While almost anyone can have a web site these days it’s much harder to have a good website. From design aspects to readable content many sites fall flat. Below I’ve arranged a Top 10 list, because everyone loves a Top 10!
Include a detailed About Us page
It’s a good idea to include contact information or at least a clear link to your Contact Us page. Keep concise and accurate. People want to read about you but they don’t want a novel. Add important information on this page and point them to other pages for more in depth coverage.
Include a Contact Us page
To help navigate further, clearly indicate which contacts go where (i.e. Admin, Tech, Sales, etc.) This will decrease frustration on both ends and allow better communication to flow. You want to show your visitors that you are competent and friendly, being easy to contact is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal.
Add a News, Press Release, Blog, and/or Articles Page
As a bonus, search engines love these types of pages. New, fresh, relevant content is the stuff of search engines (well, there’s obviously more to it than just content). Each time a search engine spider crawls your site and find new content it ups your chances of ranking higher in the organic search listings. More free advertising!
A Relevant Page Title
Page titles should be different for every page in your site. They should clearly and accurately describe your page, and you should try to use keywords in the page title.
Search engines display the title of your page on SERPs. The catchier and more accurate your title the better the chance you’ll hit target traffic.
A Relevant Page Name
It’s better to have straightforward page name showing in the URL than names with ? or other symbols and numbers. For example, a search engine will go to http://www.yourdomain.com/about us.htm it will only go to the ? in http://www.yourdomain.com/aboutus?094837 . You want search engines to find your pages. You also want humans to be able to read your names. Keep it simple and clean.
Good Grammar, Correct Spelling, Complete Thoughts, Sentence Structure
Misspellings, wrong word usage, bad grammar are all distractions. You do not want to distract your readers, you want to captivate them. Slang and derogatory language also distracts. If your site is a business site avoid slang and offensive language all together – unless that’s your selling point. Jargon is different, just don’t confuse readers more than necessary.
If you aren’t in command of grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, etc. or if you’d rather focus your efforts elsewhere, that’s fine. It’s a good idea to beg, plead, hire, or force someone else to take care of this part then as ignoring the problem won’t make it go away though it may have that effect on site traffic.
Professional Design, Colors, and Images
Colors should be inviting, not blinding. Use colors to emphasize your brand, product or content. Don’t overpower the visitor with colors. Use colors to make text pop without being distracting or hard to read.
Images should be friendly and relevant to your site. Images of people work better than objects and clip art rarely has a positive effect. Make sure your images can load within a reasonable amount of time, you don’t want to lose visitors because a single image caused an incredible amount of load time, or worse froze the visitors browser.
Make Sure ALL Links Are Working Links
Think of any site you’ve been to with a broken link. Disappointing isn’t it? You probably left or at least had a negative image about the company. Avoid this mistake and check, recheck, and check your links again.
Use Your Log Files
Best idea: Get a program that converts the lengthy text into readable documentation. It’ll save you time and energy while getting you the information you desire. Log files will describe customer behavior, they will show you broken links, and you’ll see where customers flow freely and where they abandon the site. The invaluable information is at your finger tips. Use it!
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificates
Pages requiring e-mail, names, telephone numbers, addresses, credit card information, social security information or any other information visitors may not readily be giving up online should be securely collected via SSL.