Whether you are looking for a website makeover, WordPress conversion or a new website, there are some things that you must have!
Simple, Clean Design
The goal of your website is typically for your visitor to take some sort of action. When you have added too many images, every plugin you can think of, too many social media distractions, extensive page content your website will become a distraction. Keep it simple, keep it clear and make it easy to navigate. Provide the information your visitors are searching for, add a contact form or sign up form that’s easily visible. Make sure to go through your own website as you were a visitor regularly. Every time I do this on my own website, I find something that needs improvement.
Make it Easy to Contact You
Just like you should have a clear call to action, your contact information should be just as clear. Add your phone number to your website header or make it easy to find your dedicated contact page. If you decide on a contact form, make your form simple by asking only what you need to know. The shorter and faster it is to complete, the more conversions you will see. Also, test your contact form regularly to ensure it’s working and experience what your visitors are experiencing.
Note: Avoid adding your email to your website as you will be vulnerable to email spam. I recommend using only a phone number and contact form. Contact forms are also susceptible to spam, so install Captcha on your website to reduce your spam.
Your navigation (or Menu) should be simple and consistent throughout your entire website. When your website is too difficult to navigate, visitors get confused and they will leave to a competitor’s website. Incorporate the same navigation bar in the same place on every page and keep the navigation contents consistent and to the point. Some WordPress themes have a Breadcrumbs feature. If this is a feature available to you, I would activate breadcrumbs as it provides visitors another method of finding their way throughout your website.
High Quality and Resized Images
These days using high quality images is a priority. Your images tell your story. They provide an experience for your website visitor. Investing in royalty free images or a photographer in the end pays for itself. Make sure you are resizing and editing your images to fit properly for specific areas of your website. Using images that are too large, low quality, or unrelated images sends a message to your visitors that your work or product is low quality.
Good tools for images are:
Large images also make your website slow, so re-size your images to appropriate sizes and convert all of your images to 72 dpi to make sure they display as clearly as possible.
Calls to Action
What action do you want your visitors to take? Whatever that action may be, add it to your website, make it easy to find, and make it easy to take the action. Don’t be shy to tell your visitors what you want them to do:
- Call us now
- Order Now
- Call us for a quote
- Sign for a free consultation
A clear call to action helps you generate sales and capture future customers.
Keep it Above the Fold
The “fold” refers to the bottom of a customer’s window on a Web page; for visitors to see anything “below the fold,” they have to scroll down. Instead of burying your most valuable content at the bottom of the page, catch the attention of your visits by adding important content above the fold. Visitors are more likely to move on vs. scroll down for more information.
Search Engine Optimization
Unfortunately, creating a new website doesn’t automatically bring you customers. Search engine optimization is important for establishing your connection with Google and allowing potential customers to find you. To do this it’s important to:
- Create a sitemap – sitemaps show search engines how to crawl your site. A plugin I like to use for this is Google XML Sitemap
- Add your website to Google Webmaster Tools
- Complete on-page optimization (meta titles, description, header tags etc)
- Submit: search engine submissions, local directories (Yelp, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, Foursquare, Yellow Pages etc.), article submissions, press release submissions etc.
- Content – create valuable, optimized content
Open in a New Page
There are many times when I go to a website and click on the site’s social network link and it doesn’t open in a new page. Most of the time I am just curious and want to see their profile but I am not ready to leave their site yet. The worst thing is to send a website visitor to an external website and lose them to other distractions. When adding links to external websites on your website, make sure to always select the option to open the link in a new page. This allows your visitor to easily go back to your site.
Broken Link Checker
I hate going to a website, clicking on a link and it goes no where. Broken links create a bad visitor experience. To prevent this from happening and always have working links on your website, I recommend installing the Broken Link Checker plugin. This plugin is free, has worked wonderfully through all WordPress updates and is easy to use. Simply install, activate, and configure your settings. All you need is the basic settings and enter the email you would like to receive notifications of broken links.
When you do have broken links, go to Tools, Broken Links and you will see a dashboard where you can correct URL, unlink broken links etc. It’s a great tool to have and ensures a good experience for all of your visitors.
If you need help implementing any of the must-haves listed above, let us know! We are here to help you Impress with WordPress!