Wednesday, October 4, 2017
The Perfect Paranormal Investigation Website
Luckily, there are plenty of FREE and easy-to-use website builders for those of us who are less than savvy when it comes to such matters. Unfortunately, despite the ease of such programs, I'm still constantly running across REALLY bad paranormal websites and websites that have a lot of potential, but that could improve drastically with just a few tweaks. So what are those tweaks? What does a good paranormal investigation team website need to be successful? Here are my suggestions, broken down into two categories: 1. how the page actually looks and 2. what you have on it.
* Pick a background color and font color that are easy to read and don't strain the eyes.
*Make sure your font is legible. Avoid fancy lettering and stick with something simple and easy to read. Don't make the font too small or overly large.
*Avoid clutter. You want a streamlined appearance to your website to allow your visitors to easily find the information they are looking for.
*Avoid distracting music or animated clipart
*Keep it professional. Avoid any gory or scary-looking graphics. People are coming to your site for information and for help on issues that they may find unnerving. Scary graphics are just going to turn them away, or confuse them as to what the true purpose of your page represents.
*Proofread. Make sure your text is spelled correctly and that you use proper grammar and sentence structure. Also, make sure that the layout looks okay. I know from editing my own blog/website that pictures can get kinda wonky, text can get off-center, and any number of other weird things can happen, making the visuals of your site off-putting, lol.
*If you are an investigation team, make it VERY clear where you are located and what your coverage area is. Even if your name incorporates your geographical location, don't assume that there aren't OTHER areas of the country with towns, regions, and counties with the same or similar names. I can't count the number of times I've come across a group's website and based on their name, I assume they are local. After looking for the information FOREVER, I discover that they live in a county with the same name as my county...but they are located in a completely different state.
*Make your contact information readily available and easy to find, and make sure that you check your messages often. If you want people to contact you for investigations, you need to make sure your information is up-to-date, that all links are working properly, and that you actually check your correspondence on a regular basis.
*Provide some examples of your investigation work. People are interested in where you've been, what you've found, and how you've come to your conclusions. Just make sure you NEVER post a client's personal information/address, and that you receive permission to share where applicable. I'm not normally a huge fan of the pay-to-play locations (locations that you pay to investigate), but these are actually great locations to help you build up a public resume, so to speak.
*Clearly state your mission and what type of services you offer. Do you conduct residential investigations, or do you just investigate public spaces in your spare time? Do you take a more scientific or a more spiritual approach? Do you offer house cleansings/blessings or other such services? Do you charge for services? Do you specialize in a certain aspect of the paranormal? Let people know what they can expect from you.
*Update Often! Even if its just a little blurb now and then, make sure you keep your website updated and make sure any links are working and current. If a website appears 'dead,' then it may be assumed that you are no longer active and people will pass over you. You'll also lose rankings in search engines if you fail to update your site.
*Members Bios. If your team feels comfortable with it, consider adding some member bios. Let people know who you are, what your specialty is within the group, and what your qualifications are. I like to think of an investigation website being like one big resume, especially if you're actively seeking clients.
*If you aren't posting original content, please, please, please make sure you have permission to share and that you give credit where credit is due.
To be honest, there really ISN'T a 'perfect' paranormal investigation website. Each team, individual investigator, and non-investigator paranormal enthusiast with a website has their own goals and their own purpose in having a site. What works for one person or team may not work or even be applicable to another. However, there are a few things that everyone should keep in mind no matter what: Make sure your site looks nice and has good plenty of good content. It's that simple!