We all know the importance of websites in every business. It does not really matter how great your business is, you will face difficulties finding customers if you do not have the right website, because your website is the company’s “face” online. Whether you already have a website, or you are going to build it now, there are some things you should take into account in order to drive traffic, generate leads and increase sales. In this article, you will find 25 website must haves for accomplishing your task.
Being found online
1. Off-page SEO
The goal of every single website is to be at the top of the list on different search engines. However, because of so many websites available, it is really difficult to do so, but certainly not impossible. Off-page SEO is the most important thing to take into account if you would like to appear on the top. It is all about building inbound links, in order to make other websites link back to you. The more inbound links you have, the better the chances to be found online.
2. On-page SEO
Like Off-page SEO, On-page SEO is crucial for every website as well. It consists of putting the main keywords of your content in the most important places of your page, such as titles, sub-titles, links, image tags and so on.
3. Meta tags
Though meta tags do not seem like a great tool, these are must haves in your SEO strategy. Meta tags are lines of codes that are included in your web page. They are very important, because search engines analyze meta tags to gain more information about your website.
4. XML sitemap
These sitemaps have a goal of providing search engines with more information about the structure of the website. This is a .xml file, which shows listings of all pages of your website and dates when they were updated.
5. 301 redirect
Sometimes when we enter a website, we see that the page is unavailabe and get an error message. The reason is that the page has a new URL now and the old one is not redirected there. Think about those customers you lose because of it and use 301 redirect, which will help you change the old URL to the new one.
Design and Usability
6. The first impression
Design is one of the most important things that make the first impression on users. By looking at the design of your website, they will judge how good your business is. It’s crucial to have an outstanding design and leave a good impression on your visitors.
You should keep all the elements in your website consistent. It means that you should not put too many colors, fonts, sizes in different pages. On contrast, you should keep the same color palettes, same fonts and sizes in all your pages in order to not confuse your audience.
8. Right images
Images are probably the most important thing in the design of website. These are the elements that catch users’ attention. Make sure to put meaningful images on your website, because every image contains a message in it and based on this fact results may differ from your expectations.
Another important thing that keeps users on your web page is navigation and ease of functionality. According to recent surveys done by HubSpot, it was found that the most important thing for users is the ease of finding information in the websites.
Animations can both catch people’s attention and distract them. The reason is that it is quite enjoying when you see animation in the website, however if it's too much, you will probably get irritated. Make sure to use minimum animations on your web page.
If you would like your website to get high amounts of traffic, then you must provide accessibility in all devices. It doesn't matter whether a user enters your website from a PC, iPad or smartphone, they must get the same results, otherwise they would just leave it. Convenience is very important for users and you must provide them with it.
The design of your website is what catches people’s attention, but it’s the content that keeps them there. Before creating it, make sure to ask yourself several questions, for example: Will the website provide the most important information in few seconds? Will people understand what it is about? Will they know their future steps? Make sure to answer all of them in the creation process.
Even though your main goal is selling your products/services with the help of your website, you should understand that people do not think about that when they first enter your website. So, in order to keep them there, you should show that you care about them and you should offer them something valuable, such as e-books, relevant content, testimonials and so on.
What will distinguish your website from the rest? Few years ago it was the amount of information available on the website, but nowadays it is the quality. If you want people to make use of your website, you should provide value, offer unique, quality content, , keep it up-to-date and make it as interesting as you can.
15. Avoid overused words
As we have already mentioned you must be unique in order to catch attention. This also means that you should not used words and jargons that are overused, because they only distract people. Some of these words are: robust, easy-to-use, flexible cutting edge, mission critical and so on.
Few years ago, it was very effective to use creative, mysterious and eye-catching headlines, content in order to catch people’s attention. However, nowadays people are just tired of such tricks and they just want more clear stuff. Make sure to have a clear content by using easy words, keeping things simple and being clear about your purpose.
Blogging is very important for every website and there are many reasons why it is so. Here are some of them:
- Blogging creates new content and pages which is good for SEO
- It's a way to gain traffic
- It's a way of interacting with people
- It is the right place to put inbound links
18. Shareable content
Social media websites have undergone a huge growth during the past few years and are still growing. Here people post everything that they like,starting from songs, images up to researches and valuable studies. If you would like to be present on social media platforms, make sure to make your content shareable and add social media buttons on your page.
19. Multiple forms of content
Content is not just about the text. It's all about the set of things that keep people’s attention and give them some important information. So, make sure to use multiple forms of content, such as text, images, videos, audio, games and so on in order to keep people active.
It does not matter how much you advertise yourself and how engaging your website is, people have difficulties in trusting every single website. In order to solve this problem, make sure to provide them with some proofs, such as customer stories, testimonials and so on.
The purpose of CTAs is to make people take certain actions. CTAs are the main thing that are used to convert traffic into leads. So make sure to pay attention to the following things, such as: size of CTA, color, the overall design, simplicity and so on.
22. CTA positioning
In order to make the CTAs work you should position them in the right places of your webpage. Make sure to put them above or below the text or in any visible places of your web page, in order to catch users’ attention.
23. Landing page
Landing pages are used to convert users into leads by catching information about them with the help of different forms. Landing pages mainly consist of headlines, brief description of the offer, images, testimonials and forms to capture information.
Forms are the only way to get information about users. However everything is not so simple. In order to make people fill out these forms, you should keep the following things in your mind: only ask for the information you need, consider the value of the offer, do not ask too many questions and keep your form in a visible place.
The last thing you should do is offer subscription to your website and the best way to take advantage of it is having newsletters. Newsletters can be a great way of collecting users’ email addresses and nurturing these prospects.
So, here are 25 website must-haves in order to drive traffic, leads and sales. I hope that this article was interesting and will help you a lot in creating a great and powerful website. Do you have any questions or concerns? Please share them with us in the comments below.