We often talk to our clients about the elements required for a successful website. Most businesses we talk to today recognise that a website is an essential part of doing business. With more choices than ever, choosing a website solution can be overwhelming. What are the top ten elements to consider when embarking on a successful web development?
1. A responsive template. A website should present well on all devices; smartphones, tablets and desktop computer screens. If your website is not responsive you are missing over half of your potential audience.
2. A solid framework. Build your web content on a quality CMS (content management system). The foundations of a successful website are key to providing a quality website experience. A quality CMS will provide all the functionality we associate with good websites. Greatest uptime, fast serving pages, flexible content additions and search engine optimization.
3. A beautiful design. Create an element of trust when customers reach your website. It needs to look professional and work perfectly. Web users are digital savvy they know a well designed website when they see one. The layout of your website should be responsive to the screen from which you are viewing it. Clear communication, with clean branding (your branding), good typography and quality imagery.
4. A focus on user interface. Think about how your customers will interact with your website. Logical navigation, search-ability functions, accessible language, clear layout, hierarchy of information and useful user feedback.
5. A professional elevator pitch. You need to be able to communicate your business message in seconds. It might include a logo, a tagline, a succinct mission statement and a core marketing message.
6. A call to action. Providing an action point for your customers. A tap to call button on a mobile phone screen, a set of technical FAQ's on a desktop screen or buy it now buttons on every page. A website should created with desired customer conversions in mind. Ensure your website optimises conversions to your business goals by requesting specific user responses.
7. A content marketing strategy. Create good content and market it. Make your website a sales generator. Content strategy could include; subscriptions, newsletters, blog posts, social media posts, ebooks or videos. Provide valuable content to potential customers and audiences to create value for your brand.
8. Website analytics. Achieve specific goals by monitoring your web site traffic. Assess the effectiveness of your calls to action. Get an understanding of who your customers are. What content they are using and when they are most likely to visit. Manage your marketing activity based upon the conversions you are tracking from your website. It will help your business to refine and improve future marketing activity.
9. Consistent branding. A website should marry with all elements of your businesses marketing and branding. Work with designers who will create a website to reflect your brand. Cheap templates are like cheap wine. They might get you drunk, (provide a web presence) but will leave you with a headache (damage your brand). Free websites are also fraught with danger. Your brand is not a primary consideration of the free web builder hosting your content for free. More than likely their brand will take priority on your website.
10. Ongoing website support. As you prepare to launch your website, you also need to consider the support over the life of your website. A successful website will need maintenance and upgrading. Content additions and revisions, content strategy refinements, SEO updates, software component upgrades, CMS frameworks upgrades and security patches. Some businesses have the personnel to do these tasks in-house, many do not. Either way, all successful business websites need ongoing maintenance support. A good web design agency will be able to provide this support for you.