5 must-haves for your website
Posted on 30th September 2019
When you’re having a new website built, there’s a lot to think about.
Modern web design comes with all kinds of bells and whistles, and there are some amazingly sophisticated sites out there that really blow your socks off.
But if you run a small business, the chances are you don’t actually need an all-singing, all-dancing website.
Nevertheless, there are some elements you certainly do need – and that’s what we’ll look at in this article.
1. A bespoke, professional design
Ah, the temptation to go with a cheap or even free template design. You might even consider creating the site yourself.
Our advice to you is: unless you have genuine design experience and a good working knowledge of your chosen software, don’t do it!
Sites designed by amateurs don’t just stick out a mile, they can also develop problems and technical glitches that you may not be able to fix.
A better approach is to invest in having your website built by a professional designer. After all, it’s a key asset for your business and probably the most important weapon in your armoury when it comes to making a first impression on prospective clients.
A bespoke design that’s tailored to reflect the nature of your company could put you streets ahead of the competition. And that’s just what we specialise in here at it’seeze Web Design Nottingham – take a look at some of our latest work here.
2. High quality, optimised content
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘content is king.’ Well, it’s true! So, whilst your website needs to look good, your content is equally important.
That means well-written, keyword-rich (not keyword-stuffed) copy that communicates your key messages effectively and strikes a chord with your target audience.
As well as front end content, it’s essential for the metadata to be correctly entered via the back-end, as this will help push your site up the Google rankings.
It’s not just about written copy, however. If possible, include interactive content such as videos, podcasts and infographics. Again, these will help engage your target audience which in turn can increase dwell time (how long people spend browsing your site) which is another Google ranking factor.
And, of course, make sure you post interesting and relevant blogs on a regular basis to make sure fresh content keeps getting added to your site.
3. A mobile-friendly website
In the second quarter of 2019, almost 49% of website traffic around the world came from mobile devices. And that doesn’t even include tablets! With that in mind, having a website that doesn’t display or load properly on a smart phone or tablet is a massive no-no in today’s digital world.
At it’seeze Web Design Nottingham, every website we create is designed to be responsive as standard – it’s all included in our website package prices.
4. Clear navigation and a site map
Have you ever visited a website that felt like trying to navigate a maze? Features such as endless sub-menus, ‘hidden’ pages that you’ll never find again in a million years, and broken links are all big sources of frustration for your users. The good news is that most businesses don’t need a complex site structure.
At it’seeze, most clients opt for our powerful Max package which provides 10 custom-designed pages (and a lot of other features, of course!) Unless you’re selling online and need a Commerce package, it could be just the ticket for your business.
However many pages you require, having a clear menu structure that’s easy to navigate is crucial. Including an XML site map is also a good idea. This will help people find their way around your website and enable search engines to crawl it – great news for your SEO.
5. Security features and GDPR-compliant policies
The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018 has placed some new obligations on business owners around data protection and security.
So, as a legal obligation, this is clearly a very important ‘must have’. It also gives your clients and prospects peace of mind that you’ll take a responsible attitude towards how you collect, store, process, and manage their personal data.
We also recommend that any new website has SSL certification. Indicated by a URL that starts https:// rather than http://, this makes sure that any information users enter into your website is securely encrypted.
Whilst it’s not 100% essential for some business types, it certainly is for those that collect and process financial details such as credit card payments. As with the policies, it’s also something that gives people reassurance and helps build trust. And it’s another Google ranking factor that could benefit your SEO.
Like to know more? Just ask it’seeze!
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