When you’re DIYing your own website, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to add all the bells and whistles. But so many times, the fluff will either be ignored by visitors completely, or can distract from what they’re really trying to achieve on your site.
Instead of getting hung up on all the “nice-to-haves,” I thought it would be helpful to share with you five of the most essential elements your website actually needs right away. The best part? These are all pretty simple to accomplish!
#1 – An easy way to get in touch
If a visitor is struck by the service you’re offering, don’t make it difficult for them to reach out! I recommend placing your phone number or email directly in a common position like your site’s header or footer, and also having a prominent “Contact” link in your navigation. Don’t make prospects go digging for this vital information.
#2 – Clear and visible call to action
A call to action (CTA) tells visitors what they’re supposed to do next on your site. These are usually styled as buttons and direct users to “Buy Now” or “Request a Free Quote” and should be sprinkled thoughtfully throughout your website’s pages. If you leave it in your visitor’s hands to figure out what actions to take next, you’re missing out.
#3 – Simple navigation
Your website should feature a simple, intuitive navigation that stays the same from page to page and allows visitors to navigate to your site’s most important content. I usually recommend having no more than eight items in a top-level navigation menu—if more are needed, consider a secondary navigation for the less important items.
#4 – Your logo and branding
This one is simple but so important! Your website should be a direct reflection of your brand, meaning the two should work together as a cohesive pair. If your brand colors are blue and green, those colors should definitely make an appearance on your website. Similarly, if the font you use in marketing materials is an elegant serif, you should find something similar for your site. And don’t forget to place your logo prominently in your website’s navigation!
#5 – Information about your product or services
There are a lot of things that are optional when it comes to website content: I’m not convinced you always need an FAQ or even an about page, but what do you always need? Engaging information about your product or services. I’d recommend having a separate page for this content, but if you’re keeping it simple with a one-page website, make sure you devote a robust section to it. After all, this is likely why your visitors are here: to see if what you’re offering is a good fit for their needs.
Of course, there are many other components that help craft the perfect website, but these should get you moving in the right direction when you’re just starting out!