header lies in using your keywords effectively. The simplest way to ensure your keywords appear consistently where they’re needed is to create a Google vault. Google “Select a keyword” and enter your keywords into the field at the bottom. Check out this post on what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is and how to make it work for your website.

Keywords are often overlooked and this is a big mistake, replacing fancy terms like “affordable home insurance” with a keyword like “home insurance” will bring more conversions to your site.

Your keywords should be selected based on what will bring traffic to your page, and how your brand can address the needs of your visitors. It’s crucial that your keywords are in a location where they’ll likely be seen by your core audience, so personally check the sign-up forms you’ve used before. Ensure they have the right keywords and phrases in them.

Another pitfall is leaving out your keywords in your website header. This will result in people searching for your keywords and landing on irrelevant pages. Thankfully this is much easier to avoid simply by using a tool like Keyword Surfer. Once you use the tool, scan your header to ensure you're using all of the right words.

Site speed is a crucial factor when it comes to the performance of your website.

3. Use high-quality images in your posts

When it comes to images, it’s important to use high-quality photos. You can use a service like Fotolia to find high-quality images for free, or you can use a service like Shutterstock to purchase rights to use photos. Knowing the size or quality of the photo could reduce your cost by as much as 50%. Take advantage of tools that help you upload these photos quickly so that you can showcase your website to clients’ needs.

When it comes to your CTA, your website header could serve as the call-to-action for website visitors. Telling your web audience exactly what to expect each time they land on your site can save you time and decrease your bounce rate. You can add these buttons to call-to-action buttons on your pages or easily add them using an online form. Below, you can find the great button options you can use for a call-to-action.

Showcase your expertise in your industry by giving your focus screen a one-click ad. Give them the option to easily share to their networks. You’re their guide and resource, so prove them right by giving them a personal high-quality homepage experience that impresses them. Keep their information up-to-date by adding the new information as you talk about your company.

Visual consistency is very important in ensuring a professional and engaging website experience. Seeing your brand through the lens of your website header translates into a highly personalized experience. Fills, gradients, and typography should be consistent across all your websites. Be sure to price your products/services based on your budget and whether your strategy is a premium, free, or semi-premium. If you’re unsure how to make your prices visually consistent, you can hire a professional design service like Shea + Rodriguez to optimize them.

Don’t let a few weird characters ruin your reason for having fun. Adding a character or two that doesn’t make sense or has no place on your site could hurt the website experience.

4. Include an About Us section for potential clients to learn about you and how you can help them

You are About Us section is the first impression for people that visit your website. It’s where they can learn more about you, your business, and what you do. It’s also the perfect place for them to learn about the problems you can solve for them and how you can help them. To make you're about us section as compelling as possible, you first need to make sure it’s on-brand.

Your positive attitude and eagerness to help are two very important qualities to have on your about us page. When you take deep to heart everything you do, it makes your page easier to read and less clouded by extra marketing fluff. Have a strong enough personality to sell your services without sounding like an airhead.

Based on everything you’ve learned about your prospective customers, make sure you’ve condensed the relationship in a way that’s compelling. Don’t waste their time by talking down to them or talking over them. Keep the conversation respectful and focused on you. Remember, you're about us page is supposed to be your first — often only — introduction to your business. Make sure you make it toasty so the first paragraph hits them right in the feels.

Why does your about us page matter so much? Because having a professional and professional-looking website will make them feel at ease booking a consultation with you. Making sure you about us look great will remind anyone who sees it that you’ve got a reputation to uphold.

Describe yourself in one sentence or less. If you can’t think of three words, you may need to speed up your website layout and get your content organized.

Use bullet points — or, even better, a table of contents — to group your information. You are about our needs to set up the vibe and allow prospective customers to easily navigate your content.

Use your first and last name appropriately, but not too narrowly. Companies often use first names only to give people a sensation of familiarity.

5. Make sure your website loads quickly so visitors don't get turned off

It’s important that your website loads quickly because today’s internet users are less patient than ever. According to a survey by Akamai, 40% of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and if it doesn’t, they’ll stop what they’re doing and leave. If your website is taking an average of 6 seconds to load, you no longer have time to do that.

When my website experienced a devastating crash, I discovered that I was all alone at the table with no way to diagnose the problem. Surprisingly, I was the only person using the site at the time, so I was helpless to fix the problem myself. Fast forward to six months later, and I now know the cause: An outdated flash container that resides in the head of every page. Luckily, I found a tutorial on how to remove the flash in minutes, and now when someone visits my design, they’ll get a clean, modern look. With that little chore out of the way, you can now focus your attention on your content instead of lamenting that the site still takes 15 seconds to load.

Although your overall website design is a critical component of the overall experience, it’s important to also pay attention to the images on your site. Great content is great content, but if it looks bad on your website, people won’t waste their time visiting. When I redesigned my website, I chose to go with a clean, modern look and avoid all images that weren’t directly related to the content behind them. In my view, if you need an image to communicate an idea, let it stand on its own — don’t clutter your website with unrelated images, and ensure that they aren’t too large. Ideally, images should be no larger than 3–4 seconds and be made of a clear, color-accurate picture to make them stand out.


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