If you ask a room full of people, “What does my website need?” you will get way too many opinions and more advice than you can handle.
Been there. Done that.
Building a website is like buying a car. There is the base model that will get you from here to there (Ford Focus). On the other side of the lot are the cherry red, revved up, begging-for-a-speeding-ticket, muscle cars (Mustang).
Can you tell I am a Ford girl? Anyhoo. Let’s start with the Focus until we can afford the Mustang.
The Straight Talk on What A Website Really Needs
As a business owner, you know you need a website. A home base that you own.
Hand Slap Moment: You don’t own your social media accounts, so if you use Facebook like a website, stop it!
Your website is where potential customers can learn more about you, connect with you, and book your services.
Now you are ready to create one, but there are SO MANY CHOICES!
There are a lot of website trends out there but it can be hard to tell which ones would be beneficial to you.
- Does your website need fancy images?
- Does it need a chatbox?
- Does it need a blog?
While the details of your website will depend on your industry, there are some basics your website should have no matter what you do.
A Checklist to answer “What does my website need?”
Yup, you need a blog. There have been some debates about whether blogging is still an effective tool. I say yes, and I am willing to die on that hill. You can find a lot of information on my site about why you need a blog, but here are a few ways it can help your website.
It Keeps Content Fresh: What you do, your services, and your contact info might not change a whole lot. And if you’re not adding events or doing daily deals on your site, your website content could become stagnant, fast. Google doesn’t like stagnant content and it will penalize you if your content isn’t updated regularly. A blog can help with that.
Provide Value to Customers: A blog is a great place to answer questions you know your customers are asking and consistently add value.
Gain Authority: If you’re consistently blogging about industry trends and showing your expertise, you’ll quickly gain authority in your industry which will help visitors to your site trust you and what you do.
It Helps With SEO: If you’re using the right keywords, particularly long-tail keywords, in your blogs and blogging consistently, it will go a long way to helping you rank in Google searches.
Also, keep in mind that 77% of internet users read blogs.
A Clear “About Us”
Visitors to your site shouldn’t have to dig around on your website to find out who you are and what you do. Chances are, if you’re doing things right, they searched for a problem they need help with and your site came up. As soon as they get to your site, they should be confident you can help solve their problem.
This might mean putting a two-sentence blurb about who you are front and center or it might mean making your “About Us” page super easy to find. Either way, your consumers, and potential customers shouldn’t have to solve the mystery of what you do.
Easy to Find Contact Info
Once visitors to your site know what you do, it should be super easy for them to contact you. Whether they have questions or they want to get started with your services, they shouldn’t have to work to get ahold of you.
To make it easy, your contact tab should be on the top left or top right of your home page. And, to make it even easier, it’s worth adding your contact information as the footer on every page of your website.
Calls To Action
What do you want visitors to do once they get to your site? If you don’t make it clear, they’ll wander around before they eventually leave without taking any action. That’s why you need a clear call to action (or two or three). Do you want them to sign up for a free quote? Do you want to add them to an email list? Want to give them a coupon?
Just like you should make it obvious who you are and what you do, you should make it obvious what steps a visitor should take. Consumers don’t want to work hard for what they need, that’s your job. Put in a little extra work adding quality calls to action that guide your visitors through the buyer’s journey…your customers will thank you for it.
You don’t have to be an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert when building your site, you can hire someone for that. But you should at least know the basics so you can make sure you have keywords in the right spot.
Basic SEO knowledge includes:
- Putting the right keywords throughout your text
- Adding plenty of links
- Using keywords in headlines, page titles and URLs
- Using the right amount of images and videos
A Great Mobile Site
Yes, your website needs…another website. Like a kid brother, but not really. Your website does need to be optimized for mobile. Why? Because up to 70% of web traffic happens on a mobile device. That means the majority of your website visitors are not on their computers. Considering consumers now spend more than five hours a day on their smartphones, this is not surprising. Visitors to your site should be able to browse just as easily on a mobile device as they do on their computers. This means it should load quickly, and all content on the screen should be sized properly.
A Quick Load Time
A slow-loading website isn’t just annoying to the consumer, it’s a big no-no for Google. Load time is so important that Google added speed as a ranking factor in 2018. That means if you’re website is slow, it might not rank in Google. Even a Ford Focus can punch it!
Customers don’t like a slow site either. Consumers, as a whole, are impatient and the odds of them leaving a site if it takes too long to load are high. If a website takes 5 seconds to load, the chance of someone leaving the site jumps to 90%. YIKES! It would be nice if we had more patience, but let’s face it–we just don’t.
You can help your website load faster by doing things like:
- Compressing file sizes
- Optimize your images
- Test your site speed regularly
The Wrap Up
While there are other tools your website might need to be beneficial to your customers, these are some of the basic things your website needs in order to be helpful and informative.
Don’t forget, if you’re overwhelmed by the thought of websites and SEO and blogs (oh my!), we can help!
About Zeedia Media: We create killer content for all sorts of things. We know all the words, “because words matter!” Contact Zeedia Media for content, branding, and social media management. We can also help you with your online reputation if you aren’t happy about what people are saying about you. Let’s exchange some words–the good kind!