Top 10 Website Must-Haves
Bellow I have pulled together the top 10 things your website needs to help your business succeed online.
1. Brand identity
When your potential audience arrives on your site the they must immediately identify the website with your business. This is done using your branding elements such as logo, business colours and graphics.
Although you want your brand identity to stand out remember that your brand elements are not your sales tools so don't bury your sales message under large branding elements such as an over powering logo.
2. Audience appropriate business content
The content on your site must match the audience your business is trying to target. Use language that you would use when talking with a potential customer face-to-face. You want your content to be clear and concise. You want to make sure the content is useful and provides answers to potential questions being asked.
Shape your content around benefits rather than features of your product or service as this has proven to be more effective in leading to sales. Depending on your business, short stories have also proven effective in leading to sales.
3. Clear call to action
Through your audience appropriate content always lead your audience to some form of call to action. This can be as simple as a clear message asking to "Call Us" or to even lead to "Buy Now". The key is that you always want your audience to do something based on the content of your site to lead to another interaction.
Without a call to action, your website still can be a resource for your audience but may not lead to any business for your business. Providing a call to action provides the next logical step for your audience which leads to business for your business.
4. Clear contact information
Your business website must provide your audience with a clear way to connect with your business for further follow-up. If this is a phone number, contact form or email address you should verify that all these connection points to your business are clearly communicated on your website and all of them work.
I have witnessed many contact forms on websites which simply send to a junk email box and don't provide any response to audience inquiries. This is tragic as these are potential customers who will go elsewhere to find the business which will reply to them.
5. Organized content and navigation
The content on your website must be clearly organized and easy to find through the navigation on the site. Time is required to review all your content for its purpose on the site and then categorized and made easy to find. You must think how your audience will think when they come to your website. You may need the input from a third party who is not as aware of your business or content as you are so they can ask the questions which may seem obvious to you.
Quite often I have worked with business owners who feel their content is clearly organized, only to find that their audience reports trouble in finding what they are looking for. When the audience is unfamiliar with the website and the content, it may be extremely difficult for them to discover what they are looking for unless the business has very clearly provided a path to the content.
6. Modern design elements
Many business websites were created some time ago now and simply look old and out of date if they don't keep up with modern design trends. If the website's look is out of date then the business itself risks looking out of date in the eyes of their audience which isn't good.
About every 3 years new major design elements and technologies become available for integration into website designs, which makes this a good time to review your website and implement new design elements to modernize the website and perception of the business. You or your provider should also be on the look out for modern design elements to work in over time.
7. Good relevant photos/graphics
Visual elements have a high impact on your audience and their relationship to your website and your business. Your website should use photos and graphics which align with your business to create a positive emotional response by your audience. Positive emotional responses are proven to help with the purchasing choices of audiences.
Your photos and graphics MUST be high quality, appropriately sized and fit with the overall design of the site.
8. Mobile ready responsive design
Your website must appear as good on mobile devices as it does on desktop devices. Mobile ready responsive design provides a flexible approach to allow your site to look good on all devices. Responsive design also provides the added advantage of allowing content only to be maintained in one location rather than a separate location for other devices formats.
Mobile ready is NOW a full requirement.
9. Integrated Analytics
You must measure the effectiveness of your online efforts for your business website and this is done with some type of integrated analytics. Google Analytics being a proven effective tool for business websites and with a FREE version, there is no reason to not have analytics integrated into every site.
Through analytics you or your provider can analyse how your audience interacts with your content and determine what is working and what needs to be altered.
10. Support and Maintenance
Often overlooked by business owners, it is important that appropriate support and maintenance is provided for your investment in your website. The website must be up and running for people to find it and must be made as secure as possible against the many automated hacking attacks which take place every day against websites.
I have seen many websites which have been hacked with some type of message displayed on business website without the owners even knowing that something is wrong. Your website support should guard against this and monitor your website and content.
Good maintenance will also include regular backups of data in the event that something does go wrong and your website needs to be recovered. As many safeguards as you can have in place to protect your online investment the better.
Wise Crescent Inc. provides the above as standard elements of every Go Digital Package offered and helps business owners by fully managing the business content as well as the environment.
Take advantage Let Us Manage!