Back in high school we used to write book reports, essays and other things in order to learn the process of conveying information to others. That same skill applies to creating web sites. You are writing an essay on why a fisherman should use your service. There are both positive and negative aspects of this new medium. You have many more tools at your disposal.
These tools can assist in conveying your message or if you are not careful these tools can distract your visitors from the message you want to present. Here are five basic ideas that a good fishing guide or fishing charter website should incorporate to convey a positive, easily understood message to potential clients. Your site is a reflection of you.
First impressions are never forgotten. If your site is cluttered, poorly designed, sloppy, slow, uninformative or unfocused these qualities will reflect on your business. Just as forming a good essay back in high school was important so is forming a well-structured, informative website.
Know who you are and know who your customers are. Structure and design your website to fit your customer's needs and to reflect on you as a professional fishing guide. First know yourself and the customer you wish to attract.
Does your site look like you? If I can't read it, I leave it. Your site may have a great background and may look really cool. but make sure the graphics don't distract from the message. There are reasons newspapers are black and white. Help your readers read. A nice blue background is great, and graphics on the side are fine, but don't make your visitors strain to read your message and don't distract them from the professional image you are trying to portray.
Do you want to sell your guide services or is that just a side line? Many sites I see are not clear on what exactly they are trying to accomplish. What is the purpose of the site? Be an insurance salesman or be a professional fishing guide, but not both at the same time. Keep your content focused. Valid extras to put on your site are recommended lodges, restaurants, marinas and yes, even advertising is fine when it relates to your fishing message.
Try not to mix unrelated content with your website, it just confuses the user and distracts them from your core message. Don't make me search for basic information. I want to clearly see your name, address, phone number and email address.
Be straight with me. What lakes do you fish? What style do you use to catch fish? Being vague might help you get a customer, but it won't help you keep a customer. If you are a catch and release, tell them that. A lure man, tell them that. Give them the message. "This is what I do and I do it very well".
One of the best pieces of information you can tell a prospective client is your latest fishing report. Why hide it on page 3 at the bottom. Put it on your main page of your site. This is the best understanding your customer can get of your service and success. Also, the search engines will rank your site higher if you have information like this on your front page, especially if it is changing each week or so. I would love to say that that is all there is to this.
I could actually cover another 20 topics that are just as important. I will leave you with just a few other issues to keep in mind when building and maintaining your website. Color, eye control, pictures, logos, maps, awards, sponsors, links, clear pricing are all issues to consider and to carefully analyze. Please just remember two things, (1) your site is who you are and (2) your goal and message is to sell your professional guiding services.
By: Dan Mccart