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10 Tips to Build An Effective Website for Your Business


Gif of website elements

No matter what industry you’re in, it’s now virtually non-negotiable to have a business website.


Of course, you can’t just cobble together any old website and hope it’ll do.


There are certain boxes you still need to tick in order to get a website that actually benefits your business.


Here are some tips that can get you started:


 

1. Make a responsive site


Image of website search bar

This is one of the most important boxes to tick when building a website today. It ensures your site will present properly on mobile devices.


In fact, you may even want to opt for mobile-first design and development. That’s instead of taking something like the graceful degradation approach.


The latter option would mean designing for desktop first, then gradually degrading the website to work on mobile devices.


But given that the majority of people now access most websites on mobile first, you really want to address the mobile experience before anything else.


It’s also a consideration for Google’s search engine results page (SERP) rankings, as a bonus.



2. Put user experience first


Image representing user experience

Google does, so why shouldn't you?


This will often feed right into your SEO, so it makes sense. Besides, you want to cater to your target consumers’ needs and ease-of-experience from the get-go.


For example, make contact and pricing info easy to find.


Simplify navigation and ensure the most important pages can be visited in just a few clicks from the homepage.


All of these things make a website visitor’s life much easier.



3. Make it snappy


Drawings of website layout

This ties directly into the tip on making user experience ideal.


You want your business website to load quickly. Don't overload it with Flash elements or other media that just slow it down.


Remember: some people have slow connections. Even more have underdeveloped patience.


Besides, Google considers page load speed a ranking factor, so it helps your SEO (search engine optimisation) to stay snappy.



4. Use consistent branding


Drawings representing website layout

Brand colours, style, fonts, tone - all of these things matter on a business website. You should keep them cohesive.


That’s because staying consistent establishes your identity as a brand to the consumer.


Moreover, it makes you seem reliable. Consumers like dependability in businesses.




5. Ensure content is accurate


People sticking post it notes on a board

This one should be pretty much a given. Make sure that anything you put on the website is accurate, from info about your services to your people.


Anything else would be unprofessional and you want to look like a credible company.


Again, the goal is to help consumers feel as though they can depend on and trust you.






6. Consider SEO


Keyboard highlighting the word SEO

SEO is mandatory if you want your business to be discoverable online. Without it, you run the risk of never actually reaching your target consumers.


There are many ways to see to your website’s SEO, of course. SEO is also so broad and complex that it wouldn’t be possible to discuss it in a brief tip.


But to start with, some things to think about are your headings and content. Are they optimised and keyword-rich?


What about your site structure? Is it clean?


Do you have meta descriptions and metadata? Are there alt tags for your images?


Are there broken links that you can fix?


These questions and more point to the things you can do for site SEO.



7. Use original images


Image of website screen on an iPad

Yes, stock images are easier to get.


Unfortunately, they’re also dubious because of that.


Since just about anyone can get them, they get reused a lot, which can hurt your site’s individuality.


Using original media helps you stand out. It also establishes credibility, as it tells visitors that you’re a proper company with the ability and funds to make your own images.




8. Link to your social media and use social proof


Screens representing the different social media websites

This means you should link to your business’s social media pages directly from your site. Doing so helps establish authority and trust.


Moreover, you should add social proof to your website. Again, it helps shore up your credibility.


To this end, you can present testimonials, reviews, etc. You’ve probably seen some business websites note the major publications that have reviewed or mentioned them - that works too!



9. Build with the visitor journey and your funnels in mind


Image to represent increase of website visitors

What do you want to achieve? Ask that before building your business website.


Sites typically have several purposes, even for small and medium enterprises. They can be about sales, authority-building, and the like.


You should consider those goals and the journey visitors take to reach those goals when planning your site.


Map out the various paths they may travel to reach key points, such as subscribing to your service, buying from a product page, sending you contact details through a lead form, etc.


Try to shape your site in a way that reduces friction as much as possible for those paths.


You can identify touch points and key pages using these paths, as well as figure out which content to put where if you know how people progress on your site.


Doing so can help you nurture leads and conversions, and thus build a site that truly supports your business.



10. Be smart about calls to action or CTAs


"Sign up" Call to action button

Finally, note that business websites will always have CTAs. But you should put them where they belong and make sure they stand out (say, by using bright or eye-catching colours for them).


As for putting them where they belong, don’t put irrelevant CTAs on pages. For example, it's usually unwise to put a "Buy Now" CTA on your About page since that’s not why most people visit an About page.


Try to match your CTAs to the stage of the customer journey (more on this later) a visitor to the site occupies when visiting a particular page.


If they're on a page that discusses what the most common kitchen renovation services are, for instance, they're likely still learning about kitchen renovation.


That means a CTA to hire your company for a kitchen renovation probably won't be all that effective. They’re still discovering it and haven’t made up their minds about it!


A CTA to download a guide or resource material that further educates them on it might do better.


Or a CTA to visit similar pages on your site that have to do with service discovery.


You can even leave a CTA to contact you, to get a consultation without obligations.


For example, it wouldn’t be optimal for us to launch right into a CTA to hire us for website creation on this page.


That’s because you’re likely on this article because you’re still researching the process of business website creation or considering doing it yourself.


It would make more sense for us to offer you a chance to consult with us with no obligations to chat on what you may need for your business website.


You know you still have the option to remain in the stage of service discovery that way, without having to commit to any services just yet if you’re not ready.


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