5 Critical Things Your Website Needs

July 13, 2017 5:37 pm Published by

1. A fast hosting account

Is your website slow? Let me ask a slightly different question. How many seconds does your website take to load for new visitors?

Most websites take more than a couple seconds to load. That’s not okay.

Most businesses have about 5 seconds to capture the attention of a prospective buyer. If your website takes more than 2 or 3 seconds to load, you’ve already wasted half of their time on a blank screen.

Depending on conditions, our websites score anywhere from 0.25 seconds to 1 second for loading time for new visitors.

Seconds count. Use them wisely.

2. A good call-to-action

You’ve heard the term before, but you might be wondering what a call-to-action really is.

Let’s propose two possible headlines that are front-and-center on your website.

  1. Welcome to Bob Ross Real Estate! We’re glad to have you on our new and fun website. Click around, or try the search feature.
  2. Bob Ross Real Estate. Better homes at affordable prices. Download our free e-book, “3 Important Steps to Buying a Home that You Don’t want to Miss!”

In a direct comparison, I’m confident the second one would out-perform the first nearly every time.

Because visitors have only 5 seconds to understand what you do and why you’re special, the first few words need to convey your purpose.

Is your website marketed properly? Are you compelling your visitors to take action by giving them something of value in exchange for their email address or phone number?

3. A usable design

You’re on a website, looking for a page, or a feature, or a button. You know it’s around here somewhere, but you just can’t find it.

We’ve all been there. Poor design leads to poor success. You wouldn’t hide your best salesperson from the public, or dress them inappropriately for their job.

Your website is a salesperson. It needs to be easy to interact with, and easy to buy through.

Run a small focus group. Pay a few dollars to some friends and family to test your website and give you honest feedback. It will go a long way in fixing the headaches your website may be causing.

4. Regular maintenance

“Why do I need maintenance,” you ask? Here’s why: technology changes over time, and bugs are found in existing code.

Website code is quite similar to a spoken language. Except that you have to be far more specific and analytical in the way you speak it.

Because of the difficulty in writing perfect code (it’s nigh impossible, really), existing websites are frequently found to be vulnerable to hacking.

It’s like if you wrote a novel, and one grammatical error or typo would allow anyone reading the novel to have their personal information or money to be stolen once a reader found the typo.

Clearly, you wouldn’t trust a novel to be entirely free of typos. Likewise, you can’t expect code to be hack-proof.

Every so often, a typo is found in the code of your website. If you don’t have someone monitoring the security community and maintaining your site regularly, you could be placing your website’s visitors at risk.

Not only that, but you could be looking at thousands of dollars of cost to repair a hack.

Maintain your website, or pay someone a reasonable rate to do so for you. If you’re not a web expert, you’re likely missing important bugs on your website.

5. Optimized code

Think having a fast hosting account and a good call-to-action will be enough? Not always!

Each time a new visitor reaches a website, anywhere from 30 to 50 files are moved between the website server, and the visitor’s computer. Websites require this information to show everything properly.

Each of those 30 to 50 files takes time to load. First the visitor’s computer has to “ask” the server for the files, then the server has to prepare them, then send them, then the visitor’s computer turns them into a website.

With 30 to 50 files, that can add quite a lot of time to the page load.

If you optimize files the right way, you can “compress” those files into about 15 to 25 total files. That can go a long way in reducing page load speeds.

 

Check your website for speed at Pingdom Tools. Does your website score an A or a B? We aren’t satisfied with our websites until they score an “A.” Let us know your results in the comments below.

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This post was written by Jarrett Tilford

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