7 THINGS WEBSITES SHOULD HAVE

Once upon a time, man discovered fax machines, and he was excited about his discovery.

This is not a bedtime story, okay?

With the outbreak, and advances in technology like; personal computers, mobile devices and the World Wide Web, communication is hitch-free, and the ease of doing business has never been this simple.

With the aid of search engines like Google and Yahoo, devices like Apple and fast internet connectivity, businesses make important decisions with the tap of a button. 

The importance of the internet in business is crucial in this century. The internet is a beehive. It is swirling with countless opportunities.

”Having a business and not taking it online is like having a business and not telling anyone.” – Anonymous.

According to the SEO tribunal, there are over 5 million searches on Google per day, which is equal to 63,000 searches per second. Now, that is a lot! Or, should I say a lot of potential customers online?

The internet is swirling with needy eyes. People are on the hunt for information. A great way to leverage that opportunity is with websites.

The benefits of having a website are tremendous.

Digitalization is the new world order. The world is a ‘global town.’ If you are going to make a good impression on your tech-savvy prospects, then get a website. You see, candidates are not just looking forward to what you offer. Every potential client is in search of a credible source. 

Websites are evidence that you are trustworthy.  Your clients respect you because of your professionalism. For example, you ask your neighbor, “Ben, where did you get that cool TV set?” and he replies, “On Craigslist or Amazon.” There is a “Wowing” factor that follows. It leaves an impression on you when you buy something online.  The same goes for your prospects; they need to see you as a value provider with class. 

Recall that there are roughly 60,000 searches per second on Google alone. Therefore, websites are specific ways of maximizing returns for your business. Now, there is a clause to that, and that is, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media optimization (SMO). These are strategies for your website and social media to outmatch your competitions and gain your client’s attention. SEO and SMO are like marketing only for websites and social media pages. You do not have to trouble your head about that; there are excellent online marketing services in California that simply do all the work from keyword search to placements. They simply send you their SEO and SMO proposal when you contact them.

Keep in mind that your prospect needs someone who gets her, and your website is the easiest way to communicate with her. With information like; your location, business opening hours, product, and service, you’d be giving your audience information without being there 24/7 all over the world.

It is not enough to have a social media page; you just cannot afford to run only a Facebook page. There are at least 50 million pages on Facebook today. However, using a website does not stop you from using social media. Instead, it heightens the stake in your favor. 

With that said, here are things you should know before opening your site. 

Determine the primary purpose of your website:

The goal of every site should offer guidance while creating and designing the website. Whether it is a simple website or a more complex e-commerce website, the aim should be clearly stated on your homepage. For example, if you run information, education, entertainment, or sales site, let them know. Determining the site’s objective and stating it with clarity would make sure that your website pops up in related searches. Also, customers do not like the idea of not knowing what is up. They need to know what you do as soon as they open your site. 

Decide your domain name:

Your domain name is one of the essential features of your website. It is what prospects and customers would use to find your business. A few things you should avoid while choosing a domain name are abbreviations, numbers, and long names. They can be difficult for prospects to remember. A much easier approach to getting the perfect domain name is to use a name that resonates with your objective. For instance, a site such as; “big brother.com” already says it all. Once you select a domain name, check for the availability of the name. You do not want to be taking a name already owned by someone else. If chosen, you can call the company to buy the domain name.

Choose a web host:

A website needs a server where all the data is stored for the public called a “host.” Hosting your site can be quite a challenge. The use of third party hosting is a better choice. While selecting hosts, keep in mind your audience. Hosting platforms should be able to give you a reasonable amount of data measurements. There needs to be a close relationship between them and your audience. Many third-party hosts offer different options that come with certain features; some are free, and others collect monthly or yearly tokens from their users. You must choose one that best suits the objective of the site.

Develop your pages:

Static homepages are not the best all the time. Depending on the site objectives, create an about page, a blog, a product, or a service catalog. These pages improve the overall experience of the users while on your website. In California web design companies offer a variety of services for an impressive website. Make sure to include a call to action on each page; this ensures you engage the audience all through their experience on your site.

Test your site: 

Sites need to excite the prospects and not to put them off. Ensure that every page is as clean as possible. Test if links are correct and are functional on browsers, like; chrome and Firefox. Do a check of the site’s layout on mobile devices. Statistics show that users of mobile devices outnumber PC users. Be mindful of these users. Then publish.

