In order to get ahead in the modern business world, a good business website is essential to your long-term success. At Way of the Web, we are experts on what makes a good business website work. We have spent years researching and putting into practice the techniques and strategies that produce the highest quality of online digital material. We will now share with you, ten essential things that every website needs.
10 Things That Will Help You Get The Most Out Of Your Website
1. A Good Domain Name
A good business name not only helps your customers find and remember your website, it also prevents your competition from potentially hijacking your brand and can majorly affect your search engine ranking.
The best domain names for a business with international relations usually end with .com, (for example) www.yourbrand.com. These domains are highly sought after and in some cases depending on the popularity of the name you are after, you may end up paying thousands for them. If you are lucky, no-one has snatched up your brand name and you can get it for around $10USD.
For a business that only deals with other local businesses and clients, it is generally better to go with a domain name that ends with the suffix of the country in which your business resides. For instance, for an Australian business the best domain name option would be (example) www.yourbrand.com.au. The (.au) part on the end tells search engines and local users that your business operates primarily within the region of that suffix. Because these domains are only useful to the people of that region, they are more likely to be available and can often be obtained for as little as $10USD.
For an organization, such as a charity or a community group, then the .org option is usually the best, (for example) www.yourgroup.org. These domains are also quite popular and you may need to pay a significant amount of money to acquire them. However, it is certainly worth the investment if you are serious about seeing your business or organization reach the big time. The price for websites ending with .org that are not already taken is usually between $13-20USD.
2. Social Media Integration
Social media is becoming more and more important as more and more people look to sites like Facebook and Twitter for their information and social interactions. Most modern business professionals have a linked in account for networking and gaining access to new employment opportunities. Every business should have at the very least a Facebook account and a Twitter account. In fact these two social networks can be linked up so that you only need to update one to update both, making it convenient and easy to connect with your users and raise awareness of your brand.
Every time we make a business website at Way of the Web, we automatically create these social networking profiles for our customers in order to ensure that their businesses receive maximum exposure to their customers and they will also benefit from the valuable high profile back-links that come with having these accounts established. These back-links will help your business show up at the top of a Google search for your business.
3. Unique Content
In order to get the best results from your website, you will need to have information on your website that hasn’t been seen before. Google, Yahoo, Bing and all the other top search engines like to give their users access to the most current and original information. This is how they ensure that their users are getting the best quality information and are more likely to find what they are looking for.
If you are going to use information present on other websites, make sure that you alter it enough so that it appears to be original to the search engine programs that cross-reference it for originality. If these programs a.k.a robots, find that your content is not original and has been taken from elsewhere, they are likely to penalize your business in their search rankings, which can be very bad for a business hoping to increase their exposure.
4. Site Map
Have an organized and simplistic sitemap. Allow your customers to access your information with ease and with as few actions as possible. A good sitemap will also help search engines to index your website and it’s pages more effectively and this will once again, improve the search engine ranking of your website.
5. User Experience
Also known as ‘UI’ or ‘UX. The user experience is the overall quality of experience that a user gets from visiting your website. When establishing a concept for a website, the following three things should always be considered equally.
The look of a website relates primarily to the original impression that a website gives off when a user first arrives at their online destination. Such as the apparent credibility of a page, the level of professionalism and the quality of the graphical content.
The feel of a website is essentially the design qualities of the website which can’t be attributed to a sterile interpretation. This highlights the important of coming up with a good holistic concept for your site; so throughout its design the website designer can give adequate attention to the peripherals as well as the main component and the end product should be able to impress upon the user the desired positive feelings.
The usability of a website relates to the ease at which the online customer or user can achieve their intended goal. Whether it be to purchase the product they were after, obtain direct contact information, find essential information easily and many more considerations.
The ultimate quality of a website is always determined by these three components. At Way of the Web, as experienced professional website designers, we are experts at going above and beyond our customers expectations to create an end product which is entirely comprehensive of these three crucial considerations.
6. About Us
What does your business do? Who does your business service? Who are the people that make your business? Why does your business exist?
If you can answer these questions on your website it will save you valuable time and effort in answering them through correspondence. It may also prevent you from losing possible business from customers who can’t be bothered chasing you up for that information.
Why? In this day and age, it is not enough for people to know the what, they also want to know the why. Why should they choose your business over your competitors? What does your business stand for, what makes it special? People want to feel like they are contributing to a positive cause when they give you their business. It is not an absolute necessity but it will generate customer loyalty and retention like nothing else.
Research has shown that consumers proactively search for and give their loyalty to businesses that can present the impression of being about more than taking your money. Take ‘Steve Jobs’ for example, ‘Richard Branson’, these bigger than life characters put their businesses on the world stage like no-one else because they were able to make people believe in their causes. Learn from their success.
This can be one of the hardest things for a business that is new to the web. Establishing a blog takes time, effort and patience, and most businesses don’t bother. This gives the businesses that do a huge advantage.
Every blog post acts like a new content rich web page which is picked up by search engines and ranked accordingly. With a good enough blog you can actually push many of your competitors off the first page of search engines as they rank your new and original data with your chosen keywords over the stale business sites of your competitors. A blog might seem like a lot of an effort, but as an investment it is well worth your time and effort and whatever you put in you will get back many times fold in business and exposure.
8. Easy Point of Contact
The time of your users is precious and many of them hate wasting their time trying to find a phone number or email in a haystack. Not everyone is going to be satisfied with looking at your website, many people will want a point of contact and you lose nothing by making this easy for them. Don’t irritate your current and potential customers, display your contact information and display it proud, always provide a direct link from the landing page.
9. Customer Testimonials
More often than not, it isn’t enough to hear how good you are from your own lips, people will want a second opinion. By having customer testimonials you can show your users that you are proud of your service and products and you value the opinion of your customers. It also allows new customers to benefit from the experiences of others and create a favorable expectation of your business product.
10. A Good Reliable Hosting Service
All web servers will experience some downtime due to scheduled maintenance, however the good hosting providers will have that at an absolute minimum. Make sure you invest in a hosting service that suits your business needs. If you have a lot of large content using up your bandwidth make sure your server can handle it so your website isn’t slow and unresponsive. Slow websites get penalized by search engines. So there is no point in investing a lot of money in your websites search ranking only to have it suffer because of a bad hosting service.
At Way of the Web we offer highly competitive fully managed hosting services to suit your business needs, you can contact us to arrange a quote for your business.