Essential checklist of 22 top tips you need for business website development in 2021

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There are a number of important things you should be doing to improve your digital presence.

 

The global COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns have fundamentally changed the way people use the internet to seek out businesses and to check out products and services they may want to buy.

 

Essential checklist of 22 top tips you need for business website development in 2021

 

I've made a list of 22 important improvements that any business should consider before building a new website or redesigning your existing online presence.

I've broken these suggestions down into 5 key areas:

  • Content

  • Design

  • SEO

  • CMS Platform

  • Automation

 

I've included lots of external links and recommendations to help you dig deeper for lots of the areas covered.

 

So let's dive in...

 

Content

 

Content

 

Without great content, visitors won’t want to read it, even if it’s informative and SEO optimised. You need the right mix of engaging content to convince people to buy from you or contact you for more advice on how you can help solve their needs.

 

1.Fresh Website Page Content - make sure your content is recent, frequent and relevant.  By this I mean it's important to be updating your content regularly and that it's aligned to the products and services you provide.  No blogging for blogging's-sake - make each piece of content work hard for you.

 

2. Blog Articles - make sure you publish new content to the website in a way that visitors will recognise.  Use a Content Planning process to get the most out of this structured activity.  If you are struggling to think about what to write, use tools like Answer The Public or download our free Quick Content Planning Guide

 

3. Video and Podcasts - think about how you can create new or repurpose your content in videos and podcasts.  The more touchpoints you have, the easier it will be of potential customers to find you.

 

4. Downloads and Resources - create or re-purpose your content into PDF ebooks, tip sheets or whitepapers. Be sure to make the documents look professional in their format and design, plus include a strong call-to-action that encourages your reader into taking the next positive action towards engaging with your brand or service.

 

5. Social Sharing Tools - encourage your visitors to share your content on their social networks.  Plugins such as AddThis or ShareThis offer a variety of options for on-page share buttons to help your audience increase engagement by sharing content across their own channels.

 


Design

 

Design

 

Your visitors will reward you for good website design by hitting more pages, engaging with your content and by buying more of what you have to sell.

 

6. Great Website Page Layouts - decide the purpose for each of the page styles that sit within your website, such as landing pages, blog pages, squeeze pages. testimonials, cases studies and so on...  keep the layout clean and simple ensuring the useability is as good for mobile as it is for desktop.  Use white space to good effect and make sure your chosen font is easy to read and clearly visible on your choice of background colours.

 

7. Good Navigation and Call-To-Action Buttons - it's important to help your visitors to get around your website quickly - you will also want the direct them to your core pages that work the hardest for you.  make your navigation menus uncluttered and your CTA buttons prominent and easy to read.

 

8. Mobile Friendly - Google estimates 50% of web traffic worldwide is via mobile devices.  Expect this figure to be much higher if you are a retailer or have a consumer-facing brand.  Also, take into account the pandemic effect with the shift to home-working for many people and that figure could be as high as 80%.  Your website needs to be fully mobile-friendly or your visitors just won't stay around and search engines will not rank you as high as others who have nailed this functionality.

 

9. Google reCAPTCHA - stop bots and automated spam attacks on your website forms by using Google's reCAPTCHA or hCaptcha.  These services are typically free-of-charge for SME businesses, making them a no-brainer if you want to stop your inbox filling up a ton of junk or malicious mail.

 

10. Search - consider using a search function on your website if you have lots of content.  Different search solutions are often available as plugins for different website platforms and sometimes come as part of your package if you are using a templated solution.  Also consider including sort functions, filters, categories or breadcrumb trials to get visitors quickly to the content they want.

 

11. Accessibility - 3rd party plugins like Browsealoud from Texthelp and Audioeye are easy to install on your website making your content accessible and available to everyone.  You can ensure your website is compliant with WCAG standards and help promote inclusivity for your content.

 

11. Chatbots - implement chatbot software to improve and enhance your sales process and customer support service.  They can be used for providing a wide variety of chosen information to the visitor quickly based on pre-determined queries or AI trained models that learn the best ways to interact with the user.  They are also great for routine tasks and FAQs.

