Of course, you want to make your website work and your visitors happy, too. Luckily, there’s a new book for you!
I love getting a new book and this one arrived fresh off the press. So clean, so crisp, so pristine.
Every website owner will do well in picking up Gill Andrews’ first book, and sure hit, “Making Your Website Work: 100 Copy & Design Tweaks for Small Business Owners.” Keep it on hand to power up your website, reinforce best practices for talking to clients, or to audit key pages on your site for UX, design, and copy upgrades.
Gill’s book gives you a no BS approach to tweaks and tips for turning your website into a well-oiled lead generating machine for business.
Being the savvy web consultant and copywriter she is, Gill’s tips aren’t at all mere guesswork. Instead, points are researched, tested, and backed by results. Plus, Gill’s valuable book of tips/tweaks doesn’t just offer you the what but backs it with the why and the mega critical how as well.
I know you’re going to love seeing the examples and samples for the right or wrong way to do website things. More importantly, Gill’s emphasis on making things easy for site visitors translates to taking a customer-centric outlook to create a seamless experience, digitally.
The book is organized around 5 key topics:
- Web Design
- User Experience (UX)
You can read it linearly or by order of importance for your particular needs based on these topics.
I read the book cover to cover.
What can I say? All of these topics are relevant. Plus, I wanted to check my business website against Gill’s best tips and advice to see how I stack up!
The Good News and Bad
Reviewing Gill’s book is a bit of a trick because when I think about what the book talks about, I think about myself. Well, maybe that includes some of my clients and blogging friends, too. But you see, a main objective in the book’s lessons, I believe, is to remind you to do just that…take a critical look at your website and the digital impression you make.
I love that Gill offers a disclaimer before you proceed with reading, starting early on and often she states that every case is unique. A small reminder that rules are sometimes broken and different types of businesses and industries, and even website types, need to adapt and adopt what works best for them, uniquely.
“To clarify: The truly accurate answer to every website-related question out there is ‘it depends.’” ~ Gill Andrews from Making Your Website Work
Take a Realistic Look
Still, that critical look and grasp on reality force you to review, rethink, and revise for gaining digital acumen for your business.
I confess. After carefully reading each and every tip and tweak, I felt compelled to bookmark at least a half dozen sections to go back and revisit—likely rework—with my computer (and site) in one hand, and my new book in the other! Oddly, some of these important tweaks are things I know and advise clients on even though my site is sadly limping behind what I know are best practices.
With Gill’s insights and by taking an unbiased review from an outsider’s perspective, the book helps draw attention to website weaknesses. Further, it directs your attention to applicable areas for revision using the tag-by-topic approach Gill uses to organize the book. So, in other words, you’ll realize if you need to strengthen copywriting for a page as opposed to reworking site design or mechanics.
Understanding the site experience you offer visitors is critical yet sometimes difficult.
Business 4 U = Seamless Ease 4 V
Creating a seamless visitor experience and ease-of-use are themes running amuck in Gill’s book. She peppers hard lessons with a spoon full of sugar in her humorous style and clearly shows you both the wrong and right way to do things. Her many lessons are brought to life through easy examples.
Maybe the words simple, easy, and direct are the wrong choice for explaining the styling this book takes; perhaps “concise” is more like it. For instance, in Tip #72, Gill boils down what I’ve written thousands of words to say about blogging with uniqueness to a four-point bullet list.
Since I can’t agree more, I better share Gill’s wisdom and 4 bullet points for effective blog posts from the book (page 136) with you now:
- Make sure you aren’t repeating what everybody else has been saying and add your own perspective
- Look at the topic from an unexpected angle
- Add a twist in the heading, still keeping them clear
- Add humor and personality
This list for blogging is just one of the concisely and yet ultra accurately valuable tidbits you’ll find page after page and topic after topic in Gill’s book. Think of it as a handy guide and keep the book close at hand for practical help—tweaks, and tips—as you work on your’s or a client’s digital assets, web pages, or blog content.
Creating the Smooth Ride to New Business
Seamless ease for visitors means more business for you and Gill wants you to earn business through your website. She’s putting it out there in her new book so you’ll know exactly how to tweak and improve your site for business.
I’ve talked about Gill’s sharp mind and fabulous creativity and humor before. But I don’t know if I mentioned her professionalism and sincerity in what she does. Or how meticulously Gill performs on clients’ behalf, relentlessly researching and testing her work.
On LinkedIn, Gill is a rockstar doling out help left and right, along with opinions and ideas. Useful Gill…and so is this book.
What all this means to you is that, yes, Gill’s book is simple and direct, but it’s also a substance-filled powerhouse backed by a pro. Thanks, Gill!