Slice of cake image

Is your website a yummy cake or a stale cookie?

Successful websites and delicious baked goods require thoughtful planning and quality ingredients.

 

I love to watch baking shows. Lately I’ve been noticing some of the similarities between baking a cake and creating a website. Both require attention to a variety of elements – and skimping on any one element can negatively affect both.

Here are some key baking show observations that might clarify the way you think about your website.

1. A Strong Team
An excellent chef or baker relies on a team of helpers to prepare and measure ingredients, package items for delivery, greet customers, and complete transactions. Just as a bakery requires a team with diverse skill sets, so too does a website! A single person can’t run a successful bakery alone. Your site deserves the best in strategy, design, content, technology, and SEO. It’s rare to find a single person who does all of those things well.

2. Top-Quality Tools
The newest, most advanced mixers, ovens, and decorating tools can have a big impact on your baking outcome. Similarly, website tools are constantly evolving. If your website is more than three years old or was built using a free template, consider upgrading to a modern theme and page builder. You’ll get the support you need, access more advanced features, and reduce the likelihood of a site hack.

3. A Clear Plan
Have you ever tried a cake that looks pretty, but tastes awful? What a disappointment, right? Sort of like a website that has all the visual bells & whistles, but no clear message or call to action. Your site’s message should be supported by visual elements, not overpowered by them. Just as you read the recipe instructions before you start throwing ingredients in a bowl, it’s critical to think through your website goals and audience before you start building out pages.

4. Fresh Ingredients
You wouldn’t use expired ingredients from the back of the fridge to bake your best friend’s birthday cake, would you? Avoid cheesy overused stock photos, outdated headshots, and poor-quality image files. Instead, use crisp, high-quality images (royalty-free photos and illustrations are now super affordable) and clear, well-written text has been carefully proofread.

5. Professional Presentation
A pretty plate or tray, some mint or chocolate shavings for garnish –- they amp up the visual appeal of your dessert. The same is true for your website’s appearance on desktop and mobile devices. You also want to check your site’s navigation and page flow. Make it appealing and easy for visitors to find the information they need to contact you and to take action.

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