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10 crucial things your website must have, be or do

Putting a website together properly is not as easy as it seems. Keeping it up to date and making sure that it has the needed elements to be attractive, visible and easy to use it’s even harder, but with the 10 recommendations below, now you have at list a checklist to go by.

1. Good and easy to use navigation
If your visitor cannot find the information that she’s looking for in a click or two, she will lose interest and possibly leave. Don’t take that chance. Make it easy for your reader to find what they want… Don’t make them think!

2. Great content goes a long way
Relevant content is one sure way to get you noticed by both your potential audience and Google. Provide useful and factual information that you specialise on related to your company services and products. If you don’t have a blog yet, start now! Google places a lot of weight and good content, and the more relevant content you have, the more of an online authority in your field that you will become.

3. Be responsive or disappear
It’s 2014. If by now your website is not responsive, you’re behind… Surely some of your competitors (if not all) have a fully responsive website that adapts to the screen size (mobiles, tablets) for easier navigation and reading. Every year there are more and more internet users on mobile and in 2015 this number will surpass the desktop users.

4. Video killed the photo star
Now more than ever, video matters. It has been proved that video increases your conversion rates and increases the time a visitors stays on your page. It can also help drive more traffic thru your site, since now almost 70% of search results are videos (?).

5. Opensource CMS is the way to go
Opensource CMSs like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal present a lot of benefits both for website developers and website owners… First of all, it’s free! Secondly, they’re easy to use and it’s very easy to find support online. Because of their popularity, there are constant upgrades and plugins created for it, and as a website owner, you have the flexibility to find many developers who know to work on them.

6. Loading fast counts
A matter of seconds could be the difference between getting or losing a client. People are used to immediate gratification, immediate response, and no one cares to wait more than a couple of seconds for a website to load. It’s not only people that care, but apparently also robots. Yes, ranking high on Google seems to go hand in hand with website speed. So, you can improve both your user experience and your ranking on Google by making sure your website loads fast.

7. Call to action
Often websites have the right content, but they fail to encourage their visitors to take action… Or they make it hard for them to find a way to buy their products or contact them. Don’t lose potential clients by making this mistake. Have a clear call to action on your homepage, and even offer an incentive if possible. Also, don’t limit this call to action to your homepage. If possible, repeat in many or all pages.

8. Good (Great!) design
Bad or outdated design can really harm your image and have a negative influence on your visitors decision to take action. It can also highly contribute to bad user experience (difficult to read text, not clearly marked buttons, etc). It only take a few seconds for a visitor to form an impression of your company based on the way your website looks, and this impression (positive or negative) can only be enhanced by user experience.

9. Favicon… Favi who?
A favicon is the icon (usually the company logo or simpler version of logo) that appears on the browser window or tab. It’s one of the elements that help you build your brand and it also makes it easier to find your website when having many tabs open in the same browser window.

10. Connect to social media
Having links to your social media pages clearly shown on your page increases your visibility and your client engagement. Throw in a few icons to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or whatever platform you are using on your header, footer or any are that we be accessible from any page of your website. Assuming that you have good social media management, you can keep your audience informed about your services and products and get their feedback, creating a stronger bond with them.

Our experiences of cooperation with Evocreative are excellent.

Ing. Jan Banout PhD.

Ing. Jan Banout PhD.

Deputy director for international relations at Czech University of Life Sciences Prague