1. It has to be found.
This is the most important item and the hardest to achieve on a
reasonable budget. Your site must compete against literally every one of
your local competitors. Most people do not look beyond page one of
search results. Being in the first ten is essential for anyone to find
your site and become a customer. This is what causes a company a big
financial dilemma. When your site cannot be found, the only options are
to upgrade your site or pay every month for search engine optimization
(SEO) or pay-per-click advertising (PPC). SEO and PPC can both cost
thousands of dollars a month and can generate vastly different success.
2. It has to work for all viewers. Visitors
must be able to see and navigate your site on whatever device they’re
using. Tablets show sites differently than a PC or laptop, and mobile
phones have even smaller screens that your site must fit on. If it
doesn’t, the visitor may get frustrated and leave. Loading times are
longer for mobile devices, and the visitor may be paying for cell data.
To avoid racking up your visitor’s charges, you should not make large
videos play when the page loads.
3. It has to be navigable.
The visitor must be able to navigate your site with any device they
use. A common mistake is that a site menu only relies on mouse movement
to show links. However, phones and tablets use finger swipes and taps.
If your menu is mouse-based, visitors may not be able to move around
your site when viewing on mobile devices.
4. Navigation has to be simple. Don’t
make visitors work hard to find what they are looking for. Keep links
in one menu section, such as at the top of the page or down the left
side. Multiple sets of links on a page will be confusing and
5. It has to be attractive.
The visitor must like what they see if they are going to stay. It
should also portray your business in a professional manner. Keep in
mind, in many cases, your website is the first contact with potential
customers. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
6. It has to be basic.
Many people are in a rush online, they do not want to wade through 20
paragraphs of text. Sum up your message in 500 words or less and create
links to more information if necessary. Try to avoid pages that are too
busy with several different blocks of content all over.
7. It has to be current.
Your site should be updated regularly. Check to make sure copyright
dates, staff listings and contact information are up to date. There is
nothing worse than trying to contact a company and finding that the
number is disconnected or email address has changed. Also, if your
‘latest news’ is from 2011, a visitor will think you're probably out of
business and move on.