Whether you’re building a new website, or working to make your existing site the best that it can be, use this checklist of 8 Qualities of a Good Website to ensure your site will be attractive, solid and visible.
1. A solid domain name. Yes, competition for good domain names is getting fierce. So, be flexible, but use good sense when choosing a domain. If your “.com” address is already taken, resist the urge to add a hyphen, or to go with the “.net” version. In the end, you’ll lose visitors with these options, so take a little extra time to get creative and find the perfect “.com.”
2. A clear identity. Pay close attention the next time you’re surfing the Internet. Watch for sites with logos or titles that are obscure, or a design so cluttered with ads and banners that the pertinent information gets lost. So, keep your identity visible. And, be brief and concise with your text. You don’t need a lot of buzzwords to tell me you clean pools; just cut to the chase and tell me why you’re the perfect pool cleaner for me.
3. Visible contact information. Web surfers and web patrons have short attention spans, so don’t make your customers do a virtual excavation for your contact info. A common location for the “Contact Us” link is in the upper right, or in the main navigation, so either of these is a good choice. Ideally, your contact information will be on each page of your site, with multiple points of contact, such as phone, email and an easy-to-use contact form. Inclusion of a Google map is a bonus for those with a physical presence.
4. Good navigation. Navigation is your site’s GPS. Take some time to visit your own site, and be sure key pages like Services or Products are easy to locate. Just as homes are easier to find with a good map, web content is easier to find with good navigation. If you don’t have it, your competition likely will.
5. Well-constructed pages. A website should be easy to use, which means easy navigation, proper utilization of links and callouts (your virtual tour guides), and information displayed so that it is not only informative, but attractive as well. Critical information, such as who you are, and how you can be found, should be easily accessible.
6. Good content. Good doesn’t only mean interesting; it also means accurate, fresh and well-communicated. Remember, web visitors have short attention spans, so: be clear and succinct, use proper grammar (or spend a few bucks on a good editor), spell your words correctly, be accurate, be relevant, and update your content regularly. Blogs and social media updates are great ways to add fresh content, which not only keeps readers coming back, but is a good SEO strategy as well.
7. Security. Of course, use strong passwords for your accounts. Also, if your site is built on a platform like WordPress or Magento, be sure to ask your web designer or web host about keeping the platform updated. In addition to adding new functionality, these periodic updates often address security issues found by other users and developers.
8. Testimonials. In today’s social world, shoppers increasingly rely on the feedback of others, even if they’ve never met them. Testimonials from a client or customer feel more genuine than sales copy written by the website owner. Resist the urge to make up your own testimonials — savvy visitors will catch you cheating.
For more information on website design or internet marketing, give us a call at (281) 816-6932, or visit us at www.bigsplashwebdesign.com.