2018 is predicted to be a year that will bring a lot of new technology but it’s clear that the internet isn’t going away anytime soon. So before you jump into something new, make sure your foundation is set and that foundation is your website.

Your website is the ultimate tool for building awareness and driving business but it’s important to make sure it has what it needs to be successful. As the digital world continues to rapidly change, your website needs to do the same.

Here are 9 elements that your website can’t go without this year.


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THE 2018 WEBSITE CHECKLIST

1. High Speed

No one enjoys staring at a blank screen or spinning wheel while your site struggles to load. You have approximately 7 seconds to get a consumers attention, make sure you use it wisely. There are a lot of steps you can take to ensure a fast site speed but think about your images first. While images can help the visual appeal of your website, make sure you don’t have too many and that they are compressed and optimized for your site.

2. Mobile Optimization

If you haven’t considered this yet, it’s time to start. Nearly everyone has some sort of smart device with them at all times. Because of the easy accessibility, it’s essential to design with mobile in mind. If your website is not mobile-optimized, you’re at risk of losing customers who experience a negative first encounter with your brand online. It’s predicted that 73% of all internet consumption will come from mobile devices in 2018, so be ready.

3. Visual Aesthetic

Make your website visually appealing and representative of your brand. A well-designed website adds to the ease and enjoyment of experiencing it. If the aesthetic design of a website is branded, clean and flows well, it’s easy for your users to understand and connect with the information they’re seeing. From graphic design to images to video, there are a million different ways to create website content. As long as your website design is in line with your brand, the options are unlimited. There are also a lot of design trends to stay up to date with.

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4. Analytics & Tracking

Data can help you gain very useful insight on your customers. This is why it’s essential to make sure your Google Analytics tracking is set up properly on your website. Website traffic numbers, bounce rate, top landing pages, traffic sources, and conversion rates are just a few data points that you can discover through Google Analytics. There are lots of reasons why data matters but most importantly; it helps inform your decisions.

5. SEO Optimization

Even if your website is great, it’s not much use if no one can find it. SEO is a powerful tool in all capacities and when used correctly, it can help drive your business by connecting you to your consumers. Additionally, not only should your website be designed for mobile, you should be thinking mobile-first when it comes to SEO. With tools like Siri, Alexa, Google Home and more increasing in popularity, voice search is being used more and more. This shift to voice search means that SEO will have to be written with everyday language and long-tail keywords in mind.

6. Enabled CMS

A Content Management Software allows you to assign levels of permission and access to users. Why is this important? After all the hard-work and coding is said and done, a CMS provides a place for your client to make changes on their own. For them, it’s easy to learn to use and for you, you don’t have to worry about unnecessary changes being made to the code.  

7. Lead Generation

Optimize each step of the Lead Generation process. Calls-to-Action are the first step in getting users to interact with your website. Not only should they be visually appealing and intriguing to customers, they should contain copy that compels users to click on them. The second step to a CTA is creating a Landing Page. According to Hubspot, companies with 30+ landing pages generate 7x more leads than companies with 1 to 5 landing pages. That statistic alone is reason enough to consider Landing Pages in your Lead Generation strategy. The last step to optimizing your Lead Generation process is including a Thank You page that gives users a place for social sharing, downloading content and moving onto the next offer in your Conversion Funnel. Delivering valuable content to your leads through an optimized process is one way to ensure inbound traffic to your site.

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8. Email Capture & Social Media

Email and social media are a great way to drive traffic but it goes both ways. Having a sign up on your website not only builds the contacts in your email database but gives you the ability to capture valuable information that can be used across other marketing initiatives. Additionally its important that you increase access to your online platforms and support your SEO by including links to your key social media platforms on your site.

9. Security

You wouldn’t leave your house unlocked everytime you leave, so why would you have an unsecured website? Security is an essential part to building a successful website. Keep your client and user data protected by whatever means necessary, and all the hard work you’ve done will be safe.

These 9 elements combined are just the foundation for making your website visually appealing and functional. In today’s business world, you need a website and a good one at that. We know how important a powerful website can be so we work hard to uncover the character behind your brand and build a website to connect you to your customer base.

Looking for help? Contact our skilled Web Design & Development team.

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Molly Brown

Written by Molly Brown More by this author Arrow