One of the most important factors of building a business is constructing a great website. While it might seem more like a box to check off than a project to get involved in, crafting a great site is your key to unlocking a vast new online customer base. This means that, if you want to yield the returns from your site that you’re hoping, you’re going to need to put in the time and effort necessary to bring your website up to snuff. Not sure where to start? Here are just a few suggestions for what to include when creating a great website.

  • Have a well-optimized homepage.
    • There’s no point having a website if people aren’t able to find it online. That’s why using SEO — Search Engine Optimization — on your sites is so crucial: it will allow people to find your business, not only by searching for you by name, but by searching for what you offer. The best part of SEO? The core basics are free and, if used properly, can dramatically improve your discoverability.
  • Provide great user experience.
    • This one is important for several reasons. First, you don’t want to provide your customers with a horrible impression when they visit your site. You want it to be comprehensive and easily navigable so that your potential customers can have as hassle-free browse as possible and remember you should they need your services. Second, and this is a big one, if you want your sites to rank well within search engines, especially Google, you need to place a high value on your site’s user experience. In 2014, Google rolled out changes to the algorithm that places user experience as the highest priority when it comes to how sites rank and are chosen for relevancy. This means that, if your site offers a poor experience, it will be penalized and thus less likely to rank regardless of how well-optimized it is.
  • Give visitors a way to reach out.
    • Say someone visited your site and has a question about your business. If you don’t leave them with any contact information, they’ll have no way to reach out and learn more. You should leave your basic contact information — e.g. address and phone number — in either the head or footer of each page so it’s easily accessible. It’s also a good idea to include a contact page in your main menu. Another great idea is to get a Chat widget which people can click on to expand and type their questions.