Getting A New Website? Here’s What to Ask For

getting_a_new_websiteDoes your website need an upgrade? Before you say “No, my website’s good,” it’s not enough to just have the basics of a good site – there are plenty of good sites out there. A great site has the right elements in place to make it a lead magnet. Besides being good-looking, your website should increase customer numbers and generate revenue, or it’s not working for you. So, if now you’re thinking about getting a new website, here’s what you need to ask for:

Mobile friendliness

More than half of all searches now originate from mobile devices. Neglecting mobile users is no longer an option when designing your website. If people can’t find you via mobile, you are effectively shutting out half of all potential customers.

Plus, as of April 21, 2015, Google will rank mobile friendly sites higher in mobile search results. This will be done on a page by page basis, meaning any page on your site that is not optimized for mobile will suffer in search rankings. This new development means mobile optimization is now extremely important to your SEO efforts. So make sure from now on, if you’re getting a new website, mobile friendliness is at the top of the list.

Great design

Depending on your industry, many customers will meet your business for the first time through your site. This first impression is no different than a first date, and it can make or break future relationships. Your site has to make a great first impression every time and continue making a great impression as people click around and get to know your business.

Whoever designs your site needs to take the following features into account:

  • Aesthetics: A beautiful website will grab the attention of visitors, and keep it. The choice of color, font and layout should be well-thought-out and attractive. Pages with unattractive images, hard-to-read fonts and colors and poorly written or inadequate content turn off visitors and increase your bounce rate, which bodes poorly for your search rankings.
  • User Experience: Your site should be easy to use – with visible navigation that makes sense and no broken links. A site with poor navigation will frustrate users, who will then go elsewhere. Users should be able to quickly find the information they need, without too much effort. That includes any contact information, physical address and FAQs.

Reliable web hosting

It’s now possible to get extremely cheap web hosting services online, and while this might be great for your wallet, a bad web host can wreak havoc on your online presence. Poor web hosting can result in slow-loading pages, which will turn off users very quickly. These higher bounce rates from slow-loading pages will no doubt impact your search rankings as well. It may also lead to longer downtime, preventing your customers from finding you. Furthermore, technical support can cost a fortune if you need it frequently. Avoid all this by requesting a reliable mainstream provider.

Social media links

Your social media pages should be an extension of your website, so make sure your site design includes links to these in a prominent location on every page. Also, if you regularly publish content via a blog, you should have share buttons available on each post. Linking your site and your social media creates a seamless web experience for your page visitors who want to learn about your company and interact.

Lead-capturing abilities

The whole reason you even have a website is to capture leads. You do this through informative, valuable content and a straightforward path to convert into a lead. Make sure your site designer includes this path with calls-to-action, landing pages and forms that offer an incentive in exchange for your leads’ personal information. These incentives can take the form of special offers, free reports, ebooks, newsletters and more – but the incentive must be in proportion to the amount of information you’re asking for in the form. If you want people to sign up for your email newsletter, don’t ask for name, email, phone number, household income, gender, etc. when just the first two fields would suffice. However, if your incentive is something like a consultation or quote, you can ask for a little more detailed information.

Talk these pages through with your site designer to make sure you have clear-cut paths for people to take who want to convert into leads on your site. And discuss how the data collection from these forms will take place so you can make sure you have all the lead intel before you make personal contact.

Security

Finally, if you’re receiving payments online, securing your site with an SSL certificate is incredibly important. Customers will not give their credit card details if they are not assured of the security of your site. Ask your developer about VeriSign, EnTrust and many others to reduce fear of identity theft.

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