10 Things Every Website Should Have



2011 marks ACF’s 10th year in business! To celebrate the occasion, we’ll be featuring posts. To see more of our 10th anniversary posts, click here.

As the internet has grown bigger and better, websites have changed quite a bit over the last few years. As technology advances, it’s important to make sure your company keeps up. Below is a list of 10 things every website nowadays should have.

1. Simple, Easy to use Layout
One of the best ways to attract customers is through a clean, simple and easy to use layout. The age of website layouts with tons of intricate flash animations and effects is dead. In fact, a lot of people are turned off by those types of websites. A simple, quick loading website that works on all browsers (including mobile phones) is the way to go.

2. An About Us Page
People like reading about the people behind the company, so let them know with an about us page. Tell visitors a little bit about your history, your employees and your mission. Let people get to know a little about the people that make your company work.

3. Contact Info
One of the most frustrating things for a website user is not being able to find contact information on a website. Make sure you include it on yours, in multiple places. Give visitors a variety of different ways to contact you (phone, email, address, etc.) and make sure the information is easy to find.

4. SEO
With the amount of people using the internet to find the majority of their information nowadays, your site needs to be optimized for search engines. Search engine optimization is an inexpensive form of marketing with lasting results. Through SEO, you’ll target quality traffic to your website that turns into customers.

5. Fresh content
Nobody wants to see content that is old and outdated, so make sure the content on your website is still relevant. Fresh content looks good to both humans and search engines. Adding updated content not only keeps customers coming back, but helps improve search rankings as web crawlers index sites with frequently updated content much more than stagnant sites.

6. Easy to use Navigation
Your site should be organized and easy to navigate. Structure your site so it makes sense to the user. Always have a way to link home, make sure all links are in working order and consider subcategories for easier use.

7. Descriptive Page names and Titles
The names of your pages should describe what you are talking about. Not only does this help the user identify the page he/she is on, but it benefits SEO as well. Instead of labeling your pages “page1” label them to fit what the page is about.

8. Social Networking
Social networking is a great way to create buzz about your company and draw traffic to your website. Make profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other sites and be sure to add the links to your website. Promoting your brand via social networks gives a more human element to your marketing and lets an entire new community of people discover who you are.

9. A Form
There are many different ways to include a form on your site. One of the simplest is to include a contact form as another option people can contact you. It is quick and informal and a great option for people that may not be ready to make a phone call.

You might also want to consider adding an eNewsletter sign up form or a form that allows people to get updates from your site via their email (great for blog sites) Both these options will keep your company on the mind of the visitors and drive reoccurring traffic to your site.

10. A Proofreader
Proofreading is a simple concept, but one that often gets overlooked. Spelling and grammar mistakes make you look unprofessional, so get someone (other than yourself) to proofread your content. Fix any errors immediately (there will be some) and be sure to always double check your work.

The internet is one of the best places to market your business. Take advantage of what it has to offer by incorporating these 10 things into your company website.

Would you add anything to this list? Discuss in the comments.

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