If you ask most business owners what they think of their own websites, some might say they are happy with them but most would probably admit that they needed work. However if you pressed them for specifics as to what their sites may be lacking they are typically at a loss. They are not alone. While websites have become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, most web users could not tell you what makes a good site or a bad site but they can certainly feel it. The absence of elements that provide core tools and information on a website frustrate visitors and minimize the sites value as a marketing tool.
So what are these basic elements that are needed? What transforms a website from a weak marketing tool into promotional powerhouse? At SynaVista we have developed hundreds of sites and along the way have adopted an effective design approach that leverages emerging opportunities as well as tried and true best practices. When laid out in front of most people Â they make perfect sense, but unless your web developer is experienced in information design, graphic design, and marketing you may end up with a website that can never provide the marketing boost your business needs.
So here are some of the basics. While some sites may not need everything, this checklist offers key elements that should at least be considered before being intentionally omitted from any design.
Overall Site Characteristics:
- Imagery and color palette should compliment the brand and messaging.
- Site should have clear and consistent main navigation.
- Contact Information as Text – This needs to be text not a raster image so Google can read it and so that mobile browsers will respond to the phone number with a tap to call link. (Hopefully your site is mobile responsive, if it’s not here’s why you need to consider a responsive design.)
- Site Search – Allows visitors to find what they need and allows site owners to see what visitors are searching for on their site.
- Headline – Should convey to visitors, “What does this site offer?” in clear concise language.
- Call to Action – What do you want visitors to your site to do? Buy, Download?
- Value Proposition – Why should visitors choose your business. Better quality? Experience? Make your case.
- Features and Benefits – Identify and promote business qualities that make you stand out
- Products and/or Services – Include the most important ones for customers and search engines to see in a prominent way on your home page
- Testimonials – Use customersâ€™ success stories to validate your value proposition
- News – Fresh content added to the site on a regular basis looks good to search engines and tells visitors that you are a vigorous thriving market force.
- Specials – Sales and promotions to engage visitors and entice sales.
- Success Indicators – Awards and professional affiliations help bolster visitorsâ€™ view of your business.
- Social Media Tools – Allow visitors to connect with you through Facebook Twitter and email and other social media.
There are many other elements and decisions that must be navigated, and these depend greatly on each individual businessâ€™ site. This core list however, Â is a good way to start evaluating your site.
If you find your site lacking, contact us. Our talented staff can design a new site for your business that will supercharge your marketing to grow your business.