What Every Website Should Have
Social Media Integration
As the popularity levels of social media continue to grow, more and more people will want to connect with businesses and website owners through these mediums. It is recommended that social media buttons be placed in prominent locations on websites, such as the top right-hand corner, below the site’s main header image or on the side of the website. You do not need to have every social media button, find out where your audience is, and only have the connections that are relevant.
This is different from a mobile friendly website. In years gone by, most websites could only be properly viewed if they were accessed from desktop or laptop computers. However, when a responsive website design is used, it enables users across multiple platforms (not just cell phones) such as desktop computers, tablets, smart phones, and iPads to view your website and enjoy full functionality of it as well.
Make sure your website has a color scheme, depending on your industry, find out who your audience is and how they will react to certain colors. Certain colors evoke different emotions, how do you want your visitors to feel from the tone of your website? Include a logo and a tagline, all of these must be consistent throughout the website. Make sure everything is memorable, if they came across your brand again through a different channel, would they remember what is unique about your company?
Use a favicon. Your favicon is an important item that many webmasters ignore. The favicon is used as an icon for your bookmarked links when your visitors bookmark your pages; also, it is viewed beside your title and URL when viewing your website.
Show Off Customer Testimonials
The best way to tell people how great your company is, is through someone else’s words. Of course you are going to tell people that your company is great, but how much more valuable is it when it comes from someone else? No matter how much money you put into marketing, nothing will be more valuable than word of mouth and referrals. So make sure your products and customer service is the best it can be.
Use Real Images
Using stock photos is okay but how often do people come across the same generic photo that inclines people to think, “I know these people don’t work there.” How about you use photos of real people that work for you. This way your co-workers will be excited about sharing the website with them on it and when people come across your company website they might see someone familiar, how exciting!
Calls to Action
Think about ultimately what you want your site visitor to do. Is it share content, buy a product, fill out a form or call you for a quote. Make sure you make it clear to them what action you want them to take and make sure you give them a good reason to do so. This will lead to more conversions, just putting the thought in the visitors mind increases the chances of them following through.
Have a Blog
It is called Content Marketing, find out what your customer’s problems are and what they need advice on and create a blog containing those keywords to help them. By putting your customers first instead of pushing your company on them, they will be more likely to ask for more information from you as the expert and even share your blog with others.
Natural SEO (search engine optimization) strategies are essential in getting new visitors to your website. Make sure you understand Google’s algorithm updates and stay up to date with current changes.
Links to Other Websites
Outbound links can help improve search engine results and make you look like a valuable resource. Also have other websites link to yours making your website more credible and reputable. Inbound links carry even more search engine weight, it is a sign that people are referring to you as the go to person.
Website Load Time
Have a quick loading home page. Your home page should have no more than 60 – 80k in graphics, and must come up quickly for the web surfer. If you have tons of fancy graphics or other bandwidth-intensive content, put them on another page in your site. Additionally, you must be extremely careful when using audio, video, Java, Java Script, Shockwave, and any other browser plug in. Realize that people may have trouble viewing your web site and many people are coming through on limited internet connections and mobile devices.