Five Must-Have Features for Any Website

If you’re setting out to bring the convenience of the Internet to your business’ operations and marketing, remember to keep these five things at the top of your list of requirements.

1: A Professional Design with a Strong Brand Presence

In today’s ever growing digital world, your website is likely your customer’s first impression of your organization. The look of your site should be polished and visually consistent with the look of your print advertising, statement inserts and emails.

The design should be unique, uncluttered, organized and flexible so it can grow and change as your company grows and changes. Your site’s imagery should be noticeable, recognizable, and specific to your community. Each element of your new design should have a specific and strategic purpose.

professional design with strong brand presence

Example of a strong brand presence: Citizens State Bank website

2. Clear Navigation / Convenient Access To Services

People generally don’t visit a business’ website because they are bored, but rather because they have a specific need. This is why it is very important to make things easy to find so the visitor can quickly find what they are looking for. Part of the site design process should include research to determine what are the most important links and feature them prominently. For example, on a bank website these links should include an Online Banking login, Branch/ATM locations, Contact and Rates.

If your orgnization offers a large number of services, there is more than likely a lot of information that needs to be communicated. Remember, you don’t have to have a page for every topic. Divide the information into different pages based on category. This will make your site’s navigation a lot easier to use for the visitor, which will allow them to find what they need quicky.

clear navigation convenient access to services

Example of convenient access to services: Henry State Bank website

3: Responsive, Adaptive, Mobile First… Just Make it Easy to Use.

You may have noticed the large quantities of people walking around with their heads buried in there mobile phones. Besides Pokemon Go, there is actually a really good reason for this: mobile phones are a convenient source of information. With the Internet being consumed on mobile phones in greater amounts every day, your website should be available to those users. When we say “available”, we’re talking about a way that doesn’t require them to zoom in on the screen.

This is accomplished by what some people call responsive design. It actually goes by several names – responsive design, adaptive design, mobile first, etc… all with corresponding programing philosophies, but in the end accomplishing a similar end product: a site that is easy to navigate on mobile phones and tablets.

mobile first website design

Example of “mobile first” website design: The First National Bank of Brownstown

4: Your Site Should Encrypt the Data it Sends and Receives

The primary reason why data should be encrypted is to keep sensitive information sent across the Internet secure so only the intended recipient can read it. An easy way to verify that your site is secure is to take a glance at the address bar at the top of the browser window. If there is a green lock icon or the word “secure” displayed next to the site address, your site is more than likely encrypted. If you are still unsure, Home Advertising can take a deeper look into your website and verify that the SSL encryption is properly in place.

ssl encryption

Example of SSL browser notification

5: Your Site Should be Compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

You probably didn’t know the ADA has authority over your website but it does – or at least it will soon. The Department of Justice expects to publish the Title III web site accessibility NPRM during fiscal year 2018. With such a deadline looming, you should probably not wait to get your site compliant.

Since you almost certainly make information about services available to the public on your website, under this new ruling, your site will be required to be formatted and coded properly to make sure people with disabilities have equal access to that information.

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

 

Stand Out From The Crowd!

If you don’t know where to start with your company’s marketing or if your website has become a confusing spiderweb of pages that doesn’t function in today’s on-the-go mobile world, contact Home Advertising Inc.

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