All of us have seen the websites that just make us cringe. The design is poor, colors are weird, various fonts are used, the site is difficult to navigate - and on and on. Needless to say, these sites are probably visited rarely, and for sure are not on the “repeat visit” list. There are many companies out there who claim to build good websites - and most of them are strong in one or two areas, but weak in others. OR they throw every possible bell and whistle into the website, leaving you, the customer, over budget and clueless about how to make simple updates. The later option may look good, but be a confusing, fluffed up, expensive frustration to you.
VisionAmp now has close to 1000 clients since we started in 2007 - from the small auto shop owner, all the way to state universities and banks. So, here’s a list of things that should ring true when creating or evaluating your website:
The first thing you need is a simple, sensible web address. Don’t make it complicated! It should reflect your brand, and should be easy to type in a web browser or into an email address. The best extension is .com, but .org and other options may have to be used depending on availability. If you are a non-profit, the .org is usually used. A simple web address is the beginning of a strong site and a successful business.
The five letters - HTTPS - that appear before a website’s domain name/address are more than just letters. However, each day millions of people venture online without even giving these letters a second glance. If you rely on sales from your website, or your site takes any kind of personal information from users, this is even more important. Your customers want to know that their personal information is safe. In fact, only about 3% of all users have said that they enter their credit card information on websites that are not secure, or missing the green padlock. That’s 97% that may be wanting a product you have, but are leaving your site to go to a more secure site. Don’t go another day without a secure website, and more importantly, don’t submit information to a site that is not secure.
People who stumble onto your website shouldn’t have to become a detective to figure out what’s what and where to go. It should be obvious that when someone lands on your site that it is exactly what they were looking for. Using clear descriptions, including meta descriptions, will help attract more visitors, and subsequently more customers. Your descriptions should be concise, and should adhere to your brand, mission, etc.
There should be clear links to the most important pages on your website. An up-to-date site map will help them navigate more easily. Lay the site out clearly and logically. Using dropdown menus in the navigation menu will help the visitor see the most important content under every heading regardless of where they are on your site. The key is to make it extremely easy for your visitors to find what they’re looking for.
You would be surprised at how difficult it is to find the contact information on many websites. Losing a customer to a competitor just because your contact info is hidden is not the path to success. Not every visitor on your site will have the patience to click through every page to find the contact info. Include your contact information on every page - possibly in the footer or on the sidebar. Consider including several ways for them to contact you - email, phone number, etc.
At VisionAmp we are extremely passionate about making your website work for you. That is why we are relentless in the pursuit of a well optimized, converting website. VisionAmp believes that your website should be the center of your marketing efforts, and with that comes some accountability. Your website should be a salesperson that is working 24/7 for your business.
Since 2007, VisionAmp’s award-winning company has helped hundreds of businesses grow and acquire more customers by building websites that work! We take great pride in being transparent, affordable and ridiculously good at what we do. Contact us at email@example.com for more information.
-Written by David Jackson, VisionAmp Content Specialist