What makes a great website?

Having been in the web building business since Day One, here are Marketing Zone’s ‘5 F’s’ for an effective website, and the bottom line is – it’s all about content.

To have a successful website make sure that it is:

  1. Found – customers must be able to find you. Otherwise your lovely website will languish without the attention it deserves. Marketing Zone was once asked to review the search listings for a firm of solicitors. A search using their company name, gave page 1 results that included a consumer comment about ‘solicitors from hell’. Hardly ideal! You’ll want your website to be found for your company name and for key search terms for your business. That includes more niche terms, such as ‘commercial lawyers in Hertfordshire.’  With help from your marketing agency, identify and integrate keywords into your website as part of on-page search engine optimisation (SEO). It’ll help you be found – for all the right reasons. Marketing Zone helped Polaroid Sunglasses achieve number 1 Google rankings across competitive search terms.
  2. FIVE-F website design Hertfordshire Marketing ZoneFast – your website must load quickly or potential customers will never see your site. Research shows that 60% of visitors abandon a website if it doesn’t loaded within 3 seconds (Strangeloop). So you must use a reliable host, build your website using a robust software system and include images in web-friendly formats. Avoid unnecessary automatic Flash animations which slow down web load times and get in the way of usability.
  3. Familiar – when a customer lands on your website, they need to feel reassured they’ll be able to find the information they need easily. So a familiar navigation will pay dividends as people can find their way around. Top navigation bars work well and some people like to use  drop down sub-menus for more detailed information while others prefer side-bar sub-menus. Both approaches work well and there is no reason why your website can’t offer both at the same time.  Once your web visitors journey further into your site the navigation should remain consistent, or at least have a consistent feel, in these detailed pages too.
  4. Focused – make sure your website works hard for your business. It should be focused in terms of presenting a very clear proposition (the 30 second pitch you’d make for your business/brand) that is relevant and appealing to your target customers. It must also make it easy for your customer to take the kind of action that builds your business. So if you want them to call, make the phone number prominent. If you want enquiries provide easy mechanisms for this. So be up front in your offer and cut to the chase to encourage responses.
  5. Fresh – new website content is so important if you want your website to be found and to be re-visited. Blogs are a really effective vehicle for presenting informative news. And there is so much more you can do to engage web visitors – opinion polls, prize draws, white papers, survey infographics, seasonal offers, the list goes on. Fresh content is important for SEO and gives your readers a reason to return. Integrating your Twitter feed keeps your website fresh. Twitter can generate inbound links from a wide social network and this will improve Google page rankings because of how SEO algorithms place a value on your businesses sphere of influence through social media.

Talk to Mark for advice, on 07801 419800.

With creative design, clear navigation and well-written copy, Marketing Zone builds websites that drive traffic and encourage web visitors to click, call and buy.