Today’s post is to answer the question about the three things that I would like the most on my website and how to go about obtaining them.

I decided to provide a list of Ten must haves for your website instead. There are some items on this list that I am also working towards achieving and some will be on a continuous improvement cycle.

This blog post is part of The Suitcase Entrepreneur 30 day Blogging Challenge. #TSE30BC

1.    Answering the question about what your website is about.

This is a basic necessity for any website. Whether your website is a personal blog or business website, it is important to tell your audience what you are about when they land on your page. Managing your visitors’ expectations of what type of content they are to see on your website is an important part of welcoming your audience to your online corner.

For example, a personal blog may contain content that relates to your personal life and experiences. In comparison, a business website may contain more business related information that will be attractive to a different type of audience.

2.    Provide useful and valuable content for your audience

Useful and valuable content come in the form of educational, inspirational or useful information that your audience can find useful to help them towards their personal or business goals.

There would be two types of content – paid and unpaid.

Unpaid useful content for example would be providing a checklist that your audience are likely to find useful or inspirational blog posts that your audience love to come back to when they feel the need for some motivation.

Even pointing them towards other website resources that they may find helpful is also a good way to provide value.

Paid content would be where you include your premium content for your audience to purchase if they would like to gain further information from the free content you are giving away.

3.    Clear and well-presented navigation for your website.

Your website is basically your home online. You want your visitors to be able to find your content easily and not feel so overwhelmed trying to locate what they are looking for. Having too many links in the main navigation area may also cause confusion.

Your main navigation links should be categorised according to the main content you expect a visitor of your website to find. For example, if your new visitors want to find out more about you, they might want to look for the About Us page. It is best to have an About Us main link rather than listing it as a sub-page of a main link or worse, a non-existent About Us page.

4.    A method of contacting you.

If your aim is to sell or engage your readers, it is important that you also have some contact information for your audience to get in touch with you. It is okay not to list your email address to avoid spammers but you should at least provide a form for completion online so your audience can contact you without having to call or phone you.

If you are aiming for your website visitors to actually come in store to buy your product or service, you should also include your location.

5.    Appropriate use of multimedia content to enhance your audience’s user experience.

Where your content may be better understood through the use of a video, slideshow or images, make the most of it! Your users will have a better website experience when they visit your website and will enjoy the multi-forms of content you are providing to help them comprehend what you are saying.

Videos are also likely to help your audience stay longer on your website as this rich form of communication stimulates more senses in comparison to reading text.

6.    Include your social media pages

Make it even easier for your audience to stay in touch with you when they are visiting their favourite social media site. Providing a link to your social media pages helps your audience find you easily and follow or like you. The top 5 social media sites I would recommend are:

i.              Google+

ii.             Facebook

iii.            Twitter

iv.            LinkedIn

v.             Pinterest

7.    Google Authorship

If you haven’t joined the world of Google+, I highly recommend doing so and you are most welcome to join the Google Plus Newbie Community here where we share information for those new to the Google Plus world. We can then help introduce you to other useful communities and key people to circle.

Now that you have a Google+ account, you can setup your google authorship for your website. This is particularly important if your website provides articles, tips or blog posts that will be searched by someone on the Google search engine. Even more so important for those who are solely using the web for blogging.

For example, by searching “How to shrink your to do list” returns a blog post I wrote earlier this year with my Google+ profile information. See image below as an example.

For your website, your Google+ profile can be used to link back to your website to establish the authorship. This also helps towards your website SEO and every little bit helps.

If you need help with setting your Google Authorship, we are happy to assist you with this.

8.   Capturing your audience’s contact information

The contact information of your audience is an important part of maintaining contact with them. Your website should at least have a subscription option where your audience can submit their details so you can contact them from time to time with updates or announcements that they may find of interest. Aweber is a great tool for this. We are transitioning our list management to Aweber from Mailchimp simply because of our needs. Mailchimp is a great tool as well and can offer up to 2,000 subscribers for free but does not have an autoresponder for the free version.

If your website is your only method of income generation, this makes capturing your audience contact information all the more important. Announcing a new service, product or e-book to those who have visited your website and submitted their contact information is much easier when this is in place.

9.    Mobile friendly version of your website

With mobile phone owners on the rise, having a mobile friendly version of your website is even more important. Reaching your audience on their device of choice is something many marketers are saying is continuously becoming more and more important as we progress forward into the coming years. This was also something echoed by Google themselves in a presentation I attended locally here in NZ.

Did you know that our small business website design services are also compatible with mobiles? It means your website also comes in a mobile friendly version.

10.  Regular updates to your website

Do you remember visiting that website that had outdated information? Don’t let your website be the horrifying experience your audience will remember. Ensure your website is regularly maintained with fresh and up to date content. If your website is dependent on your developer for updates, ask them to find out if there is a way for you to update your own website. Get yourself trained or outsource this task to ensure your website doesn’t end up in the Web of Horror!

Our website services also provide an easy WYSIWYG interface for users to update their websites when they want however they want.

Leave a comment and tell me about your favourite website must have or any additional ones you would add to the list.

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