Unless you’re very prominent in your field or you’re among the very few people who’ve managed to sustain a highly trafficked blog apart from their day job, your professional website’s traffic is a rounding error in comparison to the typical Fortune 1000 company’s.
And that’s okay. Your professional website doesn’t need to shoot for the stars or earn any revenue. It just needs to look and act better than your peers’.
Sounds expensive and time-consuming, right? Nope. Putting together a professional website that does you proud is well within your reach financially and technically. You won’t need to hire anyone to get it done, and while you may need to spend some extra time in the home office, you won’t have to become a hermit for weeks on end.
Here’s what you can do to improve your digital presence right now.
“Optimize your website for speed” sounds scary and technical. It’s not. HubSpot has a good overview for people who don’t know schema from SQL. Some highlights:
You know how to do all these things or can easily learn from your publishing platform’s FAQ. Get them done.
Make your newly optimized website a place that people in your field want to visit again and again. That’s what website owners like Maryland attorney Alex Brown do — they leverage high-quality blog content to carve out a little corner of expertise on the web.
Be colorful, be bold, but remember — don’t take too long to load. Your homepage should include images and multimedia elements (moving backgrounds, anyone?) that pop without dragging.
Headers, subheaders, and more than one font. That’s the formula for engaging subpages and blog content. You simply can’t expect your site visitors to read every word on the page, and if you’re being honest, you don’t want them to. You want them to get on with the purpose of their visit, which is getting one step closer to hiring you.
By now, this almost doesn’t need to be said. But a quick survey of your competitors’ websites probably reveals the sad truth: far too many professional websites remain anything but mobile-friendly. HostGator advises websites owners (including solo professionals) to:
Easy enough. Just remember: “mobile first” really means “mobile now,” so there’s no time to waste.
It’s only your career, your reputation, your livelihood. No pressure.
Seriously — don’t overthink your professional website. Following these tips will have a measurable, positive impact on your digital presence, but it’s not like the market will penalize you for trying and failing.
At worst, your professional website will continue to suffer from the same usability issues or content mediocrity that have dogged it for years. You’ll notice, make corrections, and put the ball back in your audience’s court. Eventually, if you keep at it, you’ll have a website that you feel good about.