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Commonly Overlooked Website Requirements

Posted on 08.14.2018, in Web Design

Today’s online searchers have a lot of choices when looking for products and services. So, simply having a website that looks amazing isn’t going to cut it. You have to create a good overall user experience and do everything possible to encourage engagement with your brand via your website. These are also the efforts Google looks at when determining how visible your site will be online. Above all else, your website must have a solid plan, preferably one that includes the following requirements that are sometimes overlooked.

Technical Requirements

The nuts and bolts of your site can have a big impact on user experience. The “technical stuff” that should be covered includes the type of server you’ll be using, programming, website security, and overall functionality of your site. It’s also important to have a backup plan in place along with a system for testing and validating your website’s basic structure. On a related note, also pay attention to accessibility features, such as:

  •  Alt text for images (search engines can’t “read” images)
  • Code for screen readers
  • Things that can affect readability (e.g., font size, background color, size of paragraphs, headers and subheads, color contrasts)
Website’s Purpose

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many websites don’t have a clearly defined purpose. Ask yourself, “Why does my website exist?” Is it going to be a source of revenue for your business? Is it going to be a place to gather leads? Will it be encouraging people to call or visit your physical location? Do you just want it to be a source of information about your brand?

Target Visitors

After defining your website’s purpose, go further and identify the specific visitors you want to attract to your site. This is actually what will determine things like color choices, the type of content you include, and even the way you phrase your call-to-action and set up your navigation features. Define your target visitors by:

  • Specific needs being addressed
  •  Geographic area, which can also help with your local SEO efforts
  • Demographics (e.g., age range, income level, and whether or not you want to appeal more to men or women)
Reasons for Choosing Your Site

What makes your website preferable to one from a competitor offering the same thing? By highlighting what’s unique about your site or business, you’ll be more likely to inspire clicks, leads, conversions, and interactions with your brand. One way to do this is by creating landing pages that have a sole purpose. This might include:

  • Pages devoted to popular products or individual services
  • A testimonials/customer comments page
  • Pages specific to each location you serve
  • A page that highlights your current offers and promotions
Reasons for Visiting Your Site

Landing pages can just as useful for addressing the needs of customers in various stages of the buying cycle. For instance, visitors coming to your contact page are likely ready to take the desired action. However, visitors going to your about page or one of your product/services pages are likely in the information gathering stage. The rest of your site should be designed with the sales funnel in mind as well. This can be done with:

  •  Internal linking to direct visitors to places where they can quickly find more info on your business, products, or services
  • Multiple calls-to-action to make it easier for visitors to convert when ready
  • Numeric or bullet lists that clearly highly appealing features of your business and what you offer for visitors needing a gentle nudge to convert
Social Media Incorporation

Social media engagement can be an effective way to direct traffic to your website. But your website can also be a place where visitors can have an opportunity to check out your social sites. An easy way to do this is with buttons that link directly to your various social media pages. You can also embed social feeds directly on your site to allow visitors to see certain social content in real-time.

Information Architecture and UX Essentials

Information architecture refers to how your site is laid out when it comes to the placement and order of your links. This also refers to your website’s narrative, how it’s designed, and how easy is for visitors to find what they want. User experience applies to anything that can affect how people interact with your website. Some UX essentials that tend to get overlooked include:

  •  Page load times
  • Relevance and freshness of content
  • Quality and relevance of backlinks

It’s equally important to pay attention to other aspects of Web design, such as how well your site works on mobile devices and how well it reflects your brand’s image. By covering all of your bases with your website, including the steps you take off-page to direct traffic to it, you’ll likely see results that matter most to your brand and bottom line.

Still have a nagging feeling you forgot something? The team from Create Web Studios can evaluate your website’s design and make sure all essential online marketing elements are crossed off your to-do list. Our goal is to produce measurable results in a timely, efficient, and consistent manner.

Contact us today to learn more about services.