Top 10 Things Every Site Should Include
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
The About Us page is a good place for new visitors and target
traffic to find out who you are, why they should read your
content or buy your products, how valuable your site can be, and
also general information about your company, web site, or you.
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
Visitors (shoppers, target traffic) need an easy way to get in
touch. Have a clearly marked link for contact information and
include every avenue you receive communication through.
Telephone and fax numbers (both local and 800), e-mail
addresses, physical addresses, etc. all should appear on this
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
These pages inform customers of current events, products,
endorsements, and other company happenings all in one place.
Make sure to maintain these pages with fresh content that is
reader friendly so your target traffic is more likely to come
back, bookmark your page, and they may even provide
word-of-mouth advertising. Free advertising!
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
As uninteresting as this may sound your page title holds a lot
of weight. If you're unfamiliar with a page title it is the name
appearing in the blue bar across the top of the page. If your
says something like "Untitled Document" I'm talking to you.
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
Again, not so interesting as flashy designs or up-to-the-minute
content, but it's a necessity to get your target traffic to your
page to see or read the goods.
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 www.yourdomain.com/about us.htm it will
only go to the ? in 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
Everything you were supposed to learn in grade school, use it
now. Not only should your site have relevant content - the more
the better - people should be able to read your content. Choppy
or runon sentences that seem to go nowhere cannot provide the
type of readership concise, correct sentences can.
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
Professional Design, Colors, and Images
Design should be implemented with usability in mind. Not all
visitors will be as web savvy as you'd like, create easy
navigation and links to all your pages. A search bar for your
site is also a good idea.
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
This should be a no-brainer, however it is always a good idea to
check and double check your links. Fix any broken links A.S.A.P.
Your reputation counts on it.
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
Log files offer a plethora of information on your web site, your
visitors, what works and what doesn't. You can't afford to miss
out on this information - if you can afford it you shouldn't
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
These can be used on any site asking for sensitive information.
Not every web site needs this, however if you plan to collect
any visitor information it is a good idea to have some SSL
pages. Though not every page need be SSL.
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.
About the Author:
Kristen Owen, CEO of
ContentWorth has written
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