Does your messaging need tweaking? Are you looking to develop a new website or are you ready for a website redesign? If so, this post is for you. This guest post comes from Marc Avila, Founder and Team Lead at 3 Media Web. 3 Media Web is one of Red Javelin's web design and development partners - check out their great work!
Website design and the digital world are constantly evolving; the functional life of a website is now less than three years. So, a business owner with an older website or a new business should take a thorough look at his or her site, and determine its function and the crucial design elements it needs. The best websites establish or reinforce credibility while being aesthetically pleasing and branding the business. Aside from those things, some vitally important elements are needed for websites in 2017.
New site developed by 3MediaWeb for EpyGenix.
1. Responsive Design
Responsive web design means that a website looks good on any screen: desktop, tablet or smartphone. Nothing is cut off or scrolls off the edges. This is essential because 60 percent of searches are now done via mobile devices. In fact, Google announced in 2016 that they are moving toward “mobile first” search engine results. Why is that important? It means that, if a site is not mobile-friendly, it's already lost a huge portion of the potential traffic search engines would send.
2. Continuous SEO Updates
It's not enough to set up a website and forget it. Continual tending will help it bloom into a powerful business tool. Webmasters use search-engine friendly design techniques to give it a boost, but business owners must tend to linking, social connections, meta-tagging, and HTML. Many owners have someone tech savvy in-house handle it for them, or they might consider outsourcing to an experienced professional to keep the site attracting traffic and converting well.
3. Focus on User Experience (UX)
Customers and new prospects are the most important things to consider. A website gives the business a chance to “wow” them, so it's important not to disappoint. An easy-to-use site with clear navigation and fast page loading is best. These elements are crucial to every website:
- Easy-to-use menus
- Simple site search
- Contact information
- Calls to action for next steps (Is there a signup button? Shopping cart? Click-to-call?)
- Every page is designed as an entry point
4. Seamless Integration
Make work easier by integrating websites with other business tools the company uses. For instance, if the company uses a customer relationship management tool (CRM) or e-commerce software, it should be seamlessly connected. Now, customers coming to the site can sign up as subscribers or complete purchases effortlessly. Customers expect this functionality in 2017.
5. Easy to Update
Keeping a website fresh and up-to-date is not as difficult today as in the past. Newer software generally includes a content management system (CMS) that enables simple updates and changes. Adding pages and posts is easier for business owners or managers, without the need for a programmer to fix things. The CMS enforces the company’s branding and allows changes to things anytime. No website in 2017 should be without a CMS.
6. Credible Content
A beautiful website means nothing if the content is bad. Ideally, content should be about the business and things related to it, and be SEO-friendly, while using different forms, like blog posts, videos and slide presentations. Creating good content on a regular basis keeps users returning, and keywords bring new users. Aside from web content and blog posts about the business, an owner should be sure that things like secure transaction pages (especially for e-commerce sites), case studies about products, testimonials from happy customers, and perhaps Google or Yelp review widgets, as well as social media profile links, are included.
7. Security Measures
Every website owner should use HTTPS on his or her website to make it more secure. It provides users and owners with a layer of protection against hackers and gives a small Google boost to the site.
Remember, keep your users top of mind and website content fresh and interesting. Doing these 7 things will lead to more traffic and higher conversions!
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