Thursday, 17 November 2016 18:31

Website Essentials 2

Written by Tom Stark
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In April 2016, wrote an aritcle titled "50 Must-Have Features for Small-Business Websites". In this blog series, I will be breaking the article down into several sections and give you my expertise and opinion on each section. In today's installment we look at the top navigation and top section of a website.

6. Top Navigation Bar:There is simply no better advice I can give to you other than have an easy to read and use naviation bar. When users encounter a website that is difficult to navigate, they will simply move on. Keep your naviation bar simple. Do not have too many topics. Keep your font clean, simple and large enough to read easily. If you cannot make all of your subjects fit on the top navigation bar, make them sub-menu items, or have them accessible on another part of the website, either through a different menu (we will discuss that later) or through buttons or hyperlinks. Quite simply, keep the navigation bar a clean as possible.

7. Breadcrumb Navigation: This is one of those areas that I do not believe is a 'must have', but it may quickly become one. While it can be helpful on a site with many sub-menu layers, it is now becoming what Google shows in their search results. There have also been studies that show that users have less anxiety when using sites with breadcrumb navigation.

8. Slider or Image: This is a 'must have' for me. Images portray so much more than words could ever do. Your images should be clean, simple and have a modern look to them. They should also reflect the image of your brand and products. A website that sells pet products should not have images of sports cars. It is most likely the first thing your users will pay attention to, so use the image or slider space to its fullest advantage.

9. Crucial Business Information: Yes, yes, yes. Informtion about you should be easy to find, easy to read, and easy to use. Put your phone number on the site if you have a business phone. Put your address on the website if you have a brick and mortar building. But, at minimum, have a contact form or email link so people can contact you right from your homepage.

10. Testimonials & Reviews: Nothing will put new clients at ease more than real life customer reviews. Having testimonials and reviews on your website is like having a Yelp review right there for people to read. Ask your clients for a review or testimonial and get them on your site. I also recommend putting reviews on several areas of your site.
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