A website is a business necessity today. It helps customers find you online, creates your home base for all of your digital marketing efforts and builds brand awareness and trust.
But what makes up a good website?
10 things to consider when you’re planning/designing your website
- Make your website easy to navigate. Every website is different. New visitors need to get acclimated to how your website is set up and organized so they can find the information they want. Help people do that quickly and easily. Visitors expect a navigation bar with easy to understand page labels and links throughout your website to guide them.
- Good content. Give visitors well-written, helpful, useful information. Tell them what they need to know to solve their problem and choose to do business with you. Focus your content on your visitors’ needs. Make it about them, not you.
- Include an opt-in form. Build your email list by making it easy for visitors to sign up. Don’t ask for too much information on your form because that is a deterrent for most people. You may want to consider offering an incentive to people for signing up for your list, such as a free report. When someone signs up for your list, they are saying they want to hear from you. Now you can stay in touch with them by sending helpful information and offers.
- Include your contact information on every page. You don’t know where a visitor is going to enter your website and you don’t know what page they will be on when they decide they are ready to contact you. Don’t miss that opportunity. Include your phone number, email or physical address on every page. The footer of your website is a great place for this.
- Search engine optimization (SEO). Write your content for people first, search engines second. Learn what people are searching for relevant to your business and use that information to appropriately optimize your pages. You can learn more about SEO here.
- Keep visitors moving. You want to encourage exploration on your website. Always give people someplace else to go. Link to other pages on your website where they can get more information. If visitors get to the end of a page with no other direction, or option, they will leave your site and likely never come back.
- Strong calls-to-action. Visitors need you to clearly tell them what you want them to do. So if you want people to call, sign up for your newsletter, redeem an offer, or read more, tell them that’s the action to take.
- Make your website visually appealing. Keep your design clean, avoid clutter, use good quality photos and other graphics, utilize white space, and use headings and sub-heads to break up your text.
- Fresh, new content. New content helps SEO, it can be shared, and it gives people a reason to come back to your website. A regularly updated blog is a great way to accomplish this.
- Mobile responsive. Last but certainly not least, your website must be mobile responsive. A mobile responsive design means your website adapts and looks good on mobile devices. This is important because mobile search has surpassed desktop search. Visitors expect your website to look good on any screen they are viewing it on. Plus, if your website isn’t capable of being viewed properly on mobile devices Google penalizes you for it by not including your website in search results. Not sure if your website is mobile responsive? Test it here.
These guidelines will give you a website that converts visitors to customers.
Surveys show that approximately half of all small businesses don’t have a website. If you fall into that category, I can help. Contact me to get started on your website.
I’ve recently re-designed my own website. Let me know what you think in the comments below.