Business owners love a sexy website. They tell us to make their website look cool. They want their users to be impressed by it, to spend time (and money) on it.
What they don’t usually think about are the really practical but crucial elements of a website that we don’t notice until they’re not there–or, worse, done poorly.
1. User Experience
Each website has its own purposes and objectives. None of them can be achieved if it isn’t stupid-easy to navigate the site. I think this is the single most important element of any and every site because I have no patience for websites that confuse me or present me with broken links or missing pages.
As we always say: know your target audience. Know why they’re there. Know what they want. Know how to get them to what they want.
The key to nailing this part? Test, test, test, then test some more. It doesn’t matter what’s on your site or how good it looks if people can’t get what they need, or leave out of frustration.
2. Mobile response
Do I need to say this? 80% of internet users own a smartphone. Hell, you’re probably reading this from yours! Make it mobile responsive.
Installing Google analytics is so easy that I’m sure you already have it on your site. The question is: are you using it?
It’s the end of the year and you’re planning your marketing for next year (right?). Your analytics will tell you almost everything you need to craft the web site piece of your marketing strategy. How are people finding your site? What keywords are they using? How long do they spend? How many pages do they visit? Which pages to they visit?
You want to know traffic sources, keywords, and user behavior so you can audit your marketing, determine your ROI, and craft growth strategies for the future.
I hate when I got to a website and can’t figure out what the company does or what their product is for. Have you had this? You go to the about page and it says a bunch of lofty things about how the company has been utilizing innovative technology since 1986 and is a leader in its industry. What does that even mean?
Just one sentence somewhere on the site about what you actually do would be very helpful to the lost visitors who wander to your website from a social media link and wonder, What the hell am I doing here?
Point ‘em in the right direction. Send ‘em home.
5. Social Media Links
It may be a Millennial thing, but I always check out social media links when I visit a new website. It’s a great way to get a feel for the business. I want to know if they’re posting funny memes or if I can see Instagram updates on their Facebook feeds. Do people like them? Is there a new product coming out? Is it a cool company?
Put your social media links up and invite people along (it’s an easy way to grow your following–and effortlessly generate more leads).