Websites have changed significantly since the birth of the web and with technologies and devices evolving all the time staying on top of your website can be tricky. Where once Flash ruled the web when it came to animation, the growth in mobile devices (almost all of which can’t play flash animation) has meant the development of HTML5 to incorporate this style of animation. This type of coding will be far beyond many of us it should be noted that it can be complex and time consuming and as such comes at a cost.
Whether you try to build your site yourself through on of the many number of platforms available such as WordPress, Magento, Wix and 1&1, or you turn to a professional developer to create a bespoke solution for you, current technologies will undoubtedly play a part in the finished article.
There are however ways to make your website engaging and appealing to your audience that don’t cost large sums of money and in most cases they will also help with your search engine optimisation (SEO).
Everything on your site should be accessible from your homepage, search engines such as Google and Bing look at this page as a “table of content” for your site and if you hide pages away they will deem them less important. If you have a blog within your site obviously not all pages can be listed on the homepage. You should be aiming to get your users from your homepage to their required page in as fewer click as possible.
Logo and Images
Having your company logo in a prime position on your website is a clear signal to visitors of the site that it’s yours and will distinguish it from others. It will also help to build brand awareness and improves familiarity which in turn encourages loyalty to your brand. Images should be used throughout your site to not only make it more ascetically pleasing but also as a way of increasing the number of alt tags within your site.
Make it obvious what you want users to do or see
Have a clear message as to what you want visitors to your site to do, if you’re looking for them to make a purchase make it easy for them to do this. If you’re looking to increase the number of email signups have your form in an obvious place and have multiple ways for users to navigate to this form.
Having a tagline on your site give users a clear message as to what they can achieve from your business, this doesn’t need to be a long paragraph about your business just a short punchy statement such as “Helping businesses increase their online presence”.
The single most important thing on your website is your content, this is for a number of reasons. It will determine your ranking within search engines (unless you’re running a PPC campaign), tell your users what you want them to do, what you can do for them, the products and services you offer, any promotions you’re running and it will keep your audience coming back for more.
With great content comes the opportunity for this to be shared, making it easy for users to share and encouraging them to do so will deliver you content to a wider audience and further increase your online presence. Whether you’re on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or one of the many other platforms available adding these options is a must.
Including ways for visitors to your site to contact you is particularly important if they are unable to find what they are looking for or require additional information on a product or service you provide. Adding a map and directions both helps users find where you are and is becoming an increasingly useful tool within local search ranking.