What's in a website?

by Alexandra McArthur on 5th Mar 2013


We often get asked to help clients who want a hand bringing together a structure and some content for their website. While we're not website coders or designers, (we work with those) we understand what makes a website work from a commercial perspective.

 It's all very well having a lovely looking site, but if no-one is visiting it, or if you have lots of hits but no action - what's the point?  We thought it was worth sharing some top tips on things to think about when looking at your website.

  1. Don’t forget to say who you are and what you do. Immediately, on the home page and everywhere on the site. I still visit some sites and think what the hell do you do, how exactly are you going to help me?
  2. Make the contact details visible. Don’t just rely on having a contact page. It sounds obvious but put your telephone number / email / Twitter – however you want people to contact you – on the home page and make it prominent everywhere else on the site.
  3. Stick to a simple structure that’s easy for the visitor to move around.Working closely with web designers always map out what you want on the site and then funnel that down into a simple structure. Make sure you can always find the home page and contact details. The most important elements such as introducing payment systems tend to bog people down, make any process as simple as possible, if possible test it as much as you can.
  4. Keep copy light. People often feel they need to overcompensate by putting lots of copy on. These days video content and photography are far more effective and helpful for search engine optimisation. Descriptive words and long sentences are rarely needed to get your message across.
  5. Always get a second opinion. Send the test site out to a few trusted colleagues or contacts to sense check before going live. Ask people for their opinion, they may spot something obvious that you may have overlooked.
  6. Keep it up to date. We are all guilty of this. Spend time and money getting a new website up and running and then leave it. It’s your online shop window to the world it has to be up-to-date. The world is changing so fast, so are your customers so make the effort to upload news items or refresh copy as your business grows or change.