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Website design can be complex and vary a lot based on your type of business and the goals you have set up for your website, but there are some universal must-haves a website should always include in order to make sure the website is giving your business the most value. Some of those things can be as simple as contact information for your clients to reach out to you and extend to things like testimonials which can bring surprising value to your website.

Contact Information

Let’s start simple, of course you need contact information on your site, why wouldn’t you? And to that I would say, is actually fairly easy to forget. Some people will focus on forms and call to actions and completely forget to make the contact information accessible to clients. Depending on your company some clients might be coming specifically to find your email or phone number. So why make them dig for the information, an easy and clear contact information on even a top bar will be highly appreciated from lots of customers, here is an example:

Right away when you come into the website you can clearly see the phone number and the email.

Clear navigation

A clear navigation should always be a priority, and it should be tailored to the type of user and device they are using to access the site. Many times online I see a great designs but hard to follow navigation, imagine you come into a website looking for a phone number to reach out to a business and find something like this:

This is an awesome website I found on awwwards website designs. But is clearly not for every type of user imagine trying to get a non-tech-savvy user to find a phone number to reach out for a carpet cleaning… not easy. But again these people are definitely not the users coming into this site.

Now let’s take a look at a website that has clear navigation and is more user-friendly:

Our clients at catatumbo tutoring, have a very clear navigation, their target user is less tech-savvy and likes clear options and familiar navigation that’s why we use a classic top navigation menu and call to actions. Remember a beautiful website does not always mean more conversions or traffic.

Responsive design

Tagging along that previous point clear navigation should go hand in hand with responsive design, remember when I mention that you should also be looking at the type of device? Well yes, that should always be the case you want navigation to probably be even more clear in mobile, starting with font size, many times web designers forget that fonts need to be adjusted for other screen sizes, many users have to zoom in to read texts, and we know people will not spend any time on your site if they can not easily read what you offer so make sure to always check those font sizes, a good way to determine the right size for the font is to check what websites like blog sites use, in my case I like to use anything between 18 – 22px.

Another recommendation would be element organization, please, always check the structure of the website in mobile devices vs desktop, and make sure you aim to show people what they want to see as soon as possible. If on desktop you are able to have everything show at once because of the screen real state, do not assume people are going to scroll through to get all the information, instead show the most important information first and help your user with visual queues to make sure they get all the information.

About us, Testimonials, and FAQ pages

I wanted to group these 3 because these might be pages you want to have on your site, you could argue that an about us page is always needed but in theory these could also be sections on a one-page website.

I’ll briefly touch on the about us page, this page should provide information about the company or organization behind the website, including its history, mission, and values.

Now, most people have FAQs and Testimonials as sections and not as individual pages like the about us, and this was my preferred way of doing it until a few months ago, it seems like a lot of people visit Testimonial pages and FAQs as well (probably more often the Testimonials) so if you are able to have your reviews or testimonials under a different page I would highly recommend it gives user simple access to them and helps them take a decision.

A quick tip for FAQs: put the most common questions on the top of your list, and be honest in the response, honesty will help users figure out if they are the right client you are looking to work with.

A quick tip for Testimonials: Use brief testimonials that have what people want to hear, what’s that? Their problem being solved! If for example the website tries to solve the problem of lawyers never answering questions, make the firsts testimonials the ones that talk about you and your staff solving that specific problem.

Call-to-action buttons

A call to action could be considered a part of ease of navigation, but I decided to add it separately to mark its importance. Always ensure you have a simple call to action at the beginning of your page that allows the users to do what they are most likely to do when they come in for example, you do consulting 1-on-1 create a call to action to schedule, and make it an “action text” for example instead of schedule, make it schedule now, or let’s talk. 

Security features

Every website should be secure, and even if you don’t know how to protect all the users, or login page to the WordPress page, you should at least consider this basics:

  • An SSL Certificate: these are free, and you should be able to add them to your site, you can tell you have this if you see a little lock next to your page URL
  • Privacy Policy and terms: these pages should always be there, they specify how you use user information on the site, you can find guides on how to make them or ask a professional on how to create them. Feel free to leave a message and we can create one here.

Analytics

Last but not least, always add analytics to your site, specifically Google Analytics and Google Search Console. You need both to keep track of the traffic, usage and to make sure Google understands the content of your site.

Google Search Console will ask you to add a sitemap which is basically that, a map that shows google you exist without this your site won’t show, make sure you use a plugin to create one to make it yourself there are plenty of guides as well.

Thank you for stopping by and checking our blog, feel free to leave any questions, or tell us, what are some things you always add to your site!? We always like to hear more opinions.

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