If it’s time to create a new website for your business, you might be wondering what kind of content and special features you should include. Aside from a pleasing design, you need to give people what they came looking for!
You definitely want to include enough information to answer questions from potential customers without overwhelming them with too many pictures and a site that’s hard to navigate.
What should you include on your website?
Your online home is for real people visiting your website. They probably followed a link from Google or from your social media profile, so they are meeting your business for the first time.
Your content should be all about your site visitor. You need to give just what they might be looking for and what they need to learn about your business.
Here’s my checklist of essential elements I think that every website should have.
Clear and Engaging Home Page
- A concise and compelling headline above the scroll.
- Engaging high-quality visuals that give a great first impression.
- Easy-to-understand navigation menu.
- Follow accessibility guidelines – WCAG Overview
- Use good color contrast (dark text on white background).
- Make sure fonts are readable (don’t use light text colors on light background).
- Always include alternative (alt) text when adding images.
About Us Page
- Information and stories about your business.
- Include your mission statement and company values.
- Highlight business founders and key team members.
Products and Services Pages
- Describe in detailed what services you offer.
- Write interesting descriptions with high-quality photos or videos.
- Include pricing information for the products that you sell.
- Make it easy to find a contact form or links to email.
- Include your business phone in footer and on a contact page.
- Show your physical address with a Google map link (if applicable).
Testimonials and Reviews
- Share positive customer feedback on a testimonials page.
- Add a link to your Google Reviews so people can read real-life reviews.
- If you’ve received awards, be sure to list those on your site.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Page
- Create a page with your most common questions with detailed answers.
- Include potential concerns people might have about what you do.
Blog or News Section
- Share company news that’s relevant and valuable.
- People will return to your site if you share posts on a regular schedule.
- Create a simple website menu that’s easy for visitors to use.
- If your site has a lot of content, add a search function.
- Make sure your navigation tabs are clear and consistent.
Responsive and Mobile Friendly
- Every website today needs to be optimized for mobile devices.
- A responsive website will resize automatically for every screen size.
- Check your site menu on your phone and make sure it’s mobile friendly.
Contact and Subscription Forms
- Add a contact form for inquiries and feedback.
- Always test your form and make sure it goes to the right email address.
- Include a newsletter subscription form (Mail Chimp, Constant Contact).
Social Media Links
- Place links to social media profiles on the footer of your website.
- Add social sharing buttons in blog posts so people can share your content.
- Share how you protect your user’s data and privacy.
- If you sell online, be clear about your shipping information.
- The best way to monitor your site performance is with Google Analytics.
- Add your own GA tracking code to your website (it’s free).
- Review your Google Analytics often to evaluate your site performance.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO
- Write SEO content as your build each page.
- Include keywords, titles, and descriptions relevant to each page.
- Name each page with good keywords (instead of just “about” for page name).
- Optimize photo file names before uploading to your website.
- Your site should a secure certificate on the server.
- SSL certificate allows for secure data transmission.
- Make sure your hosting provider runs a website backup daily.
- Use strong passwords to protect against hacking attempts.
Remember, this is a general checklist for a typical business website. Specific requirements might vary depending on your industry, target audience, and business goals.
The most important thing to remember is that your website needs to meet the specific needs of your brand and audience.