In order to make your website appealing to human visitors and search engines, and be effective in its purposes, you will need to go through and make sure the following elements are in place.
If they are not, you need to include them for the best results possible.
Use this list as a checklist against your website (or any site you may be planning to develop), either now or in the future.
You’ll be guaranteed to maximize your sites conversion potential.
Ease of Navigation
Make sure the site is easy to use and straightforward.
This is what a normal website hierarchy looks like.
Image from http://moz.com/learn/seo/internal-link
If you're just starting your website then this is the best time to create your website structure.
Take some time to sit down and design your website structure on paper before you start to create your site.
If your website structure looks like this, then your URL structure will follow the hierarchy.
Your URL for Manchester location should look like
Your URL structure will be organized according to your site hierarchy. Make sure that your URLs will have real words (not symbols) and use appropriate keywords.
Most Important Info above the fold
The term above the fold means the area of the screen that is visible after the web page loads. Make sure that all the important information is visible when a visitor first arrives at the web page.
A lot of people will not scroll down to find the important information.
Correct Sizing of Pictures
Make sure that all the images on your site are optimized so that the web page loads fast.
A slow loading web page will deter the site visitor from staying and waiting for the page to load fully.
Another reason you need to optimize your web pages and images is that Google use the page load speed as a ranking factor.
A good website to use to optimize your images is http://picresize.com/
Lead Visitors through the Site
Make sure you are taking visitors exactly where you want them to go on your site.
This leads back to your website structure but also you should be using links inside your web page that link to other areas of your site.
Keep this inter page linking relevant.
Multiple Calls to Action
Use multiple 'Calls to Action' throughout your site but don't go over the top.
Make it easier for visitors to subscribe to your site by having subscription boxes.
Another fantastic way to pull traffic is to invite blog readers (if you have one), to your blog and RSS feeds.
You’ll boost exposure and boost traffic.
Include Video on the Site
It’s not enough in the twenty-first century to have a site. You must think about including a video presentation as a key feature of your site.
You can attempt to produce the video yourself however, many prefer to hire a professional to produce a video for their site to promote their products or services.
Phone Number on Top Right
Don’t hide your phone number at the bottom of the front page, put it at the top right of every page.
Back to the 21st Century note above. To coin a phrase, Time is Money, and you lose traffic every day you do not have a mobile responsive website.
More and more people around the globe use their Smart Devices to search for products and services.
Often they choose to buy when they locate what they need. Don’t miss out on revenue by not having a mobile responsive website.
Pages Should Include
A link to:
your websites Home Page and also the following important pages on your website
Phone Number & Address Details
Always add the phone number and address details in the footer of every web page.
A lead capture system is simply an opt-in box offering more information, an E-Newsletter subscription, a free report or some other freebie in exchange for simple contact information.
Typically the information requested is just a name and e-mail address, but some systems do ask for a mailing address and, or a phone number.
Try to refrain from requesting too much information as this can be a barrier to people signing up.
Call to Action on Every Page
At the top of the page
At the bottom of page
In the middle of the page
Ensure all text on your website is search engine optimized with strategic use of keywords and avoid duplicate content.
Make Unique Selling Proposition Clear
Let visitors know what is unique about the way you do business. This will help you stand out from the crowd.
Pictures of you and your staff
Audio and video messages
Links to Your Social Networking Profiles
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram etc.
Correct Use of Images
This includes proper sizing of pictures as well as using captions to explain what the pictures represent.
This resource will help you with the correct image sizes for all your social media profiles http://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-image-sizes-guide/
Photo of Owner
Having a picture of the owner on the website adds credibility as people have an image of you and it makes them more comfortable.
This goes for a background that is too distracting as well as crazy fonts, italics and underlines.
Trust Factors Like
If you are registered with any trade associations, place their logo's on your site with a link to your profile on their website.
This will add more trust to you and your brand.
Better Business Bureau
Seal of Approval from Trusted Brands
Credit Card Logos
Placing credit card logo's on your website of the credit cards that you accept, lets the visitor know what types of payment methods you accept.
Multiple Ways to Contact
Phone number on the top, side and bottom
Address only at the bottom
Nothing adds more trust and credibility to a brand than social proof.
Your visitors will see the references and testimonials on your site praising your products and services.
Should the visitor to your site be comparing your services with a competitor who has no testimonials then in the majority of cases you will win the business.
Search engines love websites that show relevancy.
Always optimize for a maximum of 2 to 3 keywords per page.
Don't go crazy by stuffing as many keywords as possible into a blog post or a service/product description, it will do you no favors what-so-ever.
Audio from Owner
Enter your text here...
Blog + Frequency of Posts
Having a blog on your website is one of the best ways of getting organic traffic to your site.
There are a lot of discussions on the web about the ideal length of a blog post. Some say 500 words, others say around 1,500 words and there are some that say over 2,900.
Avoid Flash and Frames
Never use flash animation or frames on your website. Period!
All Links Working
Don’t frustrate visitors or the search engines with broken links.
Get your site checked using a free website link checking tool, such as http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/broken-links.php
RSS Feeds Installed
Keep your focus on your brand and don’t overpower with pictures and content focusing on you alone. Your goal should be to stick out ahead of the crowd.
Place on the front page of the website. Video testimonials are even better.
Optimization for Keywords
Using good keywords is huge for search engines and you must take some time to do keyword’s research before you can determine if keywords are optimized properly.
Captions, Alt Text
No Underline, No Italics
Layout that has dark text on a light background statistically converts better than reverse text.