From the get-go of building a website for your company, it’s important to never underestimate the effect it can have for your business. Developing an online presence is basically a necessity in this day and age, and having a website is key to that.
Your website is like the central hub of online activity relating to your business. Everything leads back to it, and it leads outwards to all the other places you have a presence.
Which takes us to the first thing your website needs: links or widgets taking people straight to your social media accounts. This article from The Content Factory excellently explains why social media is so important:
Why is social media important to businesses? Because your brand doesn’t really exist online if you’re not represented across all social channels – and regularly interacting with your followers, journalists who cover your industry, thought leaders and tastemakers, etc.
Here’s one very important reason you may not have considered — it’s fun! Hosting a Twitter chat to celebrate a new product launch, getting your geek on while you A/B test Facebook ads, or sharing pop-culture polls for your followers to weigh in on — these are all activities that build brand awareness, boost web traffic and lead to loyal customers.
But unlike many traditional marketing tactics with the same goals, these tasks are actually fun in addition to driving real value for your company.
But once you get people to your website, you need something there to make them want to stay. Being mobile-friendly is one; having a well-made and easy-to-navigate site that looks modern and is fast and functional is another.
With your competition at your customer’s fingertips, it’s easier than ever for them to take their business elsewhere if you don’t meet their wants and needs. Mariah Liszewski gives more details in a guest post on BeckyMollenkamp.com:
Your website is your biggest business asset and your best employee. It runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year—even when you’re sleeping. If your website isn’t benefiting your business, it’s not effective.
Big and hard-to-read text, distracting functionality, clashing colors, or poorly executed web elements are a thing of the past. Outdated websites lose credibility with their audience and miss out on evolving website technology that can make them more powerful platforms.
An ugly, outdated website isn’t doing anyone any good. Some people think “any web presence is better than none,” but that is a one-way ticket to losing business.
Beyond having a great looking site, you also need it to be actually useful. Make sure that everything you put on the site adds value to it, and keep your bar high when it comes to quality control.
Having quality content means you satisfy the needs of everyone visiting your website, which is good for your traffic and your reputation, resulting in gaining more customers. Essentially, please more to get more. If you want a clearer idea of what quality content is, Patrick Stox from SearchEngineLand.com has written an article on just that:
There are some tips on how to make your site useful, credible and engaging; however, when it comes to being more valuable or high-quality, Google basically says, “be more valuable or high-quality.”
As you begin creating content, make sure your website is:
Useful and informative: If you’re launching a site for a restaurant, you can include the location, hours of operation, contact information, menu and a blog to share upcoming events.
More valuable and useful than other sites: If you write about how to train a dog, make sure your article provides more value or a different perspective than the numerous articles on the web on dog training.
Credible: Show your site’s credibility by using original research, citations, links, reviews and testimonials. An author biography or testimonials from real customers can help boost your site’s trustworthiness and reputation.
High-quality: Your site’s content should be unique, specific and high-quality. It should not be mass-produced or outsourced on a large number of other sites. Keep in mind that your content should be created primarily to give visitors a good user experience, not to rank well in search engines.
Engaging: Bring color and life to your site by adding images of your products, your team or yourself. Make sure visitors are not distracted by spelling, stylistic and factual errors. An excessive number of ads can also be distracting for visitors. Engage visitors by interacting with them through regular updates, comment boxes or social media widgets.
Fulfilling these three needs is a great start to creating a fantastic website, and from there you can get a clearer idea of what else you think your site needs.