Ten Must-Haves For Your Website

Making plans for a new website can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be with these 10 basics to include as a guideline.

1. Strong + Accessible CTAs

Having a website always serves a purpose, whether that be lead generation for a service, product sales, download of informational resources or sign-ups for educational courses, sharing a portfolio of work samples, or another goal. For that reason, you should include strong call-to-actions (CTAs) throughout your website where appropriate, with the primary action you’d like a user to take in particular being prominently featured throughout. This gives your users the opportunity to take action at various points on the website as they are consuming content.

2. User-Friendly Navigation

Similarly, users visiting your site should be able to quickly and easily understand both (1) what information your website provides and (2) how to access that information. This can be accomplished by ensuring that your primary navigation has clear language and organization. Related pages should be grouped together under a parent page, such as a type of service being linked under a top-level service page, and unrelated pages should be kept as separate items in the main navigation menu. If you begin to run out of room on your main navigation, rather than expanding category submenus to fit everything where it may not be extremely relevant, think about what can be excluded from the main menu based on priority, but easily accessible via other areas of the website.

3. Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design is a necessity when it comes to website design and functionality today. The majority of users on a website will be accessing your content with a mobile device, so you need to ensure that your website design will accommodate different device types and screen sizes. You also need to ensure that the responsive version of a screen size is conducive to that device type. For example, an extended grid feature that works well on desktop may not work well on a phone. You may instead evaluate converting this to a carousel with carets above or underneath to easily scroll through images, but not take up too much vertical real estate in the mobile experience. For this reason, many web design providers like myself provide only responsive website solutions and make design optimizations between desktop and mobile experiences to promote usability.

4. Compelling About Page

Regardless of who you are, if you have a website, you are in the business of selling. You may be pitching your products, or you may be pitching yourself – either way, having a compelling about page is essential to establishing a connection with your audience and helping move them further down the sales funnel. About pages should include information like your brand story, your experience/credentials, and who you serve. If you are a single business owner or small team, don’t be afraid to include personal or fun facts on your about page. So long as doing so is authentic to your brand personality, these details can humanize the brand and make it more relatable!

5. Clear Offerings + Value Provided

Websites should clearly indicate what a company offers and the value provided to customers. At minimum, your website needs a dedicated page outlining your products or services, ideally with information like investment details, process, and testimonials. Apart from these dedicated pages, having an overview of this information on your homepage, and other pages where it is beneficial to include, can help reaffirm these details. Particularly if you are a creative service provider, including work samples or case studies is also helpful to include on offerings pages and throughout your website, so long as it is relevant and doesn’t interrupt the flow of content on a given page.

6. Contact Information

It should come as no surprise that there should be a page on your website in which you can be contacted, or that includes information about contacting your business. Apart from the given email address or contact form, a contact page can include an address if you have a physical location, office hours, and social media handles. If you have separate email addresses for separate purposes, those can be labeled and included here as well to help streamline customer communication.

7. Basic SEO Implementation

If you aren’t familiar with the term SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization. This includes measures you can take to ensure your website is discoverable and can be understood by search engines, and as a result, can be served to users searching for relevant queries via a search engine. Basic SEO implementation is something that can be provided by Studio Kellams to ensure your website has a solid organic foundation for search. This includes the development of a sitemap which is shared with Google Search Console to aid Google in interpreting your website, as well as the implementation of title tags and meta descriptions on each of your website pages. If you’re looking for more advanced or ongoing SEO support, Studio Kellams can either provide you a corresponding quote or a referral to a recommended specialist based on the nature of your request.

8. Applicable Legal + Policy Information

Always consult your attorney for your business on what legal information should be present on your website. Generally speaking though, websites should have at least a Privacy Policy and Terms of Service page. Simply stated, a privacy policy protects your users’ rights, while terms of service protect your website’s rights.

9. High-Quality + Authentic Imagery

Incorporate high-quality imagery that is authentic to your business on your website – bonus points if you include imagery with coloring that is consistent with your branding! Avoid DIY photography if you don’t have the right tools or know-how to do so professionally. If you have the means, hire a photographer for a brand photo session. (We have worked with a lot of photographers and am happy to provide a list of referrals for this, particularly if you live in or around the Atlanta area.)

If you are just starting or aren’t currently in the position to hire a photographer, you can find high-quality and free stock imagery through websites like Unsplash, and free stock imagery and video through websites like Pexels. Paid services like Shutterstock and iStock are also great options for stock imagery and video, and have extensive libraries and media file types for you to choose from. Creative Market and Etsy are also great sources to check out, especially for product mockup templates, with the added benefit of supporting other small business owners!

10. Well-Planned + Cohesive Web Design

Last but certainly not least, ensure you are partnering with a web design partner who not only can execute a beautiful website design, but will help guide you through these sorts of considerations and what types and order of content will provide the best experience for your target audience! Read more about Studio Kellams’ web design offerings and process or inquire today to work with us on your new and improved website!

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Brand + Web Design Check-Up

Your business is a lot like your favorite houseplant — it needs care to evolve and develop over time. Be honest, when was the last time it had a check-up? Maybe it’s time for a bit of TLC.

Use this brand and web design checklist as an annual pulse check for your business. What are you missing that can add momentum?

Download the checklist