Analytics;

Another worth noting is; incorporation of analytic tools. Maybe, not immediately you launch a site but, you would need one to keep track of your objective. Many tools give you data that can help you manage your website. Some features may include; conversion rates, click rates, and views. This data is essential to help you adjust and to suit the demands of your audience. Google Analytics and WordPress platforms provide analytics for websites.

Now that you know all this, what are the seven things a successful website should have?

A few of these points have been made mention of.

1. Site layout: believe it or not, the layout and general interface of a site go a long way in determining if your site would gain more customers or not. Every second, information is churned out on the internet. So, if you are going to get the interest of your prospect, get it through the layouts. An average of 50 millisecond is all you have.  Choose colors that speak and show what you do. User experience plays a very significant role in the web design process. The placement of items is important too. This would keep them relaxed while browsing through the site. If you cannot handle this personally, contracting a user experience and user interface (UX/UI) expert would save you the cost of losing prospects to the competition. We do not want that, do we?

2. Friendly Navigation: Nobody likes being stuck. I dislike sites that make searching for a particular item a struggle. The navigation of your website is subject to what the audience wants. Do they like to scroll without interruptions from your pop up adverts?  Do not place essential pages out of reach for the prospects. Ensure that the ease of going through your site is that easy. Most analytic tools can help you get the data on the preferences of the prospect. Also, putting into consideration that your audience would either use a PC (Personal Computer) or mobile device, would help you tweak a few things on the site to encourage usage.

3. Content: having checked the two boxes above, content/copy of the site is another key player in your site’s success. Sometimes a site could have the simplest of designs and be generating unbelievable lead conversions. How is that? you asked. Well, written text often conveys as much, if not more meaning than graphics. The layouts can be eye-catching, but your prospect may never understand your message.  Similar to what you are reading on this page, your words have to connect with your prospect. Think of content like this; if you search the web for a barber and you get one with beautiful pictures and a clean site layout, but then, all its content is in a different language. You may love the style and general layout but cannot grasp what it says.

A Site is designed to communicate to prospects all the information they need to know about you and/or your business. Never make it difficult for your prospects to understand you, “simple talk is better understood.” Hire a content or copywriter (some web design companies in California provide these services). Do not let your content turn away prospects.

4. CTA (call to action); for instance, you sell gadgets on your website, the CTA for prospects should be “Buy Now.”  On every page of your site, include a call to action to engage the prospect. On a typical everyday blog, you would see; ‘subscribe now or Sign up for our newsletters.’ On an NGO site, you would likely see Donate now or Become a volunteer.” Whatever objective you set for your website, use an appropriate call to action. Prospects like to know what to do, and it could be as simple as “Call now.”

5. Testimonials: recall that one of the functions of a website is to show credibility and goodwill with your prospects. Testimonials are the right way to do it. People need proof that your offer is reliable. When you browse through a site with a CTA that reads, “donate now.” The logical question of why?” follows. In this scenario, nobody in their right minds would offer a penny if they do not see proof of previous work. For your prospects to trust in your product and/or service, you need to give them a review of what others have said about you. 

Now, you are probably wondering how you are going to do that if you just started. Well, a basic about us” page on your site would suffice.  This would get people to buy into your business. With simple and straightforward words, you can persuade them. That’s right! Every word on your site is driven to convince the prospect to exchange money with you. 

6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS): this is another section that every site should have. This will cover any question that the prospects may have. You use this section to make sure that whatever doubt your potential customers may have would be answered, from product and service to opening hours, bonuses, or guarantees (if any).

This section is highly dependent on the objective of the site. E-commerce, Donations, Payments, and any other business that may involve technical or monetary issues should have this on their website. Blogs can substitute this for a comment section or any other modalities.

7. An Opt-in / Sign up page: this is mainly an exciting feature for businesses that wish to build an email list. This page ensures that your business does a kind of follow-up on leads or prospects. Many businesses do this. They send you newsletters and valuable information related to their sectors, which may interest a prospective buyer. I get one from Netflix every week after I unsubscribe.

Websites are important for businesses, and if you are going to have one, you might as well do it the right way.