Five Things Your Website Must Have

080613-websitemusthavesFirst impressions count, and in the digital age, your website is likely to be the first thing a potential client sees. Make sure you put your best foot forward with an attractive, easy to use website that answers all of your customers’ questions. Specific needs will vary from business to business, but here are five things every website needs, whether you already have a site or are building a new one.

Information

Customers are coming to your website looking for something, and it’s your job to provide it. Are they looking for your hours? Your location (or locations)? A way to contact you? A list of your services? Testimonials? More about your experience? Brainstorm a list of the things you think your customers will look for on your website – and then make sure that you provide that information.

Contact Information

Make it easy for customers to contact you. Email addresses and phone numbers should be prominent, and a contact form is an easy way for people to get in touch with you. Don’t bury this information; in many cases, users are coming to your website specifically to find out how they can contact you. (Does anyone still use a phone book?)

Appealing Design

The more professional and polished your website looks, the more trust and confidence customers will place in you. Make your navigation clear and simple, and keep your site uncluttered. Stay away from things that annoy users and slow them down: scrolling text, colored text, music that starts automatically, plugins, etc. Some customers will be coming to your website having heard of you and your work; validate their opinion with an attractive site that is easy to use. A website is just one part of your overall marketing plan; make sure it coordinates with your other marketing materials and sends a cohesive message.

Analytics

Analytics help you analyze the traffic that comes to your site. Who are your visitors? Where are they coming from? What are they doing while they’re on your website? This will help you tweak your site to make it even more attractive and usable and to figure out the keywords that are bringing users to you. There are lots of ways to analyze your traffic, but Google Analytics is a great, free tool that anyone can use.

Social Media Links

If you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other social media platform, make it easy for users to follow you there. Also, place a social media share widget on your site so customers can easily share your page with the people they interact with on social media.

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