How do you build an effective website?

We often spend lots of time and energy building a website, but forget the most critical things that should be included. This list of 5 things is fairly basic, but it is extremely important to have on your small business or non-profit website.

1. Call to Action

Tell your website visitors what you want them to do. Don’t let them come to your website, admire it, and leave without really doing anything. Some options are:

  • Click here to get started
  • See our portfolio
  • Sign up for our newsletter
  • Call now!
  • See how we can help you
  • Buy now!

A lot of times it’s a button that they click to go to a new page. Other times it’s phone number with “Call Now For a Free Consultation” or something similar. But either way, you want to clearly tell your users what to do.

2. Contact Information

Make sure every page has either an email address, phone number, or both. An address is really helpful as well if it is applicable.

Put it at the top of the page if you can…if not then put it as high up as possible. ESPECIALLY for mobile websites – users are looking for a phone number or address, so make it as easy on them as possible.

We really like to combine #1 and #2 by putting “Call us at 555-5555!” at the top of every page.

3. Words

Seems like a no-brainer right? It’s not. A LOT of websites do not have enough words on each page for Google to take notice. Short and sweet is good for your human visitors, but search engines like Google and Yahoo want to see words, and lots of words.

Make sure that you aren’t being too brief in your website content. You want to have 3 or 4 paragraphs at least on the majority of your pages, and you want to have more than just 5 or 6 pages. If you’re having trouble thinking of what to put on your website, check out How Many Pages Should My Website Have?

4. Whitespace

What is whitespace? It’s what people mean when they say that a website is clean and uncluttered. The things on your website – logo, phone number, navigation, headers, slideshows, etc. should not be too close together. There should be padding, or room in between each item.

Check out the image below of USA Construction Enterprises Inc for a good idea of how much whitespace you need (and it also has a nice call to action statement with phone number at the top too).

5 Things to Put on Website

5. Contact Form

Whether it’s a lead form on every page, or just on your Contact Us page, it’s a good idea to include a form on your website.

You don’t want to have a lot of required fields if you can help it, or people may not want to fill it out. Ideally, just a name and email address would be required, with a couple other fields available such as Phone Number and a space for the user to write a question.

Please let us know if you have any questions about how to improve your website!