Websites range from simple, one-page landing pages to gigantic, many-paged sites, depending on the size of your business and your desired Web presence. But every business SHOULD have a website; your clients will go looking for you at some point, and if you’re not there, you’ll miss out. Your website will also form the backbone of any online marketing campaign, and should be featured in offline marketing, too. What are the basic, must-have elements of a good website?
Every website needs a great home page. Your home page should quickly and easily convey to your clients what your company does or offers. It also helps if your home page gives them an idea of what your website provides; be it just info, or a chance to purchase products or services. If you have a sales-oriented business, your home page should contain one or more calls to action. A way to capture customer data is also a great feature on a home page. Many businesses now prominently feature links to their social media presence on their home pages, too.
The About page should tell your clients about your company. When was it founded, how many employees, your company mission, any special credentials you boast – give your clients an opportunity to get to know you. This is also a great page to differentiate yourself from your competitors by highlighting relevant education areas, experiences or other unique factors that demonstrate to your customers why they should choose you.
A contact page providing all the methods to contact your company is vital to a good website. Provide phone number, fax number, email addresses, physical addresses – whatever contact information you want your customers to have. If you’ve got a store or physical location, make sure to list the address, and driving instructions or a link to Google Maps can be a nice touch. List hours of operation, any special contact information your customers should have to reach a particular department, etc. – and possibly a form for contacting you via the site.
Make it as easy and painless as possible for your customers to reach you, or else you WILL lose sales. Making this information easy to access also demonstrates a willingness to interface with your clients, making you seem more reputable and open to contact with your customers.
Products or Services Pages
If your business offers products or services, your website should contain pages talking about these services. Website design is extremely diverse, so there are a number of ways to handle your product or service descriptions. If you offer multiple products or services, and you want your website to help sell, describe each of them fully. If you just want your website to serve as a Web presence, it’s ok to simply list products and services and hope for customer contact – but generally, the more information a customer has, the better.
Design for Readability and Ease of Navigation
Readability and ease of navigation are VITAL factors when you’re designing a website. Some companies favor unique designs that the client will find eye-catching or memorable, but the craziest designs are often difficult to navigate or hard to read. Make sure the relevant content is in an easy-to-read font and color on an easy-to-read background. You WANT your customers to get information from your page. You WANT them to stick around and read it. You won’t get that if customers can’t read your page in the first place, or if they can’t figure out where to click to get where they want to go.
There’s a lot more to say about what goes into a good website design – both in terms of content and the design itself. But it’s easier to discuss on a one-on-one basis, so feel free to contact me if you have questions or want a review of your site!
Next week, I’m going to share with you one of my client intake marketing worksheets, so you can start to think about your marketing plan. This worksheet includes some questions you’ll need to answer before you hire a professional to help you, or if you intend to do the marketing yourself.