Setting up, or organising your first website can be a daunting process. Find my 7 MUST HAVE items below:
1. Do NOT try and re-invent the wheel:
Sure, be innovative and try new things but there is a reason that almost all websites are organised similarly. Users know what to expect, and they can happily navigate through a site – and find the information they want. This is also what you want. Navigation should be either horizontal or vertical (although I’d suggest vertical for more e-commerce sites) – and your logo should link back to the home page. Simple navigation is ESSENTIAL. Otherwise users will click away and look elsewhere.
There is a reason all my website packages come with ‘obvious navigation’.
2. Call to Actions
Think about what you want the user to do – do you want them to share your content, email you, call you, visit your physical location? Keep this in mind and have clear call to actions across your pages. Call to actions lead to leads, which leads to sales. YAY!
3. Visible contact information
You’d be surprised how many times this one gets missed! Make sure every page has an email address, telephone number and a map (if you want people to visit your physical location). If users can’t find the information they want, they are likely to click away and find somewhere else!
4. Clear & concise about us/company information
Try summarising you and your business – users to do not want to read through 6 paragraphs of text to find out who you are, what you do and what you are about. Even try different ways of displaying this information, for example video – but remember to use subtitles as the majority of users use no sound!
5. Visually appealing site
Images, videos, infographic and animated gifs are all a great way to display information and break up a large body of text. They are engaging and catch the users attention. Think of it as merchandising a shop front. Use no more than 3 colours and 2/3 fonts to keep your website looking professional and sleek.
6. Mobile optimised site
More traffic comes from mobile than desktops now – which is increasing steadily year on year. Don’t waste your energy creating the perfect desktop site if it does not convert well to mobile. I often design my sites for mobile first now – adding small changes for the desktop version if needs be.
7. Analytics, analytics, analytics
This one is SO important. I highly recommend Google Analytics. You need to know how much traffic your site is getting, where that traffic is coming from, and the demographics of your visitors. However numbers are just numbers – learn to analyse this information, and gain insights from it. My website packages have google analytics integration as standard, & my monthly website maintenance packages include a monthly google analytics report so you know exactly how your website is performing.
Do you have any tips or must haves you would like to add? If so I’d love to hear from you!