13 Things All Astounding Websites Need

Building a great website is about so much more than making it look pretty. It needs to be extremely easy to use for your visitors, as well as showing up in search engines for relevant search terms. A lot more goes into building a website than you probably realise. Here are just 13 things that all astounding websites need:

Important Contact Information

Your contact information is essential on a website. Not only does it allow potential customers to contact you, it also proves that you are a legitimate business with a legitimate premises. Some businesses try to hide where they are from, out of fear that they’ll look unprofessional due to its location. Always include a phone number and where you are based, at least. Ideally, you should include multiple ways of contacting you, such as an additional email address and contact form.

Simple to Use Navigation

No matter how good your website looks, if you don’t have navigation that is simple to use you’re well and truly done for. People will not spend much time trying to get it to work for them – a few seconds, tops! If it doesn’t do what they want it to do within that time, they’ll leave and make a mental note to never return to you.

A Clear Call to Action

Don’t assume that your audience knows what you want them to do. They don’t! You need to be really clear that you want them to interact with you. Make sure you tell them to ‘call now!’ or ‘make an order!’, and do it above the fold, in a way they’ll see. Having a call to action that isn’t clear enough is almost as bad as not having one at all.

Feedback Opportunities

Customers love to give feedback. Even potential customers might like to give you feedback about your site! This is invaluable to your, and should be used wisely. Use these insights to improve your service and site in every way you can. If you get some great feedback, you may even be able to feature them on a testimonials page.

Special Offers

Special offers nearly always do this trick. Make sure you offer prospects the chance to get 5 pound off with their first order, for instance. You can also personalise the sales, perhaps by sending them a nice thank you note or a free gift!

A Concise Description of Who You Are

Make sure it’s clear from the get-go just who you are and what you can do. Don’t leave your visitors guessing. How can you help them? Make sure your words flow, but be honest.

A Simple Web Address

Nobody wants to have to remember a ridiculously long web address. They might try to access you and end up somewhere else, or even worse, never try as it’s far too hard. Make your web address easy to remember and catchy.

High Quality, Original Content

Content is king when it comes to websites. You’ve probably heard that many times, but it’s true! The content on your site needs to be high quality and original. Not content copied from anywhere else on the web, or even content that’s been rehashed loads of times. Think of your own way to write things and share valuable information. Make sure there are no spelling mistakes or grammar errors either.

A Reader Friendly Design

Writing original, quality content is one thing, but making it easy to read is a whole other ball game. Think about it: would you like to trawl through paragraph upon paragraph of information? Nobody reads content properly anyway half the time: they skim through it. Break your text up into paragraphs to make it easier on the eyes and better for skimming. Use sub headings too.

A Search Feature

Even if your site is brand spanking new, a search feature makes all the difference. You don’t want to have to go through hundreds of pages on a website to finally find the content you’re looking for. It should be made easy with the help of a search feature! This makes the process of scouring a site so much more pleasant.

Responsive Design

Accessing websites on laptops and computers is becoming a thing of the past. Millions of people use their mobile devices to make their searches today, and you want to make sure that they can view your website effectively. There’s nothing worse than landing on web page that you need to scroll out and zoom in on all the time to find what you need. With a responsive web design, your site should be viewable on any device that a person tries to access it on. Mobile browsing is soon to take over desktop browsing, so make sure you futureguard yourself. Make sure it’s compatible with all browsers too!

Onsite and Offsite SEO

Search engine optimisation is the key to all great websites. If your site isn’t optimised so the search engines can index you, then you might as well not be there. You can create a website with Site Zulu then optimise it from there. The majority of people use search engines to find what they are looking for today, so make sure you’ve taken care of both onsite and offsite to maximise the effects.

A Strong ‘About’ Page

Rather than having pages solely about your business, make sure you have a page all about you too. People are curious, and they’ll enjoy getting to know the person behind your business and blog. You don’t need to tell everybody what your favourite food is or anything, just help them get to know you a little bit.

If you want a truly astounding website, make sure you can tick these 13 elements off your list. If you need help, there’s a plethora of information out there just waiting for you to discover it.

Do you have anything to add to this post? Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for reading!

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Allen Ray

is a graphic designer. The Design Mag was founded in 2008, and since then she is constantly looking for new ways to serve the Design community both online and offline. It is her ultimate goal to make The Design Mag the best source for Design related Tutorial and Resources. Follow on Twitter@thedesignmag

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