5 things every website must have

As business owners, we all want our website to be a valuable part of our marketing, to bring new leads and customers while representing our business in a positive light. But we are busy building our business. We hire others to build our website and trust that they will do a good job and give us a functional, modern website. Here’s an insider’s list of five things you can check to see if your website is measuring up. 

1. Responsive / Mobile Friendly Layout

Over half of all website visits these days are from mobile devices, like phones or tablets. If your website is difficult to read or navigate on these devices, you are effectively cutting out over half of all your visitors. A website with a responsive layout will adjust to the different screen sizes automatically, making the pages and products easy to find, read, and purchase with no pinching or expanding. 

Google has announced that responsive sites will receive a higher rank than sites that are not responsive. How can you tell if your site is responsive? Go here and type in your URL. Google will tell you!

What about a mobile website? Separate mobile websites are not the best option. These cause issues with duplicate content and also with keeping the content fresh and updated. The BEST option is to go with a responsive design.

2. Easy Navigation

Any website that is difficult to navigate will frustrate even the most loyal visitor. Visitors want to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. Make sure your menu is in the same place on every page; that you can move around between pages without having to use the back button; and that the menu works on all browsers. Keep it simple. Flashy effects don’t always work on phone or in all browsers and are best saved for non-essential content.

3. Clear Call to Action

You will get more leads and more sales if your site has a clear call to action that is easy to find. Guide your visitors where you want them to go by having Get a Quote, Talk to Us, Free Report, or Buy Now buttons or some other call to action that fits your business at the top of the homepage. If you are unclear about what a Call to Action is, read this article.

4. Convenient Contact Information

If you are like me, you use Google several times a day to look up phone numbers, addresses, websites and more. It’s easy to grab your phone and search for a business and click to call. When the address, phone and email information is easy to find, a visitor can buy, call, come in or email right away and you make an easy sale. Since visitors are using search engines, they may not arrive on your home page or contact page, so make sure your contact information is displayed on every page of your site.

5. Analytics Reporting

Analytics is an important tool to effectively manage your website. You can learn a lot of truly valuable information about your site visitors by comparing your site’s statistics from month to month. This information can help you attract and convert the best prospects and avoid wasting money on advertising techniques that didn’t quite work the way you thought they would.

Google Analytics is a FREE tool that can be added to ANY website and you can have reports automatically emailed to you each week or each month as you desire.

Of course, this basic checklist does not cover everything your site needs, but it’s a good start. If your site has these things, then you are on your way to success. If it doesn’t do any of these things, you should address the issues quickly as you could be turning away valuable leads and losing business.

By Stephanie Nugent