1. A custom domain name
One of the most important elements for online success is the domain name you choose for your website. If you are not familiar with the term ‘domain name’, it basically means your website address, e.g., ‘mybusiness.com’.
Domain names consist of two parts, the name which goes before the dot (mybusiness) and the domain extension which goes after it (com). When deciding a domain name, you’ll have some choice over both of these.
A key factor in your choice of domain has to be the name of your company as this will associate your website with your brand. Other points to consider are keeping it short enough to remember, easy to type (especially on a phone), and whether to include keywords (smithsbuilders.com) or locations (smithsleeds.com).
2. Mobile-friendly design
With 60% of surfing done on mobile phones, a mobile-friendly website is an absolute must for businesses. Without one, search engines will downrank your website and any mobile visitors you do get will find the content so hard to read, they’ll quickly abandon your site.
A mobile-friendly website, also known as a responsive site, is one which modifies its display for different devices. So, regardless of which model of smartphones or tablet a visitor is using, everything can be easily viewed and navigated. Aside from display, mobile-friendly sites need to adapt to the technology used by smartphones and be able to load quickly on older, slower 3G networks and public wi-fi.
3. Search engine optimisation (SEO)
Search engine optimisation is the process of setting your website up to perform well on search engines. The better you do this, the more chance you have of getting more of the visitors you want to your website. Well-optimised sites can see a massive growth in both traffic and sales.
There are three strands to SEO: on-site, on-page and off-site. Each strand focuses on different criteria that search engines use to rank sites in their search results.
On-site SEO requires you to make your website load quickly, be mobile friendly, easily navigable and be structured in a way that search engines can find and index all the content you publish.
On-page SEO is designed to let search engines understand the subject matter of each page, post and product on your site. This requires you to use relevant keywords and topic words in titles, headings, meta descriptions and general content. To be most successful, you’ll need to research the keywords that customers are using in their searches.
Off-site SEO focuses on improving your website’s domain authority, i.e., its online reputation. In particular, it is about getting other websites with good reputations to link to your site. The idea is that if good sites link to your pages, your content must be good too, and this helps you rank higher. This will only happen if you create content good enough for high-quality sites to link to you, so it is a difficult task to achieve. A note of caution, however, is that trying to get lots of links by buying them or swapping them in order to achieve higher ranking can lead search engines to give you a penalty – in other words, you’ll disappear from their results.
4. Easy navigation
Patience isn’t a virtue on the internet. More than half of all users abandon a site within 15 seconds and part of this problem is caused by visitors not being able to find what they are looking for quickly enough.
The solution to this is straightforward. As soon as a person lands on your homepage, or any other page for that matter, the subject matter of the page needs to be made obvious.
At the same time, you have to make it incredibly easy for them to find the things that they want. This means providing search boxes and menus in expected places and making sure that menus are well organised. For menus to be effective, you’ll need to structure your content effectively, putting posts and products into relevant categories and subcategories and linking pages in logical ways. Menu labels and category titles also need to be user-friendly.
5. Great content
Customers need more than a hard sell if they are going to buy your products and use your services. They need problems solving, questions answering and doubts allaying. They’ll want to know the benefits of the product or service and why your company is the best place to go.
Getting it right means creating different types of content, such as product descriptions, specifications, customer reviews, FAQs, pricing options and informative blog posts. The more you can educate visitors about what you are offering, the more informed they will be when making the decision. Additionally, customers are likely to prefer a business that has gone to the trouble of giving them the information they need and this increases the chance of them buying from you.
There is a lot to consider when starting up a new business website, so it is crucial that you get things off to the right start. Hopefully, the points raised in this post will help your site make your business more successful. With a well-chosen domain name, mobile-friendly design, SEO, easy navigation and great content, you’ll be in good standing to attract visitors and generate new business.