The Do’s and Do Not’s of a Website
Knowledge is the key to success! Right? Well same stands for your website. We’ve always preached don’t just be on the internet – be effective! Below are the top 15 best practices for any business’ website – off the top of my head – pulled out of my back pocket, yada, yada, yada. Prepare to be enlightened!
1. Look Professional
Visitors are turned off by a sloppy, plain or homemade looking website. Your website is a 24/7 extension of your brick and mortar.
2. Be Secure
Websites need to be secure especially for online merchants accepting credit cards through the website. Your site must comply with the requirements of the payment card industry security standards (PCI DSS).
3. Make Checkout Easy!
Dear business owner with an ecommerce website: shopping cart abandon rates are high due to too many steps to check-out! Don’t make your customers jump through hoops!
4. Memorable Domain Name
Your private domain name should be easy to remember and contain the name of your business.
5. Business Name and Address Should be in Text
Search engines can’t index from your logo so make sure your business’ name and location are able to be indexed. The rule is – no text, no search indexing!
6. Business Phone Number in Click-to-Call Format
Let’s face it…everyone is looking for businesses using their mobile devices. Bring more customers to your business by giving them a one-touch way to call your establishment. Oh, and on that note – make your contact info easy to find. Search engines aren’t the only ones that need easy access to your contact info.
7. Your Core Products/Services Should be “At-a-Glance”
What do I mean by this? I mean through images, succinct descriptions or both; visitors to your site should be able to tell right away what it is you do.
8. What is Your Unique Selling Point (USP)?
Highlight your unique selling point. Let visitors know why they should stick around and do business with you and what sets you apart from the competition. You don’t want visitors to click the dreaded back button when they get to your site!
9. Visitor Feedback
The old adage “you’ll never know if you don’t ask!” applies to your business on the web. Encourage and invite clients and visitors to complete the contact form for feedback and testimonials.
Sharing testimonials is the best way for people to hear about your business. There isn’t such a thing as too much either! Choose testimonials that highlight different aspects of your business (i.e., customer service, installation, project management, etc.).
11. Content Should Speak to Your Customers…Not Your Ego.
Your website content should focus on how you can benefit your customers instead of how awesome you are.
12. Offer Fresh Content
When your website is updated on a regular basis, your visitors AND search engines are happy. Integrating a blog is an excellent way to do this.
13. Contain Keywords
Organic SEO (search engine optimization) strategies are essential in getting new visitors to your website. Make sure you understand Google’s Panda and Penguin updates for the best effectiveness. (Stay tuned for a blog post dedicated to this!)
14. Link to Other Websites
Outbound links can help improve your search engine results and make you look like a valuable resource. Vice versa too! Have other websites link to your website as well. Inbound links carry even more search engine credibility.
15. Be Social!
Your social sharing buttons should be prominently placed for increased reach.
What list would be complete without the Do Not’s?
16. Not Alot of Bells and Whistles
Do not pack in every widget, form and/or plugin on your website. Less is more. For the last ten years I have been saying this, and I stand by it to this day.
17. No Flash Animation, Moving Text, Cursor Graphics or Sound! Eek!
All of the above are really good ways to annoy your visitors – and slow down your website’s loading time – not to mention they are completely unnecessary!
18. Post Images WITHOUT ALT Tags or Text Captions
We know search engines can’t read images, but we need them to by using ALT text and text captions. Your rankings will thank you for it!
19. Dead Links
Bad! Check your links frequently to make sure they still work and they don’t lead to an error page.
20. Listing ALL Your Products and Services
List them on one big, continuous page or paragraph on the home page. Break it up, and create smart ways for your visitors to find what they need.
Got all that!? If it’s still a little fuzzy or you need help implementing them – give me a call or shoot me an email.
Seriously though – useful tips that mostly we have been preaching all along. Now go practice them.