Top 10 things to include in your website

There are so many elements that make up a good website – clear navigation, great content, awesome design just to name a few. Here’s our take on the top 10 things to include in your website build in order for it to be an effective business tool.

1. Helpful navigation

When building a website, it should be super simple for visitors to navigate around your site enabling them to find what they need within seconds.

A simple way to organise menu items on your website would be with a drop-down menu – sites that have a lot more content would benefit from using a Mega Menu which displays a lot of your website's pages when you hover over a particular menu item.

drop down menuDROP DOWN MENU 

 

mega menuMEGA MENU

  
Plan out a sitemap in a logical, consistent way. This will make sure your menu items make sense not only to visitors but to search engines when they crawl your website. Make sure all links go to the appropriate pages, as broken links will show an error page causing a reduction in traffic to pages along with visitors losing interest in your site.

Another handy tip is to make use of what we like to call ‘website norms’, some of which are:-

  • Home is usually the first menu item
  • Contact is usually the last
  • Individual services/products can be a drop-down under their own menu item
  • About is typically the second menu item in your navigation bar

Useful, logical navigation will make it easier for users to navigate around your website, making them more likely to convert.

2. Calls to action

Once you get visitors to land on your website, it’s important to direct them in what you want them to do. For example, you may want them to download a pdf, subscribe to your newsletter, or make a purchase from your online store.

You can incorporate calls to action with the use of buttons or links – make sure to use powerful and active language like “Buy now”, “Donate here” or “Subscribe now” and try to position multiple calls to action on each page, preferably above the fold.

3. Contact info

Although this may sound obvious, it’s super important to include your contact information so visitors are easily able to get in touch. Having a contact page is a must, but it’s also a good idea to incorporate your contact details in the footer of your website – this way it appears on every single page users visit.

4. High-quality content

Search engines love well written, keyword-rich content so it’s crucial you spend time writing copy for your website that’s relevant but also gives a clear indication to your potential customers of what your business is all about.

People buy on emotion – it doesn't matter if you sell cars, craft or cable ties, you need to be the solution to your customer’s problem. So if you sell cars, it’s a good idea to tap into the emotion of wanting something better, faster, sleeker, etc. On the other hand, if your business is in alternative health therapies, you want to use language like “feel better” or “be pain-free” to try and connect with your visitors.

For more information about using emotive language to sell, take a look at our article Convert more customers using emotional responses in your website copy.

Make sure you incorporate keywords into your website content that are relevant to your business but have them appear in your sentences in a natural, constructive way – placing a bunch of keywords in the middle of a page will not do you any favours in Google’s eyes.

If you would like to learn more about adding keywords into your website copy, check out our article What’s the difference between search engine friendly and search engine optimised?.

5. A blog

Search engines favour websites that not only have high-quality content but are updated on a regular basis. One of the easiest ways to continue adding content to your site is to set up a blog section.

Write content that is relevant to your industry and positions you as an expert in your field. A good idea is to take notice of any questions that customers ask regularly, such as “how do I measure my child for a balance bike?” or “what content is covered on the pain management course?” and write articles centred around those topics.

If you have social media channels for your business, whenever you add a new blog post to your site make sure you share it on your social pages to get the word out.

6. A simple web address

Your domain name – or website address, should be easy for a user to type into a website browser. If you’re in Australia, try and have a .com.au address or if you’re a non-profit organisation then a .org.au is appropriate.

A couple of golden rules to follow:-

  • Avoid dashes where possible
  • Avoid numbers
  • When you’re thinking of a domain name, type/write it out and make sure it doesn’t create any inappropriate word combinations – take a look at this article to see what we mean.

7. Customer testimonials

When a visitor lands on your website, it’s important for them to see that other customers have used your product/service and have been happy with the experience – it makes your business more credible and helps to build trust.

Any review that you get from a satisfied customer – whether it’s a Google review, Facebook review or some kind words in an email, use it and incorporate it into your website.

Some sites will have a dedicated “Testimonials” page which is fine, but it’s also a good idea to have some customer testimonials displayed on your homepage, whether it’s done as a scrolling carousel or just having a few displayed in a row.

8. Some basic SEO

You can have the best website in the world but it won’t be any good for your business unless potential customers can find you – this is where SEO comes in.

Some SEO basics to incorporate on your website are:-

  • High-quality content using keywords
  • Links throughout your site
  • Title tags and description tags (eg. don’t call your homepage “Home”)
  • Upload your sitemap to Google so it can be crawled
  • An active SSL certificate
  • Caching or speed tools to make sure your site loads quickly

9. Secure hosting

Secure website hosting is a must-have to include in any website development. Having your site hosted on a secure server means your website will remain online and available to your customers at any time.

It’s also important to keep your website software up to date on your server, as this will alleviate potential hacking attempts along with any issues with outdated components, modules, etc.

10. Awesome website design

Last but certainly not least, is an awesome website design. Make sure your website designer knows what they’re doing and they follow your branding style and use imagery that complements your product or service.

Visitors often scan through a web page to determine if the information is what they’re looking for, so it’s crucial to include sections to break up walls of text and use headings, imagery and video to entice and engage users.

In the world of website design quite often you get what you pay for, so make sure you engage a reputable company with happy customers that has a great portfolio of designs. A $500 website build may sound appealing to your budget, but it doesn’t leave room for awesome design or support and service.

If you follow our top 10 things to include on your website, you’ll be sure to have an online presence that appeals to your customers and generates business for your company.