1. A Logical Road Map
Of course a website needs to be aesthetically pleasing. However, being useful is even more important. Before typing in any HTML tags or choosing a server, you need to map out how your website is going to work first. That is very important for both SEO and the user experience since Google considers both the structure and content of a website when ranking it for search. So mock-up and map out a design for the website – a process that is referred to as “wireframing” by designers – and run it by a couple of friends or a web design agency Basingstoke, to ensure that it is intuitive and makes sense.
2. Critical Business Information
When crafting your mission statement, keep the text to a minimum since you should write things that people can skim, since most people have very short attention spans these days. One useful tip for communicating your mission is making a comparison of your business with something else. For example, MeUndies.com markets itself as the “Warby Parker of undies” in order to align itself with the by-mail convenience and keen curation of the eyewear manufacturer. Brevity should not be underestimated – a couple of sentences can be very powerful.
Depending on what your specific business is, you need to have some informational things on your website. Restaurants need to have a list of their locations (along with a map or directions) and a menu, and all industries have their own items that they need to include. Etailers need to have high-quality product images. For service industries, such as businesses that heavily rely on referrals and customer service, testimonials should be placed on their websites. For instance, a wedding planner could have a recent bride write up her recent experience with the wedding planning service. A web designer can link out to earlier work or include screenshots. A hair salon can have client testimonials on the stylist’s promptness and skills. Your website can be tailored so that it provides the information that users are most likely searching for.
3. Contact Information
Have a contact form, address, email address, and phone number that easily visible and accessible. It can make a significant difference since nothing is more frustrating than not being able to get in touch with a service or business when you need to.
Whenever you put a phone number or email address on the website, don’t upload the information in the form of an image – you want the address or number to be clickable or copied directly from the website so that an email or phone call can be placed quickly and conveniently. These days most smartphones have the ability of doing “click on calls” online, so make this process as easy as you can for users.
If you sell anything online, effort needs to be put into getting an SSL certificate to secure your website. The SSL encrypts communications between your clients (Social Security numbers, credit card numbers) and you to help ease their fears of giving this information out due to all of the identity theft that occurs online. Some good options to consider include GeoTrust, Entrust, TrustE, and VeriSign.
5. Social Media Integration
Foursquare. Instagram. LinkedIn. YouTube. Tumblr. Facebook. Twitter. There are numerous social platforms that are available, and your presence needs to be promoted on your website since social media is an essential part of marketing your business. Although it isn’t a traditional business, Team Coco has enough digital awareness to do an excellent job of promoting its numerous social channels on its website.
When those platforms are integrated into your website it can help to boost your SEO, increase your following across multiple social platforms, and increase the footprint of your business on the social web.
6. Compatible with Mobile
Increasing amounts of web traffic are being driven by tablets and smartphones, and those numbers are going to continue to increase as mobile devices become more mainstream and less expensive. Andy Chu, Bing for Mobile director, states that 70% of all task completion occurs on mobile sites within one hour, which means that individuals frequently browse with intent on the web – they only go online when wanting to do something, go somewhere, or buy something. According to Chu, if someone is using their smartphone to search for a restaurant, most likely they will eat there within one hour. So your website needs to be compatible with mobile devices.