Whether you are a freelance consultant, own a local clothing store or run an accounting firm, a website is essential for your company’s success. It’s the front door of your company. It helps build trust, increase engagement with your audiences, reach new markets and drive more sales. Let’s dive into the world of the business websites. Check these 8 key tips to create an engaging and successful site.
1. Clear Goals
It may be tempting to start thinking about the bells and whistles you want to add and all the fun features, but this should not be your starting point. Always start with the basic solid foundation before thinking about the bigger picture. What is the purpose of your website? By knowing what you want to achieve, it’s easier to know where to focus your efforts on. After that you set your goals (mid- or long-term goals) and break these down into smaller goals (monthly and weekly) that will get you to your purpose.
2. Easy to find
Most people won’t know your website address, so how do they get to your website? To become visible and show up in the search results, you have to optimize your website for the search engines (SEO). One of the ways to do this is by selecting key words that are relevant to your business and that match the words that your potential customers are searching for online. Other important ranking factors are links from other websites to your site, the loading time of your website and the quality and relevancy of the content you offer.
3. Simple design
Keep it clean, simple and elegant is the advice. Most of the time the cleanest website designs attract the most attention. It also gives the best user experience since it’s well-organised. Other benefits are that pages load faster, it’s easier to be compatible with different kinds of screen sizes and for sure it makes your content, images and call-to-action buttons stand out.
4. Clear navigation
A clear, hierarchical website navigation helps your website visitors find what they want straightaway. It improves the user experience, so visitors can flow from one page to another without any frustration. The rule for a good navigation is that it allows the visitors to find what they need within 3 clicks. That’s why it’s important to limit your top-level navigation menu to 5 tabs with related pages under them. Don’t make them work to find the information they are looking for.
5. Fast loading speed
Nobody likes a slow website. Visitors nowadays have short attention spans, so your webpages should load as quickly as possible. The Google recommended page load time is three seconds or faster. There are many things you can do to speed it up. To mention a few: compressing your images, improve the server response time and installing the right plugins that will cache parts of your site so visitors don’t need to download anything more than once. To analyse your website load speed, you can use free site speed tests, such as Tools Pingdom and Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
6. Valuable content
High quality content is crucial in creating a strong brand that fuels your online success. If you can offer valuable and trustworthy content for your audience, it’s easier to engage with them and they will be more likely to spend longer time on your site, share the content and make a purchase. Good content benefits not only your audience but also your website ranking. If you keep your website up-to-date with fresh compelling content, such as news-item, blog, videos, podcasts, images and webinars, your audience will return to your website.
7. Mobile friendly
Did you know that over 50% of all internet users browse websites from a smartphone? And about 40% of all transactions happen on mobile? Today there are no excuses, your site must be mobile-friendly and look great and work well on any platform. You don’t want to frustrate your website visitors with a bad user experience. Also Google takes into account if a site is mobile-friendly when determining your website’s search ranking.
8. Clear calls to action
A call-to-action is an essential element of any business website. These buttons urge prospective customers to take the action you want them to take. Maybe you want them to subscribe to your newsletter, follow your company on social media, download a toolkit, share a blog or contact you to make an appointment. Examples of call-to-action buttons: subscribe, join our list, share, buy now, download now, talk to us. Remember: if you don’t ask, you don’t get.