Every business needs to have an online presence nowadays! No matter what type of business you have, chances are that prospective customers will search for your products or services online. However, just as important as it may be to have a website – it’s even more important to stand out and have a perfectly optimized and user-friendly website! a great website will not only catch the prospective client/customers attention – it will also be set up with all the important points needed to rank better on search engines – which means you get found faster!
Today we are sharing with you the 28 principles to a perfectly optimized and managed site so that you can stand out from the competition!
Responsive Design: A “responsive website” allows for an easy and streamlined use on all platforms (PC, tablet, phone etc.) and adapts to the size of any screen it is being viewed on. It also helps increase traffic! Want to know more about responsive designs (and why they are important to have?) Click HERE!
Great Layout: Your homepage / landing page should have a great layout with easy to find and relevant information.
Social Media: Make it easy for users to find and access your social media profiles so they can follow you and interact!
Call To Action: Want people to call you, email you, place an order, request a quote (or more)? Make sure to add a CLEAR call to action on each page. Give it a clear label as well like: “Shop Now!” or “Request A Quote”
Site Load Time: If your website loads too slowly – customers will become impatient and leave. Aim to have your website load in 3-5 second or less.
Easy To Read Font: Make sure your font is easy to read on all platforms (PC, phone, tablet)
Alt Tags: Your images should have descriptive Alt Tags – that include keywords!
Text – Background Contrast: Keep in mind that screen resolutions (and eyes) vary. Don’t go too crazy with background and text colors that are hard on the eyes (ie: Red Font on Green Background). Keep it simple and easy on the eyes.
Custom 404/Not Found Page: Having a blank 404/not found page can lead people away from your website. Customizing a page to include things like a link back to another helpful page or the homepage is ideal so users can stay and continue their search.
Company Logo: Make sure your logo is prominently placed on your website and easy to find. Also, don’t skimp on a logo! A logo is how people will identify your brand! Be sure to have a clean cut and eye-catching logo and that it is created in a few different formats for proper use on websites, avatars, social media banners, etc. If you don’t have the knowledge to create your own crisp logo, make sure to hire a graphic designer to do it right! We can help!
Contact Info: Your contact information should be easy to find. Customers do not want to search through the fine print on the bottom of that page to figure out how to speak to you. Include more than one option to contact you as well! Customers like having more than one option to contact you at their convenience – like phone, email (link or form), social media. Make sure you are responding quickly as well. If possible list your response time on your contact form area (i.e: hours of operation & “we will get back to you within 24 hours/ next business day”)
Make Your Point Clear on Your Home/Landing Page: Customers should know the gist of what your business is about as soon as they scroll through your homepage or landing page. Make sure they can understand the basics of what you offer – you can go into detailed information on other web page links.
Tagline: Your tagline is a great way to help make a clear message and explain your purpose. Make it short, fun and impactful.
About/Learn More: Customers and prospects want to learn more about you, your company and your staff! make sure to add one or more pages with information they want to read (i.e: About Us, Meet The Team, What We Do, Press Media Coverage etc)
Easy Page Navigation: Make sure customers can find information and links easily! Your site’s navigation should be easy, clean and simple. When people can’t find the information they need – they will leave.
Navigation Labels: Keep labels on your navigation tabs clear and concise.
Don’t Over-do Menus & Sub Menus: Having too many categories and sub menus can get super confusing. Again – keep it easy to find information.
Site Search: Make sure to have a super easy to find “SEARCH” bar on your website. Make sure it stands out and is not too hidden. Some visitors will go straight to your navigation menu then to your search bar in order to find the information they want.
Links: If you have links on your website or website’s blog – make sure they are easily identifiable. Make them a different color from the rest of the text.
Amazing Content: Content is king! Make sure your website has keywords (and keyword phrases) sprinkled throughout, detailed information, and a blog with valuable information and keywords/phrases! The more you update your content (i.e: add blog posts) the more Google will update your search ranking! Just make sure your blog content contains VALUABLE information and is related to your niche/industry. (i.e: do not blog/write about “fitness tips” if you have a pest control company.)
Style & Colors: Keep your website’s styles and colors consistent. Create a branding color scheme board/template and make sure to keep in line with the colors of your brand.
Pop-Ups/ Ads: It’s okay to have ads or pop-ups on your site – just make sure they are not being forced down peoples throats and use them sparingly. Having to close too many pop-ups will annoy a visitor and they may decide to exit your site. Use sparingly!
Good URLs: Making sure your URLs are descriptive is great for visitors AND search engines.
HTML Page Titles: Descriptive page titles are also great for search engine identification. Use keywords – but dont overdo it. Clear and concise is the way to go.
Concise Main Content/Copy: Look at your homepage (and other pages as well). Ask yourself if you can convey the same message in less copy (words). If you can – do so and keep it concise.
Bold Wording: Use bold wording sparingly to better convey important points. Overuse will only take away from important messages and points you are trying to make.
Critical Content Above “The Fold”: The “fold” is the imaginary line where the bottom of your computer screen cuts off the page. Your main objective and message should fit above that fold so it is seen right away!
SEO: Make sure to learn at least the basics of SEO and integrate it into your website and blog. This will help you stand out in search engine results and get found faster! SEO can be the crucial key to being found or getting lost in online searches! Want to learn more about SEO basics? Check out our recent blog posts: 5 Quick + Actionable SEO Tips To Optimize Your Business’s Blog Posts and 4 SEO Mistakes You Are Making On Your WordPress Website (+ How To Fix Them)
Your website should tell your story, create conversations that build relationships and make the crucial first impression of your company and brand! Making sure it is user-friendly is important! Is there one or more points listed that stand out to you? We hope this list helps you take a deeper look at your website and the importance of the usability principles, in order to set you apart from your competition. If you need any assistance with your website design, SEO and content – we are always here to help!