Are you in the process of designing or redesigning your website? If so, make sure it includes all the fundamental features and functions. Here are 23 things that your website must have to be effective and successful.
1. Know Your Website Goals
User experience, or UX, refers to how a person feels when interacting with a website or app. It’s about design, functionality, and ease of use. A good UX makes for a happy user who will likely return to your site. A bad UX will result in an unhappy user leaving your site and never returning. That’s why it’s essential to think about UX when designing your website.
A mobile responsive design is one of the most critical elements of a good UX. A mobile responsive design means your website will resize itself to fit whatever device a person uses, whether it’s a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. With more people using their hand-held devices to access the Internet, it’s essential to have a mobile responsive design. If you don’t, you’re likely to lose potential customers.
Another vital element of a good UX is page load speed. A page should load in three seconds or less, or users will lose interest and click out of your page. Several ways to level up your page’s load speed include optimizing images, improving server response time, minimizing redirects, being careful with your coding, and using caching.
User experience is important for any website that wants to be successful. You can create a website they’ll love by considering what your users need and want.
2. Your Design Concept
A website design is a website’s layout, look, and feel. Your website’s design determines how easy or difficult it is for visitors to navigate and find the information they need.
Flash is a type of software platform used for creating animations, graphics, and interactive content.
White space is the area of a page left blank, which can help break up sections of text and make a page more readable.
Regarding website design, certain elements such as simplicity, symmetry, and balance attract viewers. On the other hand, things like clutter, excessive text, and flashing graphics can be pretty off-putting. Ultimately, it’s a good idea to strike a balance to create an attractive and user-friendly website design.
3. Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, more commonly known as “SEO,” is the act of improving your website’s search engine ranking and visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher a website appears in SERP listings, the more likely it is to be clicked on by users.
SEO is crucial because it can help draw organic traffic to a site – that is, visitors who access your site through a search engine rather than through an advertisement or other link.
Many factors go into the optimization of a website for search engines. These include choosing the correct keyword phrases, ensuring you use those keywords throughout the site (in the title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, etc.), and ensuring that the site’s content is high-quality and relevant to the targeted keywords.
Optimizing the foundation of your website – including things like your site’s structure and code – is also vital for SEO. And finally, keyword strategies are crucial because they help you determine which keyword phrases to target in your optimization efforts.
When done correctly, SEO can be a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website.
4. Tracking and Analytics
Analytics is essential for all websites, whether they are newly launched or undergoing a redesign. By understanding who is visiting your website and how they interact with it, you can make informed decisions about improving your users’ experience and achieving your overall goals.
There are many different types of analytics, but some of the most important ones to track include pageviews, bounce rate, and time on site. Understanding how these metrics change over time allows you to identify trends and make adjustments to improve your website’s performance.
Additionally, analytics can help you understand which areas of your website are most popular and which ones could use some improvement. Overall, incorporating analytics into your website is essential for understanding your audience and ensuring your website meets its goals.
5. A Domain Name
At its most basic, a domain name is a way to identify a website on the Internet. Just as your home has a physical address that allows people to find it, your website also has a unique address that enables people to locate it online.
A domain name typically consists of the www part and the extension (or top-level domain), such as .com, .net, or .org. When a person types your website’s domain name into a web browser, the browser will contact a server and request your website, which is associated with that domain name.
To purchase a domain name, you must do so through a registrar. A website domain registrar is a company that manages the reservation of Internet domain names. There are many different registrars to choose from, so it is important to shop around and find one that offers the services you need at a comfortable price.
Choosing a domain name that is related to your business brand is essential because it will help people remember your website. Additionally, your domain name should be short, simple to spell, and memorable. For example, the domain name for Ballen Brands is www.BallenBrands.com.
By following these tips, you can choose a domain name that will help your website stand out from the crowd.
6. Web Hosting for Your Website
Web hosting for your website is a service that stores your website’s files on a server and makes them accessible to visitors online. When you create a website, you design it using HTML, CSS, and other web programming languages. These files are then stored on a web server, a powerful computer connected to the Internet.
When someone types your website’s domain name into their browser, they are redirected to your server, which serves up your website files. You need to rent space on a web server to have a website. This is what is referred to as web hosting.
