Website checklist: 7 features that will make or break your website

Considering how important a website is for your business, it’s critical to make sure you don’t just create a bog-standard one. Instead, you’ll want to make sure you produce a website that captivates, functions correctly, and exceeds your customers’ expectations.

It’s also important to remember that your website should be as unique as your business. There should never be a cookie-cutter approach to websites as every single one will have different specifications and a different target audience to keep in mind.

Whilst this is the case, there are a few key features you need for a successful website.

1. Sense of identity

If your business was a person, how would they speak, what kind of language would they use, what would they look like, what would their personality look like? Or do you want your business to be an NPC?

It’s vital that your business is unique enough that people will remember you. An out of the box website with generic and boring content won’t get you anywhere. Your messaging and visual aspects of your website needs to stand out. How do you make your customers’ lives better? How is your business different from others? What is your unique selling point? What impact do you want to have on your customers? All important questions that will give your website a sense of identity.

2. Clear-cut CTAs

No matter how much you want your business to be fun and quirky, at the end of the day, it’s a business so you still need sales. Strategically placing clear and actionable call-to-actions (CTAs) helps to guide the user and gives them a clearer sense of direction. Every page on your website should include some type of CTA, preferably something that fits with the flow of that page’s content, even blogs have links within them to guide people to their next steps.

The typical ‘Buy Now’, ‘Learn More’ CTA’s are great. But sometimes incorporating some different CTAs that help to highlight benefits and further define your business’s purpose is far more impactful and convincing. For example, one of the calls-to-action we use is ‘Let’s Create Together’. We tell our audience that we want to work alongside them to help bring their designs and website to life.

3. Brilliant UI and UX

A poorly designed and visually unattractive website simply does not cut the mustard nowadays. There is no excuse for a bad website. UI and UX helps to bring your website to life as they add the flesh to your website skeleton.

User interface (UI) dictates the aesthetic and visual appeal of a website whereas user experience (UX) determines the flow and actions a website visitor will take. Both of them need to work in tandem with one another to make sure your website functions in its entirety. Yes, a website should look attractive, but it also needs to be able to help someone to easily and quickly get from point A to B.

4. Responsive & mobile friendly

With nearly 60% of all website traffic worldwide originating through mobile phones, you need to create a responsive website. And remember no two mobile devices are the same size, so your website might look great on one device and not another. And then we still have the 40% of users who access the internet through tablets, laptops and desktops. And as we know these screens are all different sizes.

Making a website responsive is perhaps one of the top demands your business will face in this modern age of digitalization. Making a website responsive requires some technical prowess to be implemented into the development of your website. It needs to be able to respond to screens of any stature, particularly smaller ones, like mobiles. Why? Not only will it help with your customer’s user experience, but it will also prove helpful for Google’s mobile-first indexing approach.

5. Relevant & quality content

Content creation is by no means an easy task. Sure, there’s the easy-to-fill-out, standard content that details who you are, where your offices are based, contact information, etc. However, a great website is more than just this. Content expands beyond the parameters and goals of just informing your customers. Your website’s content can help to educate them, inspire them, entertain them, spark a conversation and let’s not forget, relate to them. The more relevant, engaging, and high-quality you can content, the more likely your customers will want to be involved and stick around.

Creating a content strategy and calendar can help you to map out, plan, organise and schedule content uploads to add to your site. And with there being so many options out there to choose from to implement (service pages, blogs, FAQs, case studies, videos, and so on), the opportunities will be endless.

Related content: 10 of the absolute best SEO content types that drive results

6. Optimised & SEO-friendly

Imagine you buy a baked goods shop that you put loads of time and effort into designing the signage and window displays for. You bake some absolutely scrummy cakes and treats that are sitting in the window display. But you are hidden down an alley with no sign posts to it. Yes this may be unlikely, but the point is that if nobody knows where you are or how to find you, it’s essentially all pointless.

Your website is the same. It should be searchable and potential customers need to easily find you, whether they know who you are or not. SEO is the method to achieving this and getting your business put in front of your target audience. If you work on getting your business higher on the search engines targeting different keywords and search terms, your website will be displayed to many audiences out there on the world wide web.

7. Safe & secure

If you go through all the effort to make your website responsive, fit for search engines, and visually stunning but without any preventative or security measures in place whatsoever, then you may as well have not even built your website if we’re going to be blunt. Both your site visitors and search engines need to be able to conclude if your website is secure.

Your prospective lead may enter contact details into your website forms and a breach of this data would instantly reflect poorly on your business. Make sure you invest in an SSL certificate to protect the security of your website and prevent any data from being shared with persons who are not permitted access. And take the time to look into other preventive measures and cyber security practices to protect your website.

What’s the best way to build a website?

You have many choices when it comes to constructing your website. You can choose to have it all hard-coded from scratch, built with a website builder tool such as Wix, or have it developed using a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress. There are pros and cons for each and the option you go with will ultimately depend on your business and what works best for you.

Our team uses the CMS approach (we’re pretty big fans of WordPress in particular) and we never use any templates on our websites to give them the fullest bespoke touch. If you want your website taken from basic and bland to bewitchingly brilliant, reach out to start ticking off those website checklist boxes.

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