28 Jul Website Design Checklist
Having an effective digital marketing strategy is no simple task! It takes hours of strategizing, collaboration, and research. From email marketing, social media, to even content creation and blogging, there are so many ways to speak to your audience and generate leads. While we might recommend any number of marketing options for a business, in the end, everything comes down to the website. If you view your website as the foundation for all potential services, you’ll understand that even an amazing lead generation strategy will fall short without a high functioning and modern website that speaks to the clients when they end up there.
To ensure that your website is doing your business justice, we’ve created this design checklist to ensure that your company avoids common mistakes and maintains a fantastic digital marketing foundation. Not to be confused with a website design checklist for building a new website, but a checklist that allows you to understand what improvements you may need.
1. Fast loading: Having a fast loading website ensures that your customers will get the information they’re looking for without needing to wait. Be sure to test your website’s speed across popular media devices including your cell phone, tablet, and pc.
2. User-friendly: While your website might be quick to load, it also needs to present information in a way that your clients expect and can easily navigate. When you have links to new pages, make it clear that it’s a link by having different text colors. Also set call to action buttons, or directional links placed in boxes, that will direct clients to important pages. Here’s an example from our very own website:
3. Organized: Think about where your eyes are naturally drawn to when you open a website that you haven’t visited before. Organize your web pages based on where the most important information will be found first. Keep your navigation menu simple, but also make sure it contains pages that your visitors will need to find.
4. High-resolution only: This might just be the number one mistake we see so many businesses make. Don’t let your fancy new website look amateur by using poor quality images. Take the extra care to only use images taken with a good camera on your website. This will help your business gain credibility.
5. Fully responsive: Having responsive websites has become the industry standard. This means that your website should work well whether you’re viewing it from a mobile device, tablet, or computer. The best websites will even have custom features when being viewed on different popular devices. If your website is so old that it predates responsive features, it is definitely time to build a new one.
6. Utilizes modern apps and plug-ins: Make sure you’re getting the most out of your website by looking into options for plugins for any special features you might be considering. From e-commerce support on the backend to online scheduling features, and even intelligent and customized calculators for things like fitness tracking and mortgage rates, there is likely a plug-in that can take your website to the next level.
7. SEO enabled: Optimizing your site so search engines like google can find you is crucial to stay relevant in your area. Include your on-page SEO tags and sitemaps. (Learn more about Search Engine Optimization and keywords here) Make sure you have fresh and compelling content with keywords that your potential customers would like use to find you. Speaking to an expert to enter into an ongoing monthly SEO agreement and equip the backend of your site with SEO will also help make sure your website continues to rank against competition in your area.
8. Regular blogs: Blogging goes hand in hand with SEO. Not only do blogs allow you the opportunity to engage with your audience and build reliability, it also creates fresh content and keywords for search engines to find you. Consider developing a blogging schedule that works for you. This could be one blog per week, or even one blog per month based on your level of availability and interest.
9. Secure: Whether you’re actively selling products and services on your website, or just using your site as a place to get the word out, security is important. Make sure you have security plug-ins installed and speak to a qualified website developer with any concerns.
10. Consistent with brand: Your website should not only explain your products and services, it should also convey your brand. Your logo should be front and center on the homepage and your site should incorporate complementary colors, fonts, and even language consistent with all other visuals your business holds. This could include business cards, the sign on your building, and even your actual products when relevant.
11. Interactive: Your website has potential to be more than just an online brochure explaining what your business does. It holds the power to actually make your life easier! Equipping your website with things like FAQ’s, and data collectors like contact forms can automate a lot of your work, while also allowing your business to interact with your clients in a totally hands-off way. Keeping your customers engaged while visiting your site means they are more likely to end up as a customer.
12. Updated: You are not helping your business by having outdated and incorrect information out there for the masses to find. If you have a new location, special announcement, updated seasonal hours, or even an event coming up, make sure your website reflects that. It’s too easy to lose credibility by providing incorrect and outdated information. Take the time to regularly update your content and ensure that you select a design that is easy to update on the backend.
While these suggestions are generalized for all business websites, keep in mind that every company has unique needs and no one website design will look the same. Reviewing each point mentioned and ensuring that each is addressed to ensure the best possible results for your website.