6 Things Every Website in 2014 Should Have, Do and Be

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It's 2014. Is your website ready for modern digital marketing? Are you? Check out this presentation (prepared by Keren Lerner, CEO of Top Left Design) and see!

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<ul><li> 1. Im Keren. I run a digital marketing and design agency called Top Left Design. I love marketing and continuously watching and researching trends and experience first hand what works and doesnt. Its 2014, and time to make a plan to ensure your online presence isnt oh so 2013 or worse. Note: Between each of the 6 things each website should be and do in 2014 are examples of these in action with some of our clients at Top Left Design. </li> <li> 2. YOUR SITE SHOULD BE BUILT IN WORDPRESS There is a reason this is the most popular CMS around. We pretty much use it for all our clients websites here at TLD! Its incredibly flexible and easy to use. This allows you to have a completely bespoke design, or a high quality premium theme. You can easily edit all the different pages in your website. We find our clients can learn to be self sufficient with the majority of their updates with just one short training session. </li> <li> 3. YOUR SITE SHOULD BE RESPONSIVE This means that instead of just showing up as a mini version of itself on mobile phones and tablets, it looks different. The site would be built to actually reformat to be easily seen and read on those devices. In some cases, this means the navigation stacks so links are on top of each other. We design each of the site pages carefully to work well on each device. Check out these 2 examples: </li> <li> 4. YOUR WEBSITE SHOULD LOOK FRESH AND BE IN KEEPING WITH THE TIMES Older design trends like drop shadows, bevels and gradients now look extremely dated. Excellent use of typography, flat design, simple use of colour, longer pages with visuals all along the way, more prominent use of video, and better use of white space lift and modernise your website. This does depend on the skills and talent of your designer but stakes are higher and settling for mediocre design isnt going to do you or your business any favours! </li> <li> 5. YOUR WEBSITE SHOULD HAVE A BLOG Having a blog integrated into your site provides you with a way for you to raise awareness of your brand, show your expertise, and educate your audience as well as attract relevant traffic and (very important) exercise your marketing muscles. Of course this requires you to have develop excellent content planning, headline writing and formatting skills but these skills will serve you well! </li> <li> 6. YOUR WEBSITE (AND YOU) SHOULD EMBRACE CONTENT MARKETING For some, this means changing your website and your marketing plan so you have the right tools (a blog, social media channels, a content plan). It also means going back to marketing basics defining your audience and the key messages you want to communicate with them, as well as what you want people to believe about your business and feel about your brand, and then planning a mixture of educational content, stories and sharable content to distribute regularly across the channels your audience is on. </li> <li> 7. YOUR WEBSITE (AND YOU) SHOULD EMBRACE CONTENT MARKETING Your content needs to show personality, be consistent and varied at the same time. Its not a piece of cake, but with a bit of practice and observing how others do it, it can become easier and its extremely effective! </li> <li> 8. YOUR SITE SHOULD REPRESENT SOCIAL MEDIA I dont mean just sticking a Twitter icon on your homepage. Any social channel that you link to from your homepage should be making the right first impression. So, check out your own profiles. See your latest updates, and think - what impression does this make? Is the channel designed and setup properly? Are the updates high quality, interesting, and sharable? Are they frequent enough, but not too frequent? </li> <li> 9. SOCIAL MEDIA IS AN ART AND A SCIENCE THAT CAN BECOME SECOND NATURE Social media is an extension of your brand and lets you share your content as well as curate content in your field and develop relationships. Embrace the opportunities to be known as a creator, curator, connector and communicator. </li> <li> 10. AND WHEN YOU ARE SOCIAL MEDIA DESERVING YOU GET TO INTEGRATE FULLY WITH YOUR SITE If you do have a lot of great stuff going on your social channels, then you can do more than just link to the channels from icons. You can include Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest feeds and Facebook commenting features and like boxes as well as social sharing buttons on your blog. </li> <li> 11. Was that useful? Want to talk? My details: Text me: 07788590315 Email me: keren@topleftdesign.com Tweet me: @topleftdesign (use the hashtag #MySite2014 for a special prize) Speak soon hopefully in 2014! </li> </ul>