For most businesses a website is the focal point for providing information to customers and acts as a vital tool for generating leads and enquiries and ultimately new business. Is your website currently performing as well as it could be? Web Design Agency Urban River provides ten website tips paying attention to the fundamental things a website should do.

1. Attract Customers

We all know that first impressions count. So, when someone arrives at your website the design needs to create a good impression. It should be attractive and appealing in order to grab their attention so that they are tempted to stay on the site for a while and take a look around.

2. Be Easy to Navigate

People want to find the information they're looking for swiftly so your website should be simple to navigate. If they can't find the information they require within two or three clicks of being on your site then the likelihood is they will leave and go straight to one of your competitors.

When you're planning your website you need to take into consideration who will be visiting it, who is your ideal customer and what information will they want to be presented with. Provide them with a clear navigation menu so they can access the details which are most relevant to them without any hassle.

3. Provide a great user experience on all devices

6 out of every 10 adults (61%) in Great Britain are using a mobile phone or portable computer to access the Internet 'on the go' (Office for National Statistic) Taking into account that internet browsing habits are changing it's important that your website is optimised and displays correctly across all devices (Laptop, Smartphone, Tablet Desktop etc.). A website that is built using responsive design will provide the best experience for all users because the website will adapt to the correct shape and size no matter what device it is being viewed on. The beauty of having a website that is built responsively is that it only needs to be developed once so there is no need for different versions for different devices and it will save you money in the long run.

4. Keep things fresh

You need to give people a reason to visit your site over and over again. If your website becomes stale and is rarely updated with new content why would they bother coming back? Add new, interesting and valuable content on a regular basis to encourage repeat visitors. The on-going creation of new content is also great for search engine optimisation (SEO). Add a blog to your site (if you haven't already got one) as it provides a place for you to add useful articles and advice on a regular basis and keep things fresh!

5. Highlight the benefits of what you offer

What are the advantages of your product or service? What will the visitor gain by coming on your site and buying from you? The answers to these questions, your key business features and benefits should be highlighted on your website because you need to present people with reasons to buy from you.

6. Capture Data

To obtain the details of potential leads your website should have facility for visitors to subscribe to updates from you. You could offer them the option to sign up for blog updates, subscribe to an e-newsletter or download a white paper. Whatever you offer just make sure they have to enter their contact details to receive the updates. You can then use this valuable data to stay in touch and hit them with your latest news and offers on a regular basis. Keeping your business at the forefront of their mind should hopefully enable you to turn that lead into a sale.

7. Give Clear Calls to Action

When a potential customer visits your website what do you want them to do? Do you want them to request a quote? Buy a product? Subscribe to your newsletter? Pick up the phone and call you? Whatever it is that you want the customer to do it needs to be presented clearly and simply on your website (ideally on every web page) and easy to do.

8. Provide Contact Information

Don't risk losing potential prospects by making it difficult for them to contact you. There's nothing more annoying than landing on a website, being interested in the product or service but then not being able to find the contact details! It is definitely enough to put you off and not contact them at all. It seems like such an obvious thing but there are many websites that don't display their contact information clearly and will be losing business because of this. It's a good idea to include contact details on every web page if possible and give people more than one way to get in touch with you so they can choose the method of contact they prefer.

9. Give a great experience

The best websites are ones that create a great user experience. Sites which are engaging, interactive and pleasurable to browse are the sites which encourage people to visit over and over again. Try and tell the story of your business throughout your website, give a taste of what you're about and create an experience around your brand that your customers will enjoy.

10. Keep You Connected

Your website must be connected to your other channels of communication and vice versa. What social media accounts do you utilise? Twitter? Facebook? Google+? Make sure they are all linked together to help drive traffic and awareness.

Article by Sarah Robson of Urban River.

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NBSL LogoThis article is brought to you by NBSL's North East Business Support Fund which funds the costs of business improvement projects such as website development, marketing strategies, external consultancy – click here to find out more

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