5 Things That Belong on the Home Page of Your Website

 
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Website Design

5 Things That Belong on the Home Page of Your Website

Whether you call it a Home page, a Landing page or something else, that first page that visitors come to when they visit your site is your chance to make the right impression. Potential customers should be able to tell right away what products and services you offer, and what you’re all about. Sure, it helps if your business name tells what you do – ABC Plumbing, for instance – but there’s more to it than that.

Coastal Web Services is in the business of helping you make the right first impression with your website, and to us, all of these items are no brainers. But if another web design company tells you differently, at least this way you’re informed.

  1. Contact Information But you would be surprised how many small business websites don’t have a phone number, email link or contact form on their Home page. How are people supposed to contact you? And having an email link or a contact form is crucial, because a lot of people do their research on products and businesses after hours, so if they have a question for you, you want to make it easy for them to ask. You should also have your physical or mailing address included on the page. The common location is in the footer of the page. You really should consider having the same contact information included in all of your interior pages as well. It’s pretty easy to build it into your website design.
  2. Images that Represent What You Do If you’re a plumber, show a photo of running water, or someone working under a sink. Make sense? You’d be surprised how many small business websites have flowers, scrollwork or family photos that don’t relate to what the business does.
  3. Clear Navigation With Working Links Visitors to your website should have an easy pathway to get where they’re going. Have clearly named navigation menus at the top of the page, the side of the page, or both. Using the plumbing business, things could include Plumbing Repairs, Water Heaters, Septic Systems, etc.
  4. An Email Sign-Up Box Ask visitors to sign up for your email newsletter, with the promise of discounts, special offers, pertinent news, etc.
  5. Social Media Links Help customers stay up to date and engaged with social media. Use the standard icons for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. Call us today at 410-420-9390 or use our contact form to get started. We provide web design and SEO consulting services to small business clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as the Carolinas and the Gulf coast. We’d love to work with you.

Do You Need a Website Redesign?

 
Categories
Website Design

If you ask 10 people how often you need a website redesign, you’ll get 10 different answers. A website redesign is not like changing the paint color in a room. It’s more like gutting the kitchen during kitchen remodeling. If small adjustments or tweaking can fix problem areas, then a full-fledged website redesign may not be needed.

The main question to ask yourself is if your site is performing well. Are you getting plenty of good leads? Do site visitors convert to customers? If the answer is yes, then just some minor adjustments may be all that’s needed to keep your site fresh and current. In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Just because your website is old, if it’s performing well, you may want to leave it be. A website redesign just for the sake of it might actually hurt you.

On the other hand, there are many reasons to implement a website redesign.

  • People can’t find your contact page without a lot of effort
  • It’s hard to find what you need on your website
  • Your site is incredibly slow to load
  • You can’t update your site easily, and really old information is misleading.
  • Mobile users visit your site, but it’s not mobile friendly, so they leave quickly
  • Your website is 80% images and 20% text and you want to do better in search results
  • You want to incorporate SEO

Here at Coastal Web Services, we just recently launched a website redesign of our own website, for various reasons. We hope you like it!

If you decide to say yes to a website redesign, it’s important to do your homework before anything is changed. If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics or other web analytics tools, opt for a free web analysis and SEO analysis from various web design and SEO companies. Or better yet, find a company that does both.

The website analytics should help you figure out what’s working and what isn’t, how visitors arrive at your site, what pages they go to, are they converting to sales or do they leave? Also, take a look at what your competition is doing. Do they now offer online appointment scheduling or the opportunity to buy online?

If you’re investing in a website redesign, it makes sense to invest in SEO at the same time. An SEO analysis will help make recommendations on what pages to keep, which to delete, which to combine with other pages, how to set up your website navigation, and more. This is also the time to develop a user profile – who comes to your website? Who are your current clients? Who are you trying to attract?

The SEO research and target audience research needs to be done BEFORE designing your site. Think of SEO and user profile research as the blueprints for your website. Everything is built around them.

Things to Include in Your Website Redesign

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) See above.
  • Responsive Website Design Your site should be easily viewable on any size screen, without enlarging or swiping to the side.
  • Professionally written content. Writing for websites, and especially for SEO, is not like other writing. There is a whole different set of rules to follow. Above all, make sure your web content is easy to read and informative.
  • Content Management System (CMS) Getting a site built with a Content Management System (CMS) would be optimal as well, allowing you to make updates to your site yourself, such as changing photos, changing special offers, changing staff bios, etc.
  • Call to Action (CTA) on every page. This should be built into the web pages, but a CTA should also be included in your text.
  • A Home page that clearly defines who you are. Your Home page should pass the 5 second test. Can anyone visiting your site clearly identify what it is you do within 5 seconds?
  • A Blog page. Including a blog on your website is one of the easiest ways to add fresh content on a regular basis, and Google loves fresh content.

Still have questions about whether w website redesign is right for you? Call Coastal Web Services at 410-420-9390 for a free website analysis and SEO analysis, or use our contact form, and someone will get back to you. We work with small business clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic, the Carolinas and Alabama.

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