3 things your website should have

Business websites should achieve three things: increase the trustworthiness of your firm, provide users with the best possible web experience and allow search engines to view the website in the same way your customers do. This all boils down to the design, content and useability of your website.

Design that gets your message across

Design is the heart of the user experience and users' first impression of a website is created by its visual design. If your website is poorly designed, then all your other efforts could be wasted.

Web users are unforgiving. If they're not impressed by your website in the first couple of seconds, there is a high chance you will lose them no matter how great your useability and content. If you are not a designer, hire a good one. There are many designers in the world, but fewer that are good. This is perhaps the most important part of your website, so don't abandon it.

Content that reinforces your brand and business

If your design makes a positive first impression on your users, it is time for content to engage the user even further. Make sure your content reinforces who you are, what you do, and the services or products you sell. A call to action in the form of a link is also ideal to achieve this, and should be on the homepage, above the fold, as the primary focal point.

Content should be appropriate for your audience and you shouldn't over-complicate things. Most people don't have time to read a lot so you should get your message across as quickly as possible. Make it short and sweet.

User-friendly layout

Ten years ago, your website structure may not have been very important, but today it could be crucial to your success. Website owners have many options when it comes to creating logical website structure that is user and SEO-friendly, e.g. through a content management system like WordPress. Having a mobile version of your website  is also recommended.

Adapted from Haris Bacic of AllBusiness.com

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