A TANGLED WEB
Practical advice on how to get the most out of your online presence.
To start with, a confession you’ll probably be glad to hear: I’m not a techie. Far from it in fact. So I’m not going to blind you with science. I’m one of those people who doesn’t know, or indeed care, how computers work. I just need to know what they can do for me.
There are, moreover, endless websites and articles out there that can tell you all you need to know about domain names, hosting, site maps, search engine optimisation and so on. And it’s more than likely that if you are reading this, you already have a website, and a reasonable understanding of the basic set-up principles.
What I can do is offer you the benefit of my wider experience, in all forms of media and marketing, to show how you can improve on what you already have, and use the internet to its maximum advantage. Over the years, I’ve seen enough good (and bad) websites, and online marketing campaigns, to hopefully know what works and what doesn’t in the real world.
So, if you have a naturist-related business, here are some basic rules – which apply equally to existing websites as they do to new ones:
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Unless you need a booking engine or online shop, just think of a website as an online brochure. Stick to the basics, map out what people need to know, make it easy to navigate, and ensure it is in line with the rest of your corporate identity. All-singing, all-dancing websites are expensive, unnecessary and almost invariably counter-productive.
Copywriting for websites is different from writing promotional literature or adverts. The text has to entice the reader onto your website in the first place, and then lead them into exploring further by clicking on links or ‘read more’ buttons. It needs to be crisp, self-explanatory and logical. Less is always more.
A picture does indeed paint a thousand words. All the more reason to select your photos with care. Make sure they are of the best possible quality, illustrate what you are trying to say, and genuinely reflect the lifestyle you are promoting and the clientele you are hoping to attract.
You’d be surprised how many websites don’t follow the ‘does what it says on the tin’ principle. If a reader has to scratch their head to find out some of the basics – such as what you do or where you are – you’ve failed at the first hurdle. And they won’t get as far as the second.
CALL TO ACTION
So, you’re website looks pretty. It’s well-written, nicely designed, and includes all the information you feel should be on there. But what next? Is the reader going to click on the ‘contact’ button, book their next holiday, and have their deposit in your bank account before the day is out? Possibly. But probably not. They might ask for more information – in which case you have to be geared up to send it without delay. More than likely, they’ll respond to a special offer, promotion, prize draw or competition: something that makes them not only sit up and take notice, but gives them a real reason to get in touch.