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The Top 5 Things Every Website Should Include
Create connections with your audience.
1. Of any of the things that can be included in a website, the most important thing to me is a method of contact. Whether it is as simple as having a phone number prominently displayed, a contact form to send a message, or an e-commerce store that allows them to make a purchase. Having a way for a customer to connect with your business is key.
2. Probably just as important as a method to contact, every site should include the ability to be mobile responsive. More and more traffic every day is coming from mobile sources. If a website isn’t mobile responsive, it is losing customers.
3. Non-stock photos. You don’t need to have all of your photos be original, but having photos that can’t be found on the various stock image website gives your site a personal touch that customers crave.
4. Consistent Branding. Keeping to a consistent color palette and website styling is important. You don’t want a customer to feel like they left your site and went to another one when they click on different pages. And as for colors, only use a few colors across the entire website to keep things simple for the eye.
5. Quality Content. If the content strays from the point or gets “long-winded,” users will lose interest. High quality content will help in retaining users on your site, will entice them to engage in more pages, and ideally convert to being a paying customer of your product or service.
High-quality content only.
Every Website should have:
1. Valuable content!! Make sure to include a lot of specific information that is relevant for your business. It is so important to help you be found among the competition. If you have good information on your site, you are setting your self up for search engine success.
2. Calls to action! Give them something to move on! Contact me. Buy something. Sign up for a newsletter. Learn more. Schedule a meeting. etc.
3. Great images. Maybe I am just a visual person but great images capture attention and keep people engaged.
4. Great navigation. Keep it simple but help people know where and how to get to what they want to find on your site.
5. Testimonials! People need to know they can trust you and your work. Then once you master those 5 things, keep on looking for ways to improve and you will stay ahead of the game online!
Make sure major features set the right tone.
1. Homepage: For the majority of traffic, whether it be returning visitor or new visitors, the first page they land on is the homepage. The homepage should then set the tone and message of your website.
2. About: The About page is kind of like a resume. It should clearly state the who, what, and why of the website/organization for the purpose of validation and trust.
3. Sitemap: The last thing you want from users is negative feelings because they cannot find what they specifically came to the website to find. A sitemap should list out the sections/pages and link to them.
4. Navigation Components: This can be located in the header, footer or both. In fact, if the page is really long, it makes sense to have a table of contents, which then allows users to get where they need to go.
5. Up-To-Date Content: Make sure that the information is accurate and up to date. Think of a website as a 24/7 customer support where users visit your website at all times of the day. If a user visits your site outside of business hours and needs information then and now, better make sure it’s accurate to prevent any mishaps (ie going to wrong location, going to an event thats expired, registering for wrong year’s conference, etc.).
Make sure everything, from design to content, is user-friendly.
Top 5 must-haves for your new website!
- Easy-to-Find Information: Who you are, what you do, and how can you be contacted. Make sure your sitemap is user-friendly and makes sense for your business.
- Fonts and colors: Keep fonts to a minimum 2-3 font types that are compatible with each other. Keep colors to a minimum 2-4 color palette: 2 main, 1-2 secondary.
- Imagery: Relevant images and videos to keep your viewers engaged.
- Customer Testimonials: Most customers search for what others think of your business. Always put the best ones up front so they’re easily found.
- Contact page: Easily accessible, most often the main call-to-action of every website. Contact pages should include an email address, phone number (optional) and location with a map, a contact form with fields of first/last name, email address and message box, and your social media links.
There’s a “top 5” for web pages too!
I know our team will have some awesome recommendations for things every website should include, so I’m going to tweak this and address the top 5 things every webpage should include.
1. Call-to-Action Elements: Every page of your website should have a call to action on it.
2. CTA: This stands for call to action. Want people to call you? Buy something? Fill out a form? Then make sure you put a CTA on the page that invites them to do that!
3. An action item for people to engage with you (also called a CTA) — It doesn’t have to be for them to contact you. A viable CTA might be to encourage them to learn more about a particular topic. For example: Hey Reader, check out this Rambling we wrote about High-Conversion Landing Pages (https://www.ironistic.com/high-converting-landing-page/) (hint: it talks about CTAs)
4. A big button that invites people to “do” something: Hopefully you see a trend here. I can’t tell you how many times I see web pages that are dead-ends. In our constantly scrolling world, please do me a favor and give your visitors something to click on at the bottom of each of your web pages.
5. See #1
Prioritize consumer contact and convenience.
1) Strong CTAs (Calls to Action): Every website has some sort of conversion point or action that we want a user to take. It is imperative that every website has strong calls-to-action to guide users to complete these actions. Most sites have several CTAs throughout the site, so you’ll want to prioritize the importance of these actions when determining where and how they are placed.
2) Contact Forms with Automated Notifications: Most sites will have more than one form, but every single website should have a way for site visitors to easily contact you. I’ve seen a lot of websites merely link users to an email address — this is better than nothing but isn’t nearly as effective as a contact form. With a contact form you are able to structure the fields so that the information you need is being provided. You’ll also have the ability to set up automated notifications to both yourself and the website user. This is extremely valuable because you can distinguish that a contact submission came from the website vs. another source which would be harder to segment if only using an email address. Use notifications are great because you can send them a quick automated response letting them know that you received their message and what they can expect in terms of getting a response and even include some subsequent CTAs. Not to mention… tracking these conversions to your traffic channels is extremely beneficial.
3) Intuitive Architecture: Make sure your website structure is easy to navigate. There is nothing more frustrating than going to a website for a specific purpose and not being able to figure out how to get to the right spot. Get inside the heads of your target audience and really think through how they will likely be using the website and build your content and site architecture with that in mind.
4) Responsive/Mobile-First Design: Having a mobile-friendly website isn’t really optional these days. I’m astounded by the number of websites (some of which are pretty large companies) that still have horrible user experiences on their mobile sites — and here it is, almost 2020! It is by far one of my biggest pet-peeves. People are always on the go and access the web with their smartphones. Get on board already! If this sounds like your website, stop reading this post and call us right now so we can help you get up to speed.
5) Clear Branding and Messaging: Defining your branding and messaging should ideally happen before you even start a website project. It is important that your website visitors have a clear understanding of what you do, why you do it, and how you do it differently than your competitors. Reinforcing your brand throughout your website design and the content will help build your brand’s integrity and make a stronger impact on your audience.
Let your customers get to know you.
I recommend these 5 things:
1) Contact information: This could be a form, email, phone, address, etc. — just something somewhere on the site.
2) About section: This doesn’t have to be it’s own navigation item, depending on the size of the site, but there should be something that speaks to the organization/business/person.
3) Responsive design
4) Compiling high-resolution imagery: As much as possible, even if it’s just a stock image on the landing page.
5) A way for users to engage/CTA via buying a product, submitting a comment, requesting info, chatting virtually, etc. Also, this list is not in any particular order.
Create the best user experience.
1. Of course, the most important is contact information.
2. Also, a website should have mobile-friendly capabilities for those using cell phones.
3. The content MUST clearly engage and inform the user without distraction.
4. Social media icons are important for users to have access to additional information — but the key is to keep social media channels updated and relevant.
5. Finally, navigation is critical for the user experience. Make it intuitive and simple for the best user experience.
Engaging — and clear — content
The top 5 things every website should include are:
- Intuitive navigation
- Clear and concise content
- Captivating images/videos
- A specific description of their product/services
- A TLS certificate
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