#1:  Well Thought Out

While it is important for a website to be aesthetically pleasing, it is even more important for the website to be useful. Before you choose your server or type a HTML tag, you should plan how you want the website to operate.  This is significant for both the SEO and user experience as Google considers all website content and structure when ranking on search pages.  So, it is recommended that you map out and draft a mock design for the site (known as ‘wireframing’ by designers), then run it by some friends to ensure the site is intuitive and makes sense.

#2:  Quick and Convenient Information

Believe it or not, the text should be kept to a minimum when it comes to the mission statement.  In fact, all text should try to be concise because people tend to have short attention spans and often skim information.  A helpful hint is to convey the company’s mission by comparing your business to something else; for example, MeUndies.com is marketed as a ‘Warby Parker for undies’.  Using this simile the company has aligned itself with the eyewear manufacturer’s curation and convenience.  Do not underestimate brevity where one or two sentences are more powerful than paragraphs!

Based on your type of business, you should have certain features on the website falling into the realm of ‘information’.  For example, restaurants require menus and a list of locations; however, all industries have specific types of necessary items relevant to their sector.  Retailers will require product images along with their product descriptions, and they should be high-quality images to keep the user interested or videos of their products created by video production agencies.  Service industry professionals rely on referrals and customer service, so it may be beneficial to place customer reviews on the site.  A wedding planner, for example, could have testimonials from brides who have recently worked with the company.  Web designers can include links to previous projects, and a hair salon can print testimonials regarding their promptness or skills.  Be sure to tailor the site so it offers all the information users would be looking for.

#3:  Accessible Contact Details

It is essential to have a telephone number, an address, a direct email and contact forms that are visible and easily accessible.  This can make a world of difference, because there is nothing more frustrating than being unable to find contact details of the business.

When placing a telephone number or email address on a website, do not upload the information as part of an image.  To ensure a person can reach you, the address or number must be clickable or can be copied from the site to send the email or make the call quickly.  Nowadays, the majority of smartphones have the ‘click to call’ feature on the web; thereby making the contact procedures as easy as possible for users.

#4:  Trustworthy Security

If your website is selling an item, it is important that you put effort into securing the site using an SSL certificate.  The SSL certificate encrypts communication between your company and the clients (credit card numbers, Social Security numbers).  This will remove a client’s fears of providing personal information as there is a great deal of identity theft on the internet.  Some good options to peruse when dealing with security include Entrust, TrustE, GeoTrust and VeriSign.

#5:  Integration with Social Media

Facebook.  Twitter.  YouTube.  Tumblr.  LinkedIn.  Pinterest.  Instagram.  Foursquare.  There are numerous social media platforms available online, and you should promote presence on all of the platforms via your website.  Social media is an essential part of marketing a company and by having this information on the website you will be able to improve access to the accounts.  Team Coco is a digital savvy business that is highly beneficial at promoting all social media channels on websites despite being an alternative company.

Integrating the various platforms into an official website is beneficial as it boosts the site’s SEO, builds a following across the different accounts, and can improve the company’s footprint on the social web.

#6:  Mobile-Ready

Tablets and smartphones are driving an increasing amount of online traffic with the numbers growing as mobile devices become less costly and more mainstream.  The director of Bing for Mobile, Andy Chu, states that 70 percent of all tasks completed occur within one hour on mobile websites.  This means that people browse the internet with intent and are searching to do something, go somewhere or purchase something.  To meet these requirements, it is important that your website is suitable for mobile devices.