Your business needs a website, but what it really needs is a good website. A cut-price website will often work against do. So what does a good website need? If you’re at a loss to answer this question, read on and learn about the key elements of a good business website and what it needs.
A Good Website Needs: A Good Name
First priority is securing a good URL for your website. It should fit with your business and shouldn’t have odd symbols or quirky spelling. It’s helps to check if that name is available on social media platforms as well. It should be clear and concise.
A Good Website Needs: A Clear Plan
Here’s where you will need to make some big decisions about what your website will look like, what information it will provide and what it will allow customers to do. It should be visually attractive, but more importantly it should work well. Map out a plan and get some feedback on it. If it makes sense to the people you show it to, it should make sense to your customers as well.
Get a good hosting solution with a mainstream provider. It will save you money, time and stress and you will have access to technical assistance whenever you need it. The alternative can be a slow site that frustrates you and the customers or one that is constantly unavailable.
All your wonderful plans for your site and its content will be useless if users can’t find the pages they need. Use clear names and visible buttons to pages – the more visual elements you can add to a website the better. The ability to search a site can also save your customers a lot of time when they are after one specific thing. Also consider what you want the call to action to be after users have seen your site. Place an inquiry? Buy an item? Come into the store? Choose the goal and make that goal easy for your customers to do, whether through placing clear links to contact forms or by displaying a map of your locations. Always make it easy for your customers to find information and follow the call to action.
A Good Website Needs: An Up-To-Date Design
Like every other kind of technology, change is regular. While you don’t need to include every new trend in design on your site, it does help to know what is popular and what will be familiar to your customers. Many design features can also improve the user experience of your website. We recommend that you review your website every couple of years – often a modern makeover is a simple process. It’s also vital that you keep track of wholesale changes to the industry. A notable example is the Google update which now penalises websites that can’t be viewed easily on a mobile device.
Pick one font and use that font for everything. Make sure it is easy to read and clear. This helps customers recognise your brand. Make sure it is applicable across browsers and devices, and reflects something about your company. Make sure your design is flat – that is, it doesn’t give the perception of three dimensions or shadows. This helps your website load quickly and load well across all devices.
Another handy tool is the ‘hamburger’ menu, used notably by Google. The three lines of the button’s design look like a stacked hamburger, giving the unique name, but the really unique thing is the ability to hide a navigation menu and then pull it out when needed. This gives your site a lot more space to work with, helps it look cleaner and stops users from being distracted by a long menu of options.
A Good Website Needs: To Give Good Information
The best thing your website can be is useful – to you and to your customers. So build the website you need, not the one you want. Before getting creative, get the important stuff out there – the information crucial to your business. This will differ depending on your business, but you should think about what your potential customers will be looking for. Is it testimonials of your services? Is it good pictures of your products? Links to other work you have done?
The most important thing you can include on your website are your contact details. Have a number, an email, an address and a contact form, all clearly labelled and easily accessible. If a customer wants to get in touch, the website will be one of their first stops – and if they can’t find what they need, they might give up. Don’t risk that!
Even if you are a mostly online business, add a location. It helps customers feel reassured that your company is legitimate and the real deal. Make the process of getting in touch as easy as possible – most smartphones can do a ‘click to call’ link on a website now, so customers can call you quickly and without hassle. Also make sure that any contact details made available will have someone waiting to respond – there’s no point putting up an email address if no one ever checks it.
A Good Website Needs: To Be Safe and Secure
If you are selling anything on your website, you need to secure it. An SSL, or Secure Socket Layer, is an encryption system that keeps all the communication between you and your clients private – for examples, credit card numbers. Once you have security in place, let your customers know, and reassure them that their details are safe with your company.
A Good Website Needs: To Link To Social Media
There are a lot of social media platforms you can be using for your business. If you are already on any of them, promote your presence there by putting them on your website. Integrating all your online platforms will help your business leave a footprint on the social web, boost your SEO (search engine optimization) and help you gain more followers. It’s worth using these platforms, as long as you are actually using them, keeping your followers engaged and posting content. Social media is sticking around – don’t miss out on the opportunities it provides for your business.
A Good Website Needs: To Be Mobile Friendly
Smartphones are well and truly mainstream now, and more people are using their phones, tablets and other devices to search the web. Often these searches – from mobile devices, on the go – are where the money is. Research shows that 70% of task completion happens within one hour on mobile sites. If someone is searching out and on the go, they mean business – they are looking to buy, to visit or get in contact. If your business wants to make the most of that, your website will need to be readable on handheld devices. You are not just designing a website for a computer – but for any device connected to the internet.
And don’t forget that Google penalizes any website that isn’t optimized for mobile devices.
A Good Website Needs: To Tell A Story
What is unique about your company? How did it start? What are the goals, values and commitments of your business? Though this may be easier to answer if you are a small business, all businesses have a story to tell. Don’t go with a cookie-cutter approach – make sure your website communicates what is special about your company. It should have character. It should tell your customers why they should choose your business over others. Essentially your website should answer the question; ‘who are you?
What does your website need? Good website design will give you a good name, a clear plan and an up to date design. Your website needs to give information, to be safe and secure, to link to social media and to be accessible on all devices. Most of all, your website needs to tell the story of your business. These are the key elements of what your business needs in a website – now watch the customers come!
If you need help with establishing a website, updating a website or creating content on your website, please contact us today.