No matter what type of website — eCommerce, professional, portfolio, blog — our ultimate website checklist will help you create a site that performs.
Launching a website is one of the most exciting things for your business. It will be the foundation of all your marketing efforts and the heart of representing your brand.
But if set up right, your website can do so much more than that.
A successful website makes it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for. It is one that gives visitors what they want.
Ultimately, it turns visitors into customers, brand ambassadors and followers.
“A successful website can turn visitors into customers.”
If you’ve got a website in development, use this checklist to see if you’re ready to launch. For existing websites, you can use this checklist to make it perform better.
Website checklist: General points
Whether you’re a service provider, eCommerce brand, blogger, local business, multinational organisation – all great websites have 4 things in common.
This is a good place to start before we get into the nitty gritty.
Purpose of your website
The most important step to consider is why you are creating (or have created) a website in the first place. What are you aiming to achieve with it? In fact, every landing page has its very own purpose. For example, educating your customers, creating an emotional connection, or selling your product. Make sure you think about the purpose of each landing page.
Who is your audience
For your message to get across you need to get to know the reader. A good way to find out how to best express your brand is to get inside your customers’ heads. Find out what their major pain points are, what desires they have, things most important to them, and so on. This will help you curate content that will resonate with your audience.
Ensure user-friendly design
There is no point in over cluttering your website design unnecessarily. In fact, providing too much information often turns visitors away. User-friendly sites offer easy navigation, simple menu, responsive design, and consistent messaging. Less is more when it comes to creating smooth and seamless user experiences.
When designing a website, functionality is key to its success. As Steve Job once said:
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Job
Make sure your site has clear conversion paths, SEO, speed, security, and ensure that all forms and links work. This is fundamental to improve its performance and therefore, its success.
Ultimate website checklist
Now that you know the basic elements to making a successful website, let’s see how you can make it stand out.
We will use a website we designed & developed for a children’s daycare centre on the Gold Coast so you can see how we applied each point.
Create quality content
There’s two things when it comes to creating quality content. First, it needs to be compelling. Second, it needs to be Search Engine Optimised.
Let’s have a look at how we did it for our client.
How to make it compelling
As you can see the site is created with visual consistency. Everything from the professional logo design all the way to the cute bears is consistent, which by the way we created. On top of that, the tone of voice is the same across all pages to create verbal consistency, which is just as important.
Together, our client gets a cohesive and recognisable brand image.
We’ve also structured the site with banners, headings, visuals and forms, making it easier for users to browse through.
Most importantly though, the content is relatable.
It was created with our client’s target audience in mind to ensure it resonates with them. Also, there is no need to use big words that nobody will understand anyways. Just be authentic and your message will get across.
How to make it Search Engine Optimised
Google and other search engines have very specific algorithms and requirements. Basically, they want to only show the most relevant websites.
So you have to make sure your site is relevant.
There are a few things you can do to appear in user’s results:
- Use relevant keywords — identify keywords and keyphrases most relevant to your business and audience. In our case these include childcare, vacation care, family day care, childcare centre, vacation care programs, etc.
- Internal linking — make sure you connect each landing page with another like we did. Helps keep the bounce rate low and improves the user experience
- Page speed & security — we set up our client’s site with an SSL certificate and made it PCI DSS compliant, because secure sites always rank better
- Mobile-friendly design — make sure to make your site mobile-friendly. Google priorities websites with a mobile-first design
Make it conversion optimised
If you want to take your website to the next level and maximise performance, make sure there are clear conversion paths.
This includes captivating call-to-actions and clear messaging, like what we did below.
Looking at this, it is immediately clear what can be expected from this service. The call-to-actions stand out with bold colours and a clear message.
This gives users a clear direction to taking specific action. One of the key components that make a successful website.
Choose an easy Content Management System (CMS)
For the ones of you who are unfamiliar with this term, CMS is the online platform you use to create and manage a website.
When we design and develop a website, we choose the CMS we will work with based on the nature of a client’s business. For example, for eCommerce clients we would use Shopify.
For service providers such as Benowa Children’s Centres we like to work with WordPress.
WordPress is a great platform, because you can build sites from scratch exactly the way you want it to be. It also offers many add-on features and plugins, letting you design a website with high levels of user experience.
In saying that, it definitely requires some coding and technical skills. But with a little effort, you can create a beautiful website.
Install tracking tools
Another key component to successful websites are tracking tools. They can tell which landing pages are most popular, how users engage with the content and how much time they spend on each landing page.
This will tell you the overall performance of your website and give you insight into areas for improvement.
To start monitoring your site’s performance you need to install a tracking tool. While there are many different ones, we recommend Google Analytics.
It’s free and easy to install on most CMS platforms.
If you’re at the stage of growing your business, make sure to include some marketing tools on your site like bots, email marketing automation, and sales channels optimisation. These are important to create the best possible user experience.
Want a unique website like Benowa Children’s Centres?
We can build you a high-performing website that tells your brand story and converts visitors into customers.
It’s easy to get good results, just get in touch.
Experience the Benowa Children’s Centre website in full here! Make sure to let us know what you think.
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We’ll discuss your requirements and advise you.