A: We believe there are five essentials for an effective business website:
■ Easy to use
■ Mobile device friendly
■ Contact information on every page
■ Appropriate page titles
■ Blog, news, or portfolio page
A strong website can be your best-selling employee and earn your highest return on investment against your other marketing platforms, if built correctly. Let’s take a deeper look into our top five essentials for your company’s website.
1. Ease of navigation
It is important to have a clear vision of what problem your company solves, who your company solves it for, and how those people can find or purchase your solution. A clean website, with an obvious call to action, and a clear layout that is easy to navigate will help your initial viewers turn into satisfied buyers. When working with a digital agency on your website design, we suggest creating a customer journey map (a diagram that illustrates the steps your customer(s) go through in engaging with your company and website) in order to guide the overall site design process. This will give you and your web designer clear objectives for how you want your potential and existing customers to interact with your website.
2. Responsive/mobile friendly
A responsive website means that viewers can see the website on the size of their screen. According to StatCounter, an internet monitoring firm, more users around the world are accessing the internet from mobile devices than from desktop computers. This means that you’ll want your website to present nicely on any mobile screen a viewer could be using. A tough-to-navigate website could be creating negative customers for you, which can be solved by making your site responsive/mobile friendly.
3. Contact information in multiple places
Especially for single-location, local companies, having your address present at the bottom of your website in the footer can help to boost your organic search rank when someone who is local is searching for people or items such as “Lawyers in Candyland, USA.” When someone searches in Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., their “web crawlers” can more easily recognize that your website may be a good fit for what they’re looking for if your town’s name is in your address line.
In addition to the local SEO (search engine optimization) basics of ranking higher in an organic search, having your contact information present on every page (think: website header, sidebar or footer) helps your customers reach you faster. The more that a viewer on your website has to hunt down your information to get in touch with you, the more likely they are to give up and move on with their day — or worse, their search.
4. Relevant titles on all pages for SEO
Think about the way your customers are searching for information when you’re naming your web pages. If you are a furniture store, think about titling your contact page “Contact ABC Furniture” rather than just “Contact” or “Contact Us.” In your site navigation bar, “Contact” is perfectly acceptable. On that specific web page, however, you’ll want to use an H1 header to signal to search engines that you are more than a contact page, but in fact a “Furniture” store. When John Smith types in “furniture store” to his Google search bar, your website is more likely to show in his results if your page titles are similar to his search words.
5. An up-to-date blog, news, project or portfolio section
Just as in number four, you can use the page titles on your blog, news or projects pages to boost your SEO. These offer rich content through which search engines can find you. Additionally, once your target audience reaches your website, they have relevant and interesting information or images to help them make a decision in contacting you or making a purchase.
Done correctly, your website has the potential to be your highest earning salesperson. It will save you time so that you can focus on what you do best within your company.
From your digital brand experts at Sentinel Digital Agency, Happy New Year!
Julie Norman and Mollie Shepardson are digital brand specialists with Sentinel Digital Agency, a sister company of The Daily Sentinel that provides marketing services to businesses across the Grand Valley. To submit a question for our digital brand experts to answer, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 970-256-4387. Need help with your website? We do that, too.