Your business needs a website, you know that, but what makes a website successful, what are the key elements to a successful website?
Over the years Intervision has created 100s of websites for businesses, large and small, and the list of key elements for a successful website keeps evolving as technology, design and Google algorithms change. Right now, these are the “must haves”, the essential ingredients, in terms of design and functionality, for a successful website.
What’s your purpose – have a clear strong message
An essential element of a good website is to know your purpose and communicate this. Make it clear upfront, preferably on your home page, who you are and what you do.
Make your site easy to navigate
Organise your website information in a simple and structured way. For example:
Limit your main menu items and organise your information into sub-pages.
Think of the general path you would like a site visitor to take and lead them there with promo boxes.
Make your contact details easy to find.
Include high quality content and refresh your content often
Your content should be high quality – but what is high quality content? It is content that your users want to read and search engines love too. It is content that is original and purposeful and ranks well.
IMAGES AND VIDEO: Content (and blog posts) with images & videos are more engaging for visitors. Web pages with more images rank better!
READERS SCAN WEB PAGES: According to Nielsen – 79% of users scan web pages – so your content should be scannable! Use clear headings and bullet points or number lists to make your content easy to skim, keep sentences and paragraphs short, use bold and italics to highlight important elements.
GOOGLE LOVES FRESH CONTENT: As well as good quality and relevant content – another key website element is fresh content. Google loves fresh content. Your static pages (e.g. your ABOUT page, your SERVICE page etc) are tricky to update with fresh content, but having a blog or news section on your site, makes adding fresh content easier.
Blogging can do the following:
- Help position you as an industry leader – when you post subjects which resonate with your audience and show your knowledge, you are marketing your skills for your business, service or products too.
- Drive traffic to your website – use keywords in your articles. Create a list of the keywords, topics and categories you want your business to be found for and use these words and related phrases when writing your posts. Blogging widens your net attracting more visitors to your site.
- Use your other social media channels to promote your blogs – include SOCIAL SHARE on all your blog posts so it makes it easy for site visitors to post your content on their own social media platforms – pushing more traffic to your site.
INCLUDE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Have your social media buttons present on all pages and also include social media sharing buttons – for example on your blog posts – to encourage people to share your content.
Your website should be in line with your business branding
Your website should be a direct reﬂection of your business identity. Whenever we start designing a website for a company, we start from their logo. The company logo informs the whole website, the colours, the tone, the style. A website that is consistent with the brand identity reinforces the branding and adds a level of credibility to the company.
5. GOOD DESIGN:
Don’t underestimate good design
A professional, well-designed site is important, after all your website is often a potential customer’s first impression of your business. So make it count! A good colour palette, good use of white space, clean design, and good font choice all are important in reflecting your business and brand.
6. SHOWCASE & TRUST:
Establish your credibility & expertise
Include testimonials, reviews, client lists, work portfolios and case studies – these all establish your credibility and expertise.
It is important to be found by google – SEO
There is no point in having a site if it can’t be found – so your site needs to be optimised (search engine optimisation). Target keywords that are relevant to your business in your page titles, meta tags, headings and in your website’s content so that your potential customers can find your business online. Work on good quality (relevant and respected) backlinks i.e. getting other sites to link to your site.
8. MOBILE FRIENDLY:
Your site needs to be built with responsive design
In this day and age your website will be viewed on multiple devices with multiple screen sizes, a successful website needs to be mobile friendly. The best way to do this is with responsive design. Having a website with responsive design means your website automatically adjusts its content to suit different screen widths for the best viewer experience.
9. TURNAROUND TIME:
Your site needs to be out there as soon as possible
The number one complaint we hear about web companies is the amount of time it takes to get a website up & running. You need your site to include the above key elements to make it a successful website, but you also need it to be designed & built as quickly as possible so your company does not lose any more business.
At the very least, encourage site visitors to leave their details
Your website can be the most important client generator your business can have. A successful website will bring in new clients (and help existing clients).
At the very least, a successful website encourages site users to leave their contact details. If you have their contact details – you can start a relationship with them, build trust and build a database of contacts. The best way to do this is to have an enticing offer for which the site visitor needs to OPT IN to receive. There begins the relationship.