If you’re in business, then having a website is almost always a necessity. However, just having a website is not enough, you need to have a GREAT website and you need it to get found. In this article, I’m going to talk primarily about the traits and features of an awesome business website – plus a little about ensuring your website gets found.
Here are my 15 top pointers on how to make a great website
1. Professionally done
This is not about having to spend a gazillion dollars, but about being professional and looking professional. First impressions do count and perception is very important.
2. Know your purpose
Websites are built for many reasons – sometimes education, or branding, or to generate leads or assist in the sales process. And sometimes a combination of all these; understand the purpose of your site before you start – if you’re clear why you’re getting a website, then you can be more on track with how it looks and what is included.
3. Do your due diligence
Over the years, I’ve seen some shocking websites that were clearly built by an amateur and regardless of your business industry, that then reflects poorly on you. Whilst cheapest is not always best, the most expensive doesn’t automatically make that website the best either. Shop around, get at least 3 proposals/quotes and do your due diligence. Check out their prior work and even ring the website owners (their customers) to see what the experience was like. Lots of great reviews might also lend confidence. Of course, read the fine print and their T&Cs in their proposal documents.
4. Ensure you own the website
Your website can be one of your most valuable ‘properties’ so make sure you own it after you’ve paid it to be built. I hate seeing people in business get ripped off, so take that extra time to make the right choice.
5. Ensure your website will be mobile-friendly
With 60% of searches being done via a mobile device (and that stat is just going up year by year) and the fact that Google penalises non-mobile friendly websites, it’s critical your site is mobile friendly and responsive. If you are in an industry like Food & Beverage, then the number of searches via a mobile device jumps to almost 75%. We spend 80% of our internet time via a mobile device (versus laptop or desktop) so make the user experience one which will encourage people to stay on your site longer.
6. Excellent structure, functionality and layout
Your site needs to flow logically, be easy to use and have clear navigation. Where possible, adopt the 3 click rule – someone should not have to click more than 3 times to get what they need. Sometimes internal links work well also. I suggest before you start building, you sit down and develop a bit of a ‘mud map’. For a basic standard site, you might have:
- News / Blogs
- You can have other pages including gallery, free stuff, members’ login etc.
7. Eye-catching banners and valuable footers
Your banner should catch your eye and really encourage people to read on. If you’ve got a written message over an image, please ensure it’s highly visible. Don’t forget that the footer of a website can be exceedingly powerful. If you service certain localities, then a great place to list the suburbs. Also listing (and linking) services here can be super helpful.
8. Extras to include
9. Exceptional content
What you write should sell your service, instil faith and answer people’s questions. Content should engage and compel people to reach out. It should be concise but detailed (that is, not super brief, nor waffling) and each page ideally be at least 400-500 words. It must be spell checked (ideally by two different people) and pass plagiarism software. Google loves fresh new content; copying someone else’s content will just get you penalised. It should be relevant AND have your targeted keywords in it. I am not talking about ‘keyword stuffing’ which Google frowns on and which usually doesn’t read well for a human being (who is actually our first priority).
10. A picture says a thousand words!
Ensure you select the right images and that they are relevant and attractive and that your design is suitably compressed. A compressed image retains the visual quality without being so large that it slows your website. Personally, I am for a minimum of at least one image per page. Ensure your images are not out of focus or pixilated. Remember also to name your images other than IMG5674 – but perhaps instead a specific (keyword-friendly name) like ‘Donna Stone Business Coach Sydney’ or ‘Business Coaching Services Melbourne’.
11. It needs to be visually appealing
The aesthetics of a website are absolutely important, as is ensuring you stick to your branding. Make visiting your website a nice experience, not one which is annoying or makes your eyeballs bleed. Tons of popups are annoying, centred text is hard to read and white text on black is also hard for the eye. Remember we read in a ‘F’ pattern (left to right, and then top to bottom) so structure your text to how the average person reads. Avoid more than 3 colours and more than 2 different fonts. Be consistent over your entire site with font sizes, styles etc.
12. CTAs and buttons stand out
Your site needs to have ‘Call to Action’ (CTAs) and if that is a button, then ensure it stands out. If your colour scheme is blue, then a blue button may be missed. Select a colour that contrasts but works with the other colours.
13. Quick, works and tested
Your site or page needs to load within 2 seconds. That’s not long, but if you’re sitting at a screen, it’s long enough. Impatient people just move on and a slow website gets ranked lower by Google. Test all the pages, links, buttons and contact page (regularly) and make sure everything works.
14. Get found!
Your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is very important. Just having a site isn’t enough; it’s got to be found. With over 2 billion websites in the world, it’s easy to get lost; so make sure you’re not sitting somewhere on page 18 or so in a Google search. People rarely go past page 2 so some hard work is needed to rank well. For myself, I rank on page 1 for a number of categories including Business Coach Brisbane, Business Mentor Brisbane and Business Coaching Australia. This didn’t happen overnight; it was the result of lots of hard work consistency and diligence. Check out my other article called Love Google and Google Will Love You.
15. It’s’ not ‘set and forget’!
I blog regularly and I’m constantly improving my website, adding content and improving it. Coaching businesses is a competitive market and just being great isn’t good enough; you’ve got to be found. The same goes for many industries.
I’m a business coach; not a website designer (but if you need a great one, let me know). However, as part of coaching, I review clients’ online profiles, websites, Facebook, LinkedIn and other listings to ensure they are putting their best foot forward. If you would like a website review (without ongoing coaching) this is an option – Business Analysis or give me a call on 0411 622 666.
My passion is your potential!