The beginning of a new year is always a great time to consider a new website design.
Perhaps you have an older website that needs some sprucing up both technically and aesthetically. Maybe you’re adding a blog or social media features to engage your audience. Whatever the case may be, it’s important that you’re being pro-active and taking full advantage of your website.
Here are 9 things that you need in order to implement a great, new website design that will grow traffic, influence your audience and make your business stand out.
1. Your domain name is important because it reflects your branding and should be as close to your business name as possible. Try not to use hyphens if at all possible. Although there are now many domain extensions available these days, stick with the the 3 most important, in the following order: .com, .net and .org (if you are running an organization. If you are running a bonafide educational institution then a .edu extension is also appropriate.
No need to buy up a bunch of the same domains with different extensions, simply to get an advantage with the search engines. That no longer works these days so save your money and use it to budget web advertising.
2. An attractive and compelling logo are essential because it immediately identifies your business and build upon name recognition. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words so one simple, appealing logo can make a huge difference for your company.
3. A short and sweet tagline. There will be plenty of opportunities to use your tagline. Business cards, advertising and even networking. Keep it short and concise so that it will be easy for people to remember.
4. A strong image “above the fold” is the sweet spot of your website and immediately draws your audience’s attention. Take full advantage of this area with a blend on images and text. If you want to engage your audience and entice them to explore your website, this is the place where it all begins. A little strategic planning for this special area of your website’s pages can make a huge difference.
5. Testimonial and reviews from your customers. The web is primarily used for shopping and research. Think about it for a moment. If you are searching for a plumber or electrician online, which would appeal to you the most? A company with a list of testimonials and reviews or one with nothing? As in the real world, a business establishes credibility via it’s reputation. Customer testimonials and reviews can often push you ahead of the competition because they immediately establish your authority. Take advantage of this.
6. A call to action is a prompt to get your visitor to do something. Encourage interaction by asking your visitors to sign up for a free report, consultation, evaluation or estimate. The point of which, is to get the new visitor on your mailing list. A customer e-mail list is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal, allowing you to send them periodic special offers, etc. via e-mail at any time.
7. Provide quality, engaging content. It is essential to provide content on your website that your audience is searching for. Don’t get hung up on search engine optimization tricks by stuffing keywords. That will only alienate your readers and probably won’t do much to influence Google either. Those SEO methods have long since become obsolete. Provide content that is useful to your website visitor and encourages them to interact with you.
If you do not know how to create rich content for your website, contact us and we’ll put together a plan to do it for you.
8. Add social share options to every blog post. As you can see on this very website, we have social share buttons on the left and at the bottom of every post. Since we implemented this strategy on our own website, our web traffic has grown substantially. It’s easy and free to add social sharing to your website, so take full advantage of it!
9. A mobile responsive design is imperative. We have been designing websites that are fully responsive ever since the technology first became available. The extra mobile only websites were a clunky, inefficient solution to mobile viewing that never really worked well. Also, Google is now giving less credibility to non-responsive websites, so why not take the best course of action and take advantage of a mobile responsive website immediately? It’s also less cost than having a separate mobile website because it’s just ONE website that automatically adapts to fit mobile phones and tablets.
If your website is NOT responsively designed, contact us and get it converted over to a much easier, more pleasing website experience for your audience.