Many companies offer web hosting services, such as GoDaddy and WordPress. These companies will typically offer you a package that includes both the domain name and the hosting services. Once you have signed up for an account with one of these companies, you can begin building your website.
A web hosting service is an essential part of having a website. Without it, your website would not be accessible to anyone online.
7. A Website Platform
A website platform is a foundation or framework used to build a website. It provides the structure and support for the website and can be compared to the foundation of a house. Just as you wouldn’t build a house on an unstable foundation, you want to make sure your website is built on a stable and reliable platform.
WordPress is the most popular website platform in the world, used by millions of people to build everything from simple personal blogs to complex corporate websites.
WordPress is easy to use and update, even if you don’t have any technical expertise. It’s also very flexible, allowing you to add a wide range of features and functionality through themes and plugins you can build into your site.
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small. It sets your business apart from competitors and helps you build relationships with your customers.
Branding includes everything from your website’s logo and color scheme to your company’s tone of voice on its website and social profiles. It is crucial to have a strong branding strategy in place because it helps create brand awareness and build brand trust.
If it’s the first time a visitor views your website, you’re planting that seed. When customers are familiar with your brand and see it regularly, they are likely to remember it when they require a product or service you offer. And if they trust your brand, they are more likely to do business with you. Your business brand should be front and center on your website.
9. Contact Information
Your contact information, particularly your phone number, should be listed at the top of your website and on each page for several reasons. Your contact information is your page’s most important call to action, except for direct purchase. Your website aims to get customers to reach out to you for your service or to ask questions about your product. Make it easy for them to do.
Also, consistent NAP – name, address, and phone number – is vital across all your marketing materials. Using different formats in different places confuses potential customers and search engines. So if you use parentheses around your area code on your website, use them on your social media platforms and printed materials. If you abbreviate portions of your physical address, such as Ave. vs. Avenue, keep that consistent.
Consistency is key when it comes to your NAP. By making it easy for potential customers to reach you, you’re more likely to convert them into paying customers.
Some websites, like BallenBrands.com, for example, choose to place a big, bold contact form in the middle of every page on their website so that viewers never have to search for a way to reach out.
In addition to having your phone number present on each page, and potential contact us forms, it’s also important to have a separate “Contact Us” page in your navigation that has your company’s name, phone number, email address, and, if applicable, physical or mailing address.
10. Simple Navigation
A navigation bar is a key element of most websites. Usually placed at the top of the page, it provides viewers with a quick and easy way to find the information they need.
Navigation bars typically include a list of links to the website’s main sections. This makes it simple for viewers to quickly find what they are looking for without having to scroll through long pages of text.
Additionally, navigation bars often include a search box, which allows viewers to search the website for specific keywords or phrases.
Some of the most common navigation links on a website include:
11. An About Us Page
Your company’s about us page is one of the most significant elements of your website. It’s an opportunity to tell your story, build trust, and establish credibility. It’s also one of the most visited pages on a website, so it’s essential to make a strong impression.
About us pages typically include content such as an overview of your company, your mission statement, core values, and information about your team. This content helps visitors get to know who you are and what you’re all about. It also instills confidence that you’re a reliable and trustworthy business.
12. Website Header
A website header is a designated area located at the top of your website that typically contains your logo and navigation. The header on your website is one of the most important elements because it’s often the first thing people see.
Your header should be attractive and easy to understand, with simple navigation and a clear hierarchy that lets visitors quickly find what they’re looking for. It should include your tagline, what viewers can do or get when they work with you, and additional buttons leading to other pages within your website.
Your logo should be prominently displayed in the header so visitors can quickly and easily identify your website. If your website is part of a larger brand, consider including the parent company’s logo in the header. For example, if you’re a real estate agent with your own logo, but you also work for a brokerage such as Keller Williams, you might also choose to add the KW logo to your header.
13. Featured Image or Slider
A featured image is a large, high-quality image prominently displayed on a website’s pages, articles, or blog posts.
A slider is a similar image that is displayed in a rotating carousel.
Both featured images and sliders are important because they help grab visitors’ attention and give them an idea of what the site is all about. Both types of images should be visually appealing and relevant to the site’s content.
