In our highly digitalised society, a website is a fundamental asset to a business as it highlights to the outside world that your company offers a legitimate product and service (if developed and designed correctly, of course). This is why we as an agency ensure all of our client’s external marketing efforts such as their social media, supports and links to their website and result in higher visitors. We have collated some of our most valued advice of what to focus on when developing your very own website either yourself or with a specified designer.
- Be secure
First and foremost, you need to make sure your site is safe. Security is key, particularly if you have an ecommerce business or any form of financial transactions will be made. A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) provides protected communication between a website and visitors. It’s unfortunate, but business websites are a huge target for hackers, therefore make sure you have installed a high quality security suite or the platform your site is hosted provides such (research your host thoroughly). These are fairly simple to set-up and a must for developing trust with each visitor.
- An interesting Home Page
We’re highly visual creatures and have been particularly conditioned to be so thanks to social media marketing, therefore you really only have a few seconds to impress those that click on to your site. Make sure you convey your brand quickly, which is why a uniquely designed logo and banner image using colours that would appeal to your specific audience. Animations are an increasingly popular choice for web developers in the banner image as they captivate visitors.
Choose your font carefully. Google Fonts is a great way to find some unique typeface options that you may not have seen anywhere else. You don’t want to look like you’ve simply picked the first one you found in Word. You want it simple to read, yes, but not too basic.
Keep your copy on your landing page concise and add links to other areas of your site where they can learn more about particular topics such as your business history, contact information and services you offer.
Don’t make your home page too long. The layout of your site’s initial landing page should be easy to read and divided into digestible sections so when someone is scrolling down the page, they can identify that they’ve reached a new segment.
- Keep your website loading quickly
A fast loading speed is vital as in this day and age where competition is high and even mobile users have access to rapid download capacity, you can’t afford for your page to be lagged down by too large sized imagery, videos or wording. Make sure the design elements you do choose are compressed appropriately as people don’t have the patience to wait and your competitor could just be another click away.
- Easy Navigation Options
Think about the pages you want to have on your site and why. In a world where we need to keep the Google Gods happy, a slick navigation bar at the top of the page should be mandatory as it allows visitors to click through your site with ease and keeps them on your site for longer. This then informs Search Engines that your web page is liked by visitors and should go up on the search rankings.
This is where a good amount of research comes in handy – review your competitors’ sites and see what they’re doing and look at how you could potentially be better.
- Provide visitors with the information you want them to know
Once you have your design and layout that you want, what do you want your audience to know about you and your business? The simple thing to remember is you don’t want anybody to be trying to find what you offer and leave because they can’t find the answer. It’s not good for converting visitors to customers, nor for your SEO ranking.
Make sure your contact information is easily accessible in the form of its own page as well as featuring in the footer of your site. Be sure to include links to your social media, an email address, company address (if you feel appropriate – some freelancers aren’t able to) and even perhaps an enquiry form.
- Make your website responsive
Technology has provided us with a number of ways to access the Internet. Therefore, you need to ensure that your website can be viewed by a variety of devices including smartphones and tablets so that visitors can easily access the same information as those on a desktop. A lack of accessibility leads to high bounce rates, meaning if your site doesn’t function or adjust properly on a specific device, people click off your site pretty quickly.
As we touched upon SEO previously, adding keywords to each of your pages is imperative in getting your website noticed by Search Engines. We recommend looking at the most popular keywords and phrases that people search for (there are numerous sites available offering such service), then you can add to the copy of your page. This will then increase the likelihood that your site will appear within the Search Engine results as it has greater relevance.
- Add a blog page
Sounds generic, right? However, a blog page allows you to update your site on a semi-regular basis, because in Google’s eyes, a stagnant website just isn’t interesting or relevant. Writing a relevant article (minimum once a month basis) keeps Search Engines scanning your page and updating you on their rankings. Avoid writing pieces that are solely sales led, but if possible, add links to various other pages of your website that might be of interest to the reader.
When it comes to purchasing, people like to know you’re trustworthy. If you’ve done a good job, why not shout it from the roof tops? Ask some of your most recent customers whether they would be able to provide a brief overview of their positive experience dealing with yourselves and add it to your site.
- Make sure all of your links work
Review your website regularly and make sure all the links you’ve added whether they’re internal or external, are working correctly. It doesn’t look too professional if you’ve called a user to click through to another area and they can’t be directed properly. You want to make their experience as seamless as possible.
Have any questions regarding your website? Contact us to see how we can help you.