Most people know that they need a website, but what is it that makes the website good? How do you know that you’re getting value for your investment? Establishing a website is more involved than “build it and they will come”, and there are several important things you can keep in mind when planning your online presence.

Good websites are money well spent

If you already have a website, it is well worth having a professional consultation to find out how well it is performing and to construct a plan for improvement. It can be difficult to tell when your consultant is offering you the best advice, but the following tips should help.

1. Fast loading pages, intuitive navigation

The first impression counts, and having a site that responds quickly is important. We have all found ourselves stuck at a slow-loading intro page or large clunky photos, but it’s even worse that when the page has loaded it is not obvious how you are going to find the information you seek.

Your site should load quickly and the information should be managed so that your users can find what they need with no fuss. This may mean separating your content across multiple sections, or in some cases distilling your content on to a smaller set of topics. Intuitive menu titles and if needed, a good search function are essential for ensuring your visitors are happy.

2. Well written content

Visitors are fickle and will be quick to hit the back button and go visit another site. The best way to keep visitors on your site and encourage repeat visits is to provide useful, well written content.

Content isn’t “filler”, purely there to fill out your lovely design. Visitors will quickly see past the design and if the content is waffly, vague or lacking in substance, they’ll be off.

3. Be a trustworthy expert

As well as succinct, pithy content, it is important to convince your visitors that you are knowledgeable in your chosen profession. Articles and how-to guides will help establish you as a reputable source of information, and writing regularly can easily establish your position within your niche.

Websites are a perfect way to easily share your knowledge, and your articles can be archived and found by visitors interested in your field. When people go to your site and find it useful, they will think highly of you and be more likely to choose you over your competitors.

A good example of this is Sales Impact Group, which publishes regular sales articles from Brett Burgess. His articles are very focused and quickly establish him as an expert. By offering real value to visitors, you will see increased site visitors and in turn increased sales.

Regular updates to your site will give people reason to return, and your site will be in their minds when they need your services.

4. Search engine friendliness

Everyone uses search engines, and for some people, their search engine is the web. It’s vital that your website provides information properly to the search engines so that they can direct visitors looking for your information.

Search engines love fresh content, and by providing helpful tips and articles, it creates the side effect of increased visitor numbers. To ensure the content is working as hard as possible, make sure that your site’s titles, headings, and links are optimised for clarity, and that search engines can find the content. A professional web company will always ensure that your site is structured properly and is easy for search engines to work with.

5. The complete package

A website isn’t simply the content, or the nice design and graphics. As part of your business, it should fit into your business plan and form part of how your business is portrayed.

Appropriate and professional design sets the tone, well written content sells your services, and it must all sit on well planned technology capable of ensuring your site responds quickly and serves your visitors. A good consultation should aim to make your website work with your overall business needs.