In addition, they should be appropriately sized and formatted to load quickly and look great on all devices.
14. Social Media Links
There are two ways to use social media links – you can either have links to your own social media profiles on your website or place them within your content so that viewers can share your content on their own social media profiles.
Having links to your own social media profiles is a great way to allow viewers to follow you on social media. You can place these links in the top right corner of your page and on your “Contact Us” page. This makes it easy for viewers to find and follow you on social media.
Another way to use social media links is to place them within your content as a “share” option. This allows viewers to share your content on their social media profiles, generating more traffic to your pages. Social media sharing buttons are usually placed at the top and bottom of each piece of content so that viewers can easily share it with their followers.
15. A Sidebar
A sidebar is an optional element and is typically a secondary column on a website that contains additional information related to the page’s content. It is usually located to the left or right of the main content area.
Sidebars can display various information, such as recent posts, comments, contact information, social media links, and advertisements.
Some people add a sidebar to their site to give visitors access to additional information. Others find that sidebars help make their pages more visually appealing and user-friendly. However, they should be used in moderation to avoid cluttering the page or overwhelming visitors with too much information.
16. A Blog
Websites and blogs aren’t the same thing but are both important tools for creating an online presence. They serve different purposes.
A website is typically a collection of static pages that provide information about a business or individual, such as an About Us page and featured products or services.
A blog, on the other hand, is dynamic and ever-growing, publishing new content regularly.
While static website pages are important for providing basic information, blogs are essential for generating new leads, building relationships with potential customers, and gaining search engine authority. Because of this, most businesses incorporate a blog into their website.
By sharing a domain name, businesses can take advantage of the benefits of both platforms and reach a wider audience.
17. High-Quality, Valuable Content Your Viewers Want to Read
There’s no question that high-quality content is valuable and that your viewers want to read it. So, what exactly is high-quality content? And how do you create it?
High-quality content, whether on your website pages or blog, is well-written, informative, and engaging. It’s the kind of content that provides value to the reader and keeps them coming back for more.
To create such content, you need to clearly understand your audience, what they’re looking for, and the message you’re trying to convey. Once you know that, you can start creating helpful, informative website pages, blog posts, or even video tutorials that appeal to your target market.
As for how often you should publish new content, the answer varies depending on your industry and audience. The pages published on your website are static and rarely change. However, a good rule of thumb is to aim for at least once a week on your dynamic blog. By consistently publishing high-quality content, you’ll not only keep your viewers happy, but you’ll also attract new readers and followers.
18. White Space
White space, which is also known as negative space, is the empty areas of a webpage that help break up content and create a visually pleasing design.
Too much white space can make a webpage feel stark and uninviting, but too little can make it feel cramped and cluttered. The key is to strike a balance that makes the content easy to read and digest.
When done correctly, white space can add a sense of sophistication and calmness to a website. It can also help highlight essential elements, such as calls to action or contact information.
19. Typography That's Large and Easy to Read
Typography is the act of arranging type (text) to make written language clear, readable, and visually appealing to viewers.
The arrangement of your text type involves selecting typefaces, point size, line length, letter-spacing (tracking), leading (line spacing), and adjusting the space within letter pairs (kerning).
Typography is an important part of web design because it can help improve your website’s readability and aesthetic appeal. Good typography makes your content easier to read and navigate, which can help reduce your bounce rate and increase your conversion rate.
Furthermore, using a variety of fonts and font weights can add visual interest to your site and make it more visually appealing.
Some examples of good typography include using a sans-serif font for body text (such as Arial or Helvetica), a serif font for headlines (such as Times New Roman or Georgia), and a large font size for easy readability.
Additionally, it is vital to use typography to create a hierarchy on your page by making headlines larger than the body text and using different font weights (such as bold or italics) to contrast different types of text.
20. Calls to Action
A call to action (CTA) is a word or short group of words designed to prompt an immediate action, most commonly in the form of a purchase or sign-up.
CTAs are found on all sorts of marketing materials, from billboards to email campaigns, and they can be highly effective in driving conversions. When it comes to website design, CTAs are just as important. Every page on your site should have a clear CTA that tells visitors what you want them to do next. Visitors may get lost or lose interest without a CTA, and you could miss out on potential leads or customers.
