It is not just the companies or SMEs that need a website, as we have known from a very long time. Consultants and professionals too make up a large number of website owners today. This is only going to increase in number as most people may ask you for your web address or a link to your blog. Thus, a well designed professional website is a must-have for most professionals and consultants, whether they like it or not.
If you find yourself unable to keep up with regular blog posts, you can always outsource your blogging to someone else. It makes sense to have a website that is consistent with today’s technology and visitor expectations. This will help you to build one on your own or ask a web designer to help you do so. At the end of the day, a professional-looking website will help you get more clients and that means you will grow professionally and financially as well. Indeed, one cannot avoid having a well-designed website anymore.
In this article, let us take a look at some of the most important characteristics of a professional website. In fact, these can be thought of as golden rules to follow while developing a website for a consultant or professional.
1. Keep it simple and minimalist
A professional website should never be loaded with features, buttons or information. The design should be as clean and simple as possible. Even the number of pages should be reduced to a bare minimum. Some of the most important pages that you can think of are ‘About’, ‘Contact’, ‘Services,’ and ‘Blog’. you can also choose to have a ‘notices’ page or a small box, which will help people to know if you have something important to announce, like a workshop or an event you are conducting. The content should be easy and precise too. Do not write blog posts that are overly lengthy or complex. People may feel turned off. Stick to the minimum requirements and you will do very well.
2. Have a blog
It is very important to have a blog that showcases your knowledge. A blog helps you to register yourself online as a thought leader. It helps people to know that you have certain capabilities which others may not have. When you write your blog post, ensure that it is concise, clear and to the point. IT should help the reader to think, find answers and also take an action: usually to contact you for further information or a consultation.
3. Ensure the website loads quickly
Many websites look great and are very well written, in terms of information. However, they lose marks in the technology department. These are the websites that load very slowly or the professional has uploaded full resolution pictures that take an awful lot of time to load. It is important to ensure that professional websites load fast as this can make or break your relationship with the visitor. Hire a seasoned web developer to ensure that your website is in order and functioning well enough.
4. Ensure the website is responsive
Most visitors these days arrive on web pages using their cellphones. They may also use tablets or desktops/laptops to do so. This means, there are a number of different screen sizes when it comes to designing websites. The only solution to this problem is to have a responsive website. A responsive website automatically adjusts itself to the screen size of the visitor and will ensure that your content is displayed in the best format possible.
5. Have a picture of yourself
A lot can be said about the importance of having a face picture on the website. When people look at your face, half of their doubts will be cleared. A human face humanizes websites. If it is your own website, it is very important to humanize your website and that means, adding your profile picture. Make sure you do not come as a narcissist by uploading flashy or large pictures. Profile pictures should be small enough to not distract, yet large enough to be noticed. Also, it does not matter how good or bad you look.
6. Provide contact information and links to social media profiles
Most professionals fail to have functioning social media profiles. It is important to have social profiles such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook so that people can find you easily on the Internet. This will help to find you elsewhere and know that you are a real entity with friends, followers and acquaintances. This helps to build trust and warmth. Moreover, adding contact information ensures that you will be contacted if the visitor chooses to. That is, after all, the most important reason why you would have a website in the first place.
7. Update the website regularly
It is understandable that a professional neither has the resources of a full-fledged company nor the time of freelancers to continuously update websites. Writing regular blog posts can become a chore even when you are probably a good writer. It is advisable to hire a content marketing team which will help you to deliver great content to your target audience regularly, without which, your website may go stale and the number of visitors dropping in will reduce. Updating also includes making sure that the rest of the information, including your contact details, are up to date. If you change your mobile number or your email address, do let your visitors know.
Follow the rules and your website shall work well
If you follow all the golden rules stated above, there is no reason why your website should not fetch you great results. Unfortunately, a website isn’t something that can be created and forgotten. It needs constant work and upgradations. Ensuring that you update everything regularly, including the themes and coding will make sure that your website remains functional for a very long time. After all, a website should be current and in sync with the times we are living in.