 

 

SEO

 

SEO

 

There are lots of great tools available to help you with improved SEO for your website.  Some of my favourites include; Screaming Frog, MOZ, Yoast and ahrefs.  You can also read more on the subject on my blog article here = How to Boost the Performance of your Business Website with Great SEO

 

13. Page Optimisation - get your pages to rank higher with improved on-page SEO.  Ensure your page content has the right density of keywords and is written in a natural way. Also, check that your source code is tweaked to perform at it's best.  Also, off-page SEO including link building and the use of your urls across other external sources will help to drive traffic to your website.

 

14. Meta Data - ensure your page titles and descriptions are complete as well as being well-formatted.  Using the right keywords helps your pages get found easily through search engines.

 

15. Images With Alt Text - make sure all of your images have the correct attributes or descriptions for the HTML code of your pages.  The alt text describes the appearance and functions of images in your content helping search engines index your content more accurately.

 

16. Site Map and Robot.txt - these elements help the website to tell the search engine crawlers which pages and files you feel are important in the site to index to improve the website searchability.  They are a must-have if you want to rank well.

 

17. Google Analytics - this free platform provides lots of analysis tools for your site to help you better understand your real-time traffic, most viewed content, best-performing pages, user-flow through your website, the location and devices used to access the site. When hooked up to Google AdWords the whole tool becomes supercharged with additional important metrics.

 

18. Google Search Console - formally Google Webmaster Tools, is a free service comprising a collection of tools and reports that can be used to measure your performance and help you fix issues to help the website get found more easily in search engines. 

 

 

CMS Platform

 

CMS Platform

 

Get the most from your website so you can add fresh content that can be indexed by search engines.  Back office solutions come in all shapes and sizes with a range of functionality that are well suited for many different requirements.  Editor functions should come as standard for all of your editing needs, with built-in template management, HTML source code control, text, image and video management.

 

19. Good up to date CMS - I've worked with some very good Content Management Systems and also (not by personal choice), some very bad ones too.  The one defining factor is that they must be reliable, simple and become the hub to help you manage all of of your website elements in one place.  Get more insights here for a choice of the best CMS platforms that we use to support your needs.

 

20. Reliable Hosting - think security, website speed, support and GDPR compliance as the key ingredients for a great website hosting solution.  Unfortunately in the world of hosting, you get what you pay for and cheap means bad.  Invest in a good and reliable hosting solution at the right price for peace of mind and guaranteed uptime of your website.

 

 

Automation

 

Automation
 

As Platinum Partners for Force24, we help deliver amazing open rates and customer engagement using the UK's top marketing automation tool.  The Force24 platform integrates with your existing CRM, monitors website activity and applies intelligent business logic that deploys tailored messages to ensure your pre-defined campaigns and marketing journeys reach the right people, at the right time – and via the right channel.

 

21. Personalised Landing Pages - automatically serving the page content that is right for a particular website visitor based on their preferences or known purchase history is an amazing way to convert more leads and allow the individual to get closer to your brand or service.  Tailor CTA's that are effective and on-message to get the required action done quickly and easily by your prospect or customer.

 

22. Automated email journeys - revolutionise your email marketing with a pre-defined automated activity that works tirelessly behind the scenes to deliver emails based on prospect or customer interactions.  Use landing pages to collect data to start this process for example to access gated content like brochures or downloads.

 

 

So there you have it... Lots of useful tips for you to take on board when planning your new website or redesigning your existing site..,

 

Ultimately, you need to ensure your website gets found by the right audience, at the right time and with the right solution to solve the visitor's problem.

Vanity visitor metrics just become meaningless statistics if your website doesn't convert the traffic into potential customers, or indeed, buyers.

 

Get in touch and feel free to add any comments about items I may have missed or you would like me to cover in more detail on a catch-up call.

 

 

Book a consultation call for our Corporate Website Design package.

 

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