Does  your business have a website or you are in need of one for a brand new venture? The process can be a bit exhausting so here are a few things you need to have on your site … and what you can probably do without to improve your company’s digital footprint, increase engagement with your brand and ensure your customers have a positive experience on the site.

The first thing you must do is secure a good, catchy URL. Make sure it makes sense for your business, does not have quirky spelling and is available on social platforms, too.

1. Crucial Business Information

“The biggest failure that people have is that they try to build the website they want, not necessarily the website they need. Do not neglect the basic things like the menu, contact information and directions.

Keep text to a minimum when it comes to your mission statement because you should be writing things so people can skim — we all have short attention spans. Do not underestimate brevity: one or two sentences can be really powerful.

2. Contact Information

We cannot stress enough that most crucial business detail is contact information— which is why it has its own section. Have a number, email, address and a contact form easily accessible and visible. It makes a difference because there is nothing more frustrating than being unable to get in touch with a needed business or service.

When you put an email address or a phone number on the site, do not upload this information as part of an image — the number or address should be able to be clicked on or copied right from the site in order to place the call or send an email conveniently and quickly. Most smartphones these days have the ability to do “click to call” on the web, so make the process as easy as possible for users.

Also, get an email address for your domain. However, if you like Gmail’s interface, you can use Google Apps to set up custom email addresses through Gmail — it is free for up to 10 email addresses.

3. Clear Navigation

A website is useless without clear navigation. Make sure you use easy-to-understand and logical names for the various pages of your site — contact, about, FAQ, etc. Being clever or cryptic will just be a turnoff for users.

When developing your navigation strategy, you should consider a call to action. What is it that you want people to do on your site? Place an order? Email for a quote? Call to speak with a customer service rep? Make your goals clear and obvious.

4. Social Media Integration

Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Foursquare. There are a lot of social platforms out there, and you should promote your presence on them on your website, because social media is critical part of marketing your business. Integrating these platforms into your website will help boost your SEO, improve your business’ footprint on the social web and build your following across numerous social platforms.

5. A Mobile-Ready Version

Smartphones and tablets are driving an increasing amount of web traffic, and the numbers are only going to grow as mobile devices become cheaper and more mainstream. Andy Chu, Director of Bing for Mobile, says 70% of task completion happens within one hour on mobile sites, meaning that people are often browsing on the web with intent — they are looking to do something, buy something or go somewhere. If someone searches for a restaurant on his smartphone, he is likely to eat at that restaurant within the hour, says Chu. So your website better be readable on handheld devices.

“Until two years ago, designing for the web meant designing for a computer, now it means designing for anything with an internet connection,” says Frankel. So, how can you do it? Responsive design.

Responsive website design enables you to use fluid widths, so that your website layout will adapt to the screen on which it is being browsed.

6. FAQ

People have a lot of questions. As you hear concerns from customers and receive feedback via email, gather up the most frequently asked questions into a list and offer clear, concise answers.

7. Some Features You Do not Need

Do not underestimate the power of simplicity. Feel free to forgo these things on your website:

  • Music
  • Flash
  • Anything that auto plays
  • Extraneous information and media — it will only slow down the page’s loading time.

By: Penuel Anoff


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