There are many different types of calls to action, but some typical examples include “Buy now,” “Sign up today,” and “learn more.” The best CTAs are short and to the point. They should be easy to spot and read, and they should make it clear what the next step is. Understand that your CTAs should be relevant to the page they’re on – if you’re selling shoes, for example, your CTA shouldn’t be about signing up for your newsletter.
CTAs are often displayed in the form of a button or email form, but they can also be text links or images. No matter what form your CTA takes, make sure it stands out from the rest of the content on the page and that it’s easy for visitors to spot and click.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to designing effective calls to action. The best way to figure out what works for your business is to experiment with different CTAs and see what gets results. So, if you’re looking to boost your website’s performance, don’t forget the importance of a good call to action!
21. Lead Capture
Lead capture is the process of acquiring information from potential customers on your website. This information can be used to follow up with leads later, and it can also be used to establish targeted marketing campaigns.
To capture leads, you will need to have a form on your website that collects contact information from visitors. This form should be placed in an easily visible location and should be short and simple to fill out. You can also use pop-ups or banners to encourage visitors to enter their contact information.
Once you’ve collected a lead’s contact information, you can follow up with them via email, text, or phone call.
A testimonial is a written statement from a satisfied customer that praises the quality of your product or service.
Testimonials on your website can be important as they build trust with potential customers and show that you have a track record of delivering on your promises.
To get testimonials from your clients, you can ask them for their feedback after they have used your product or service. You can also include a testimonial request as part of your follow-up process after a sale has been made.
When determining which testimonials to display on your website, it is important to choose ones that are relevant to your target audience and that highlight the features and benefits of your product or service. Additionally, make sure to include the client’s name and company logo, if possible, as this adds credibility to the testimonial. By following these practical tips, you can make sure your website includes testimonials that will help convert visitors into customers.
23. Know When to Call in the Pros
If you’re like most business owners, you’re wearing a lot of hats. You’re probably fantastic at your profession, but that doesn’t mean you’re a Web expert, too.
Building a website on your own can be time-consuming and expensive, and it’s easy to get frustrated if things don’t go right. That’s why it’s important to know when the DYI approach is not to your advantage, and it’d be better to hire a professional web design company.
A professional web design company can provide a custom-designed website that’s tailored to your business. They’ll work with you to understand your brand and target audience, and then create a website that reflects your brand identity.
In addition, they have the technical expertise to ensure that your website is accessible and easy to use on all devices. And if you ever need help or have questions, you can rely on their customer support team.
Hiring a professional, reputable web design company is the best way to ensure that you have a high-quality website that helps you grow your business.
While you may think that you can save money by building your website yourself, in the long run, it is usually more cost-effective for you to hire a professional design company.
Why You Need Ballen Brands
Ballen Brands is a family-owned digital marketing company specializing in creating professional WordPress websites that expertly convey your brand and message. We have mastered the art of developing business websites, e-commerce websites, real estate websites, and KW Command.
Not only can we create a magnetic website to grow your online presence, but we can incorporate a wide array of digital marketing services to help you gain search engine authority and generate more leads. Through Ballen Brands, you can benefit from:
- Facebook Ads
- Content Creation and Blogging
- Real Estate Website Content
- Professional Bio for Your About Us Page
- Real Estate Landing Pages
- YouTube Channel Setup
You can also tap into a CRM that allows you to engage in:
- Keeping Contacts Up-to-Date
- Automated Lead Follow Up
- Appointment Tracking
- Task Management
- Manage Your Sales Pipeline
- Automated Text Touches and Dialer
- Email Marketing
- Integrate Your CRM with Other Systems
When it comes to your website, certain must-haves will help you succeed online. From having a mobile-friendly design to including testimonials and hiring a professional web design company, these elements are essential for any website that aims to convert visitors into customers.
If you need a new website or are ready to take your existing site to the next level, contact Ballen Brands today. We specialize in providing custom WordPress websites and offer a wide range of digital marketing services to help you grow your business. Call us at 702-917-0755 or fill out our online form to get started.