Designing, structuring, and building a website is an intense ordeal. There are graphics, content, pages, links, navigation, sitemaps and more to consider.

With all the fuss around production, budgets, and meeting deadlines, it’s easy to forget some of the core elements your site should be equipped with to ensure its success. This article will give you a brief overview of the key elements you should consider adding to any website.

Tell Your Story

Whether you offer a product, service, or anything in-between, you have a story to tell, and your website is the perfect platform to tell it. More and more consumers are looking to “connect” with a brand on a personal level. Your story and overall tone of your site and messaging are perfect ways to engage, interact with and connect with your audience in a meaningful way.

Get Back to the Basics

It’s not just about having a “pretty face” (metaphorically speaking of course). It’s about substance and value. No matter how flashy or beautiful your site is, if it doesn’t clearly convey your messaging, who you are, what you do, what you have to offer, and how it can benefit or help your visitors then all is for naught.

Make sure your visitors can easily find the information they need to make an informed purchase decision.

Mobile Responsive

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. MOBILE MATTERS. With over half of all web traffic coming from mobile you simply CAN NOT ignore optimizing your site for mobile viewing. And if you don’t, they are more than happy to head on over to a competitor that will.

Over 70% of web users said that they would not return to a site to make a purchase if that site had a poor mobile experience.

Speaking of User Experience

This is where we sometimes miss out on the forest for all the trees. Clients often want bells, whistles, and flashy media/features that sound exciting and fun on paper, but don’t always translate well to the user experience.

When designing a website, the core focus should be on a user-centric framework that is intuitive, easy to navigate, performs quickly, and provides them with the information they need when and where they want it.

Overcoming Objections

You proudly display and demonstrate your products or services, but do you offer up information to earn trust and overcome potential or assumed objections? If not, now is the time to consider ways in which you can help overcome any doubts your visitors might have about making a purchase. This might be as simple as clearly providing support numbers, listing shipping terms, or prominently displaying a money-back guarantee.

Call to Action

You built your site for a reason, right? Narrow down your top 1-3 objectives and work in “CTAs” to drive the performance of those metrics. This may range from sales to email opt-ins or even signing up for a webinar or demo of your product or service.

Sharing is caring

You already wrote a killer piece of content…why not help others share it with the world? Social sharing is huge. It not only builds up your brand and visibility, but it can also earn you new visitors and customers. Consider adding engaging social sharing buttons and widgets where appropriate.

Not Sure Where to Start?

No problem! Give us a call or drop us a line today. We love talking shop and can take a look at your site to see where we might be able to improve some things for you.

Reliable WordPress Styles

If you’re blogging on the WordPress platform, I bet the very first thing you ever did was try to install a new WordPress theme. I’ll bet that even today you’re still sometimes altering themes and wasting a great deal of time doing minor modifications that ultimately distract you from blogging itself.

Yet, it’s simple to understand why styles are important. With the proper style, you can have all the cool little widgets and codes, and might also suggest better online search engine rankings and tons of fresh traffic every day.

Exactly what elements do you need to consider to make this whole theme-hunting business much easier?

Here are 5 essential ones:

1) Theme Width and Columns

Usually, WordPress styles come in 2-column or 3-column formats, with widths varying from 500 pixels to 960 pixels large. If you’re blogging for non-profit functions, a 2-column style can look more compact and reader-friendly. Given that you have fewer pictures of links or items to other sites to display, you can focus solely on the material without leading readers far from your website.

On the other hand, if you’re blogging for earnings, you may wish to think about a 3-column WordPress style that will be able to accommodate your Google AdSense, Chitika, and Text Link Ads codes easily without squeezing everything in the content location. 3-column themes allow space for expansion, however on the occasion that you’ve filled up all available space with ads, then it’s time you got rid of the non-performers and utilize only the marketing services that work for that particular blog site.

2) Use of Icons and images

A style with icons and images can look great, however, it rarely enhances your web traffic or subscriber base. The majority of “A-list” blog writers have plain vanilla themes with a simple logo design on top.

An image-laden theme likewise distracts readers from the material itself. This is the reason why blogs like Engadget and Tech Crunch use images intensively in the content locations to include value to a post, but the style itself is rather minimalist and easy.

Ideally, a style ought to allow you to use your very own header image for more powerful branding functions, yet change images and icons with links and text, or simply not utilize them at all unless definitely required.

3) Compatibility with Plugins

Another time-sucking activity is setting up plugins that enhance the performance of your website. There’s a plugin out there for almost everything you wish to do with your blog, however, while most of them are easily obtainable and free, it’s not constantly simple to install the plugins and insert the codes into your WordPress style.

If your style is too complicated, it might be a headache to even insert that one line of code you have to make a plugin work. This is often the case with advanced AJAX-based WordPress themes that have a lot of files and heavy coding. I’ve constantly preferred easier themes that stay with the default WordPress style as much as possible, so I can cut back on the knowing curve and just get on with my life.

Bear in mind that the function of your blog site is to deliver timely, appropriate content to your readers, any theme that enhances the reader or maintains the experience is excellent, and any theme that subtracts from the experience is bad.

4) Search Engine Optimization

A lot can be said about SEO, but at the end of the day if you have content worth reading eventually you’ll get the rankings you are worthy of. However, that doesn’t imply that you don’t require SEO; it merely suggests that as far as optimization is worried all you truly need to do is to make sure:

(A) Your tags are formatted effectively, with the name of the post first followed by the name of the blog site – some themes can do this immediately without modification to the code or use of a plugin

(B) All your blog site content titles utilize the H1 tag, with the main keywords utilized rather of non-descriptive text for much better SEO importance

(C) Your theme has clean source codes, and if possible all formatting is linked to an external CSS file which you can edit individually

5) Plug-And-Play Ease of Use

Can the style be set up quickly on an existing blog site without having to move things around? Can the very same theme be utilized and tailored quickly on your other blog sites? These are some added things you may wish to consider when theme-shopping, particularly if every minute of downtime on your blog site may imply lost revenue.

While it’s hard to make contrasts due to the large quantity of complimentary and paid themes out there, it’s still a smart idea to have a test blog site. Check any theme you plan on using, and ensure your test blog site is also fitted with all the plugins and miscellaneous widgets used on your genuine blog. The last thing you desire is for your readers to begin seeing unusual error messages on your blog.

At the end of the day, a theme is just a style. Rather than investing your time installing them, it may be smarter to outsource the task and focus more on your readers. Salterra offers affordable prices on truly custom websites that don’t look like everyone else. Utilize your time efficiently and allow a professional web design company to free you up to do what you truly love to do! Call Salterra today for a Free Quote!

About Salterra Digital Services

Salterra was started in 2011 by Terry and Elisabeth Samuels; nothing fancy and nothing pretentious. Quality work at a fair price. Starting with a web design focus, they both quickly learned that while having an amazing website to highlight your business is a great start, marketing is intrinsically foundational for our clients. When several clients were not seeing results through the search efforts of other companies, Terry took it to the next level. While digging into SEO and marketing, he found something he was very passionate about. His inner geek pushed him to focus solely on the data and analytics side of the business while Elisabeth built on her creative and visual strength and expanded the design side. In the industry, it is not always common to have both designers and digital marketing so closely connected, but to them it made perfect sense. Salterra’s World Headquarters is in Tempe Arizona

Terry and Elisabeth are the Hosts of Roundtable SEO Mastermind Series and SEO Spring Training Conference.