A website is the core element of a company’s online presence. It’s the first thing people come into contact with when searching for your company, and it is the first place where a business can showcase its products and services to potential clients.
It has to look good, work properly, be intuitive and feature detailed contact information. Obviously, there are other things to consider when building a successful website – let’s take a look at them:
1. Looks do matter
The visual appearance is the first thing visitors will notice when landing on your website. It doesn’t have to be a top-notch, brilliant or award-winning design, but it has to at least look decent. If it doesn’t, your customers will simply not take your business seriously. An outdated design, a poor layout or a disastrous color choice will tell visitors that you are a small-time, shady business which is unreliable and unsuccessful.
On the other hand, a well put together website, instantly communicates that your business is established, serious and can be a reliable partner in the long run. Luckily, good design is becoming increasingly affordable thanks to numerous website themes and templates easily available on various online platforms. It’s easier than ever to have a decent looking website, with minimal costs.
2. Content is king
Let’s face it, almost all visitors come to your website for information. Sure, the first thing they will notice is how your website looks like, but then they will look for relevant information about your company, what it does and what it sells. You’ll have to give them what they want and need; basically, your website should feature all the information your visitors and potential customers have come for.
The homepage should explain, as obviously as possible, what your business is all about, what it does, what products or services it provides and how it can help customers. Next, all internal pages should be focused on your products and services. Offer technical data, product information, manuals, recipes, tutorials, reports and articles. If possible, create a download area, where customers can easily save PDF files related to what your company has to offer. Similarly, don’t forget photo or video content, as it is easily digestible and people love it.
Make sure people can find what they look for when they first land on your website. You’ll have to create intuitive sections, categories, menus and quick links to help direct your visitors to what they want. If this takes too long, they will get bored or annoyed, so try to make navigation as intuitive as possible. For instance, a good idea is to use animations or pictographs to help people navigate faster. Similarly, the color theme can help people categorize sections (for example, an online fashion store might use blue for their coats sections and orange for their pants section).
4. Don’t forget about SEO
Search Engine Optimization is extremely important for all websites, no matter what they are about. SEO is what guarantees your website will be visible in search engine result pages (SERP). Ideally, you should have an SEO specialist work on your website, at least during the early stages. Even if you can’t afford one, basic concepts like keyword search and planning are simple to understand thanks to the amount of information available online. There are a lot of free tools to help you: Google Keyword Planner and Google Webmaster Tools are just two of the most important ones.
5. Make constant updates
Try to keep your website up-to-date at all times. Outdated content, expired offers or announcement show that you simply don’t care. Customers will think your business is superficial and unreliable. Make sure your website features a simple content management system that makes updating easy and efficient. Popular CMS tools are WordPress, Magento, Drupal or Joomla.
6. Have a good contact page
Some of your visitors may be ready to buy what you have to offer, but there are some who want to call, mail or contact you via a form. Make sure your website has all the tools required, so your visitors can contact your support team or technical staff. Similarly, attract visitors to contact you and subscribe to your newsletter with free offers, manuals or tips. This way, you’ll quickly establish an ongoing relationship with existing and prospective customers.
7. Enable social media
Social media platforms attract a lot of people, and many of your visitors will want to connect with your company to get updates. Create and link your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube profiles with your website content and connect with people on these social media platforms. Post press releases, articles, videos, photos and organize live streams or conferences for your followers.