Having a strong web presence online has never been more important then it is now. It is twice as likely a potential customer will find your business online as opposed to any other advertising method. A great website can help elevate your business to new heights, a bad website can actually damage your business in ways you don’t even realize. If there is one aspect of your marketing campaign you don’t want to cheap it’s building a website that meets (or exceeds) the current standard in your industry. If your not exactly sure how to do that however we’ve assembled a simple list of tips that should make the process a little easier.
15 Top Tips To Building A Great Website In 2016 and Beyond….
1. Choose a smart domain name: Any great website starts with a great domain name. Don’t choose a domain that is too long or complicated to the point where others won’t remember it. Instead choose a domain that’s simple and clearly indicates what your business is or does. If you are able to include keywords you are targeting in search engines within your domain name even better.
2. Professional design: People say looks don’t matter but when it comes to web design that’s another story. The first impression you make with customers is huge and will often decide whether or not someone wants to do business with you within minutes. Your website needs to be modern, captivating and up to date with today’s technological standards.
3. Professional logo: It is funny how often you’ll see a great looking website with a logo that looks it was designed on a napkin somewhere. Your logo is your brand and how customers identify you and the quality of your product. It may be tempting to save a few bucks and design your own logo but unless you went to school for graphic design seek a professional.
4. Clear Purpose or Intent: What is your website about? Who is your audience? What are you selling? Why should people care. If your website doesn’t provide immediate answers to all of these questions your visitors will move along quick. People won’t visit your website to just “look around” you need to give them a valid reason for being there.
5. Simple Navigation: There’s a saying “your website’s navigation should be simple enough for a 5 year old to use it”. There is no need to make things more complicated then they need to be. Make sure any important information on your website can be accessed in preferably 1 click or 2 click at the most. Anything more and you’ll risk alienating your audience.
6. Quality Content: You hear the term “quality content” almost everywhere nowadays but this still the most important part of any website. If you are lazy about producing content that offers real value for your customers they won’t be inspired enough to buy from you. If you’re not much of a writer get help from a freelancer who’s writing style is a good fit for your brand.
7. Great use of photos and videos: When budgeting your website costs professional photos can often be the first cost cutting measure. Quality images however are one of the top factors that separate amateur websites from professional ones. Simply using your cell phone or ipad usually won’t cut it, hire a professional photographer or look into affordable stock photo options.
8. Proper Calls to Action: When someone visits your website and is potentially interested in your product guide them to that important next step. Simply including your contact information isn’t enough. You want to include “calls to action” which prompt a more urgent response such as “sign-up for our free newsletter and get our free e-book” or “join us on facebook for a 20% discount”.
9. Unique Point of Sale: What is unique thing about your product or service that is different than anyone else. If you can’t think of even one thing you haven’t yet found your “unique point of sale”. Make sure you research your competitors and think if something you can offer that they can’t. Once you’ve identified this promote it for all its worth.
10. Have a blog: Everyone has a blog on their website nowadays but why? One of the main reasons is search engines favor websites that are updated regularly over websites that are stale or inactive. Having a blog keeps your website current and is also a great way to build trust with your audience. Post quality articles that answer questions for your customers or educate them better on what you do.
11. Mobile Friendly – Once upon a time having a mobile friendly website was a good idea, now it’s non negotiable. If your website doesn’t display properly on cell phones and ipads you’ll risk losing over half your audience. Over 50% of the population now surfs the web through their mobile device over a desktop computer. You are actually probably wise to design your website for mobile performance first.
12. Speedy Load Times – There is no excuse for your website to load slowly and it should not take more then 2 or 3 seconds at the most. Make sure your all of your images are optimized properly and you invest in a quality web hosting plan. You can get a top notch high speed web host for less then $15/month which is hardly asking to much to keep your customers happy.
13. SEO Friendly – Website platforms such as Wordpress, Joomla or even Shopify are designed with SEO (search engine optimization) performance in mind. Make sure you take advantage of the many great SEO plugins or add-ons available as many of them are often free. You should be planning your website strategy around how you want to rank in Google or other search engines.*****
14. Social Media Integration – The importance of promoting your website on social increases with each passing day. Your should have social media buttons that clearly visible on your website so people can share your content easily. Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram are still your top six social media sharing options.
15. Plan To Market Your Website: Once you’ve got your website up and running don’t expect the work to end there. In order for your website to produce any worthwhile results you’ll need to market it frequently by any means necessary. Whether that’s social media ads, Google Adwords or hiring a professional SEO firm plan on having an advertising budget in advance.
Jeff Moyer – Advance Web Solutions Owner & Project Coordinator