5 things your website needs

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There is no way I could ever write a list of ALL the things you need on your website – each website is unique, businesses have different goals, are in varying industries and their creators are from a very wide range of skill sets.

However, chances are if you’re reading this, your tackling your website yourself, without the help of a professional designer. ‘

So here’s a couple of things you may not have thought about….

1. FAVICON

Your favicon is the little icon that is used in the browser window, to the left of your website name.

Your website host/platform will have a default favicon if you don’t design and put something in there. The favicon is also used when people bookmark your site, in their toolbar or as an app icon on their phone home screen.

To make one is simple – it needs to be a simple square graphic.

Depending on the platform you’re building your website, it needs to 32×32 pixels or less than 512 x 512 pixels. This can easily be created in whatever tool you use for your web graphics, Canva or your Adobe CC favs.

In WordPress, it is usually loaded through your theme (depending on your set-up) so in the left hand menu go to Appearance > Customise > Site Identity is a common place.

2. BUTTONS

MOST websites goals are to have a client take an action, like buy something, subscribe, book an appointment or contact you. This is end goal is rarely on the landing page of your website.

The clearest way to get your audience to go where you want them to, or take the desired actions, is to give them something to click on – a BUTTON!

You should try to have ONE call to action on your home page, where do you WANT them to go next or do straight away? Make this clear and give them a button.

Keep button styles consistent train your client to recognise your buttons as well as maintain your brand cohesion.

3. MAILING LIST OPT-IN

Now your business has its own digital real estate aka a website, you’re not just squatting at Facebook anymore, you need a way to keep your audience coming back to your site to do the thing you want them to do, like buy something, learn something, book you for something.

This is where your marketing plan comes into play. Often at the centre of any good marketing strategy is social media, some paid ads perhaps and a MAILING LIST. Even if you’re not sure what you want to email your audience about on day one, get their details! If you wait until you’ve found your voice – you may have had many people pass through and leave no footprints to be able to follow them up.

Have an opt-in in your website footer, as a pop up, as a banner on your homepage. Connect it to your chosen platform (Mailchimp is free for small lists) and start to collect those names.

Many people have a ‘lead magnet’ to give your audience something for free, add some value in exchange for their email address.

4. LEGAL POLICIES

I’m sure I just heard you sigh? you’ve seen these but thought you’d skip over them, you don’t need those do you…really??

Simply, yes you do. As a bare minimum your website needs a Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Depending on what your business is doing you may need more, like a Refund Policy, Terms of Purchase, Client Agreements and more.

All the sites I build, get the templates for the two essential policies from Legally Shalini. This is a great place for everyone to start and then get the legal advice you need to consider if you need any other legal docs to have you and your clients covered.

These are usually put somewhere discreet yet accessible on your website, like your footer.

5. SOCIAL MEDIA SHARE IMAGE

When anyone shares your website on social media, there is a ‘default’ image that appears alongside your link in a comment or post.

In WordPress this image is pulled either from the featured image for the page/post, or using a plugin like Yoast SEO you can choose which picture will be used every time. I use my gold B for this – to ensure consistent branding, not just always pulling a random blog post image.

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