During my client sessions, I typically get asked what the top things are for a great website. Not only is this a perfect question for the DIY entrepreneur, but it’s great to know it when working with a designer.
It’s great to have a basic knowledge of website essentials in order to stay focused on the things that matter, rather than lost in a sea of fancy gadgets and shiny object syndrome (yes, this is real, and yes, I was once a victim!).
Although it varies between the services being offered and the target audience but it comes down to these 5 things:
1. The search bar. I see it again and again, or rather, I don’t see it, and that’s a great big problem! The search section should be placed near the navigation and possibly the blog side-bar to help users easily find your content.
Let’s say you’re a health coach. Now imagine your ideal client landing on your site and wanting to search it for everything that mentions “meals”. Do you think they’ll look through your entire site, blog, then social media? Nope. They’ll try a few pages then leave to the next health coach they found online.
2. A simple website address. Although you might think that your site would be even more awesome with www.yesiamthemostawesomehealthcoach.com it won’t. Not only is it too long, it’s too hard to remember. Keep it simple: www.awesomehealthcoach.com should be sufficient. Hell, if you’re the only face of the business, use your name. If Marie Forleo can do it, why can’t we 😉
3. Easy navigation. Have you ever been on sites where there are at least 10 main menu items, each one with a drop down, and each of those with a sub menu. Again, KEEP THINGS SIMPLE. You’ll only confuse the user!
Decide what your goal for the user is.
Now keep these 3 pages on the menu navigation: home, about, contact. Your clients have to be able to at least contact you, learn about you, and go back to the home page. Now add in links to the navigation in order of priority.
For example: add a services tab and your blog (if you’re planning to keep it up). Let’s say you have 6 different packages but 2 are your money-makers. Great! Add 3 subcategories to the services tab: money-maker 1, money-maker 2, and “other services”.
4. A clear description of who you are on main pages is a must. I typically add a short blurb on the homepage, a long one on the about page, and another short blurb on semi-important pages. This makes it easy to create a personal connection with visitors without sending them to the about page. You’ll want to make sure they know who you are, what you do, and why the hell they should care.
5. A call to action – on every single page. I know you don’t want to be salesy, sleezy, or “all about me” but you’ve got to add buttons that tell users what you want them to do. For example, add about 3 on a homepage. Make sure that the buttons or links are easily visible and that the links are still active.
There’s so much more than 5 tips for a better website and only so much time to teach you all I’ve learned but here’s a checklist that might help you out. Want more than a checklist? Sign up for a chat on how kick-ass your business is and how we can help you out 🙂