An essential check list to ensure your website is ‘good-to-go’.

Your website is likely to be one of the most important investments for your business. Whether you choose a website development company, or opt for one of the many website builder software tools available, you need to ensure your new website will showcase your brand, provide a good user experience and ultimately result in customers.  At Concise Training, we believe the following 7 aspects should be included as standard so you don’t have to spend additional money on a phase 2:

1. A good visitor experience

A great website understands the user’s needs and tells a story your prospects can connect with. Visitors will make split-second decisions about your business based on your website looking at:

  • If your services are relevant to them (offering)
  • If you deliver a good service (testimonials)
  • Whether you have the expertise to deliver the services you offer (blogs/articles/credentials)
  • How you work with your customers (user experience)

A well planned, easy to navigate website that makes it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for is the best way to keep them engaged. Great copy and appealing images that help tell your story will add to the experience.

2. Calls to action

Does your website have clear “calls to action” to help convert casual visitors into customers?  Calls to action (CTAs) are a visual stimulus to help guide the visitor through the site, draw attention to content and prompt purchasing decisions.  CTAs don’t necessarily need to adopt the “Buy Now” approach, they can come in many shapes and forms. They can convince a user to download information, sign up to your mailing list or help increase social media followers and shares.

3. Mobile friendly

A good website will work well across different browsers and devices. These days, the majority of users coming to your site are likely to be using a mobile device so it is imperative that your website is mobile friendly. Why not test how mobile friendly your site is with this free Google tool?

Did you know, some types of videos cannot be played on mobile devices, such as license-constrained media or content that requires media players such as Flash.  Make sure you don’t give your users an unexpected ‘video free’ experience.

Many sites have sign-up forms to collect emails to nurture leads or apps offering a chat function. If you intend to include these types of apps, check that they do not obscure the screen on a mobile device and are easy for the user to dismiss.

4. Initial Search Engine Optimisation as standard

A well-designed and appealing website is only useful if people can find it. If your website is invisible because of poor optimisation, you are missing opportunities with potential customers.

We believe that search engine optimisation should be a consideration when planning your website and included as part of the build rather than an add-on. Ensure each page is individually optimised for keywords and phrases relevant to the content so that search engines understand what your web pages are about.  It is so much easier and cheaper to do this as part of the initial build rather than paying for this as an add-on service.

It is true that this is only part of the requirements for search engine optimisation, but it is an important part.  If search engines don’t know what your web pages are about how can they be expected to rank them?

Search engine optimisation algorithms include hundreds of variables including website speed, mobile friendliness, number of visitors, broken links, bounce rate, repeat visitors, links from other websites, time on site and page views. Some things are in your control such as checking your website for broken links and making sure images have meaningful ALT text.

Google Search console and Google Analytics are fantastic tools to help you understand how Google and visitors find and use your website and should (in our opinion) be installed right from the beginning of a new website.

5. Site speed

Page loading speed should also be a consideration as part of the development process on any good website. Pages that take a while to load are not only frustrating for the user but will affect your Google rankings.  Page speed can be improved by how a website is technically created as well as how images are optimised.

The PageSpeed Insights report by Google gives insight into the real-world performance of a page for mobile and desktop devices and provides suggestions on how that page may be improved.

6. Clearly defined policies

As soon as you configure Google analytics on your website (our favourite is a plugin called Monster Insights), you will be adding cookies.  By law, you need a proper cookie policy on your site that tells people how your website uses cookies and gives users options of accepting and rejecting them.

If you collect personal information from visitors such as a newsletter sign-up form, you are legally required to have a privacy policy. Here are the changes we have made to our privacy policy to ensure we complied with the additional GDPR guidelines.

7. Maintenance

It is likely that you will need to make changes to your website in future, so understanding how easy it is to edit and maintain your site (and what training is available) is worth considering before you start.

In addition, changes in technology may mean that your website needs to be updated regularly to keep it secure.  Make sure you understand the cost of any maintenance contract so you do not get stung further down the line – or end up with a site that can be hacked.

At Concise Training, we are proud to create WordPress websites that are “good-to-go”, with clearly defined specifications and costs up front and of course, all the above included as standard. If you are looking to enhance your brand with a new website then please get in touch and we can discuss some options with you.

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