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8 Business Website Essentials

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Custom widgets, hand-selected fonts and expensive stock images are all well and good, however there are some basic things that your business website needs in order to perform well. These are not very pretty or graphical things, they are related to your website performing well on search engines (having good SEO) and also being an effective user interface for your interested customer.


1. A Fairly Short And Memorable URL

In almost all cases, short and simple URL's are the best practice when it comes to choosing URL's. They are easier to remember, easier to type out and look better than super long URL's that contain multiple words.

The same goes for subdomains and subfolders on the domain. Keep it short, it'll make it easier if you need to add extra folders. Product pages are one of the things that often end up with messy URL's as they are often auto generated by a content management system (CMS).

A good example of a company than ensures there URL folders are properly named is General Pants with A bad example of this is ASOS with

Making sure your URL's are properly formatted will help your business in the long run, especially with SEO.

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2. An Explanation Of Who And What Your Business Is

An ‘About Us’ section goes a long way towards credibility and informing potential customers. So does a simple explanation on the landing page of your site, if an entire page is not needed.

This section needs:

  • When your business was started
  • A bit of history
  • Your products/services
  • Your key people e.g. CEO, GM
  • Location
  • Contact details

You can also start tagging important information on all your pages with Schema which is a structured data markup that gives search engines important information. Search engines read Schema data to help them determine what a page is about.

This then feeds into how you appear on google, with information you've marked up appearing with your business descriptions (meta description) and titles. If your website has reviews you can get the star rating to appear in the search results.

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3. Mobile-Optimisation

If your website can’t be viewed on mobile, you’re missing out on a significant proportion of web users automatically.

Thankfully it’s fairly easy in most cases to make your website adapt to small screen sizes. You certainly don’t need to redirect your users to a different website (never do this, it is an SEO killer). CSS3 is the latest version of the cascading style sheets language that lets you style webpages, and it has the capability to respond to screen-size built right in.

Having a mobile optimised website is extremely important as search engines move to a mobile first indexing system. Due to the high volume of mobile search's, Google is overhaling their algorithm to show mobile optimised websites first. Obviously, there are going to be some technical obstacles here so you will need someone with a solid grasp of web design. Here is an example stylesheet that turns the background colour lightblue for screens of width less than 500px:

@media only screen and (max-width: 500px) {
    body {
        background-color: lightblue;

(Source: w3schools)

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4. Normal Navigation

Keeping navigation as simple as possible is very important. Depending on what type of business you are running, its a good idea to look at how other businesses in your industry format their nav bar. That way people will have much less difficulty navigating your website as it will be displayed in a format they are used to.

What you put in your nav bar will depend on what your business does. For example, if you run an online fashion label, you might sort your navigation by the types of clothes you sell, which could make you nav bar quite complex, but still makes it easy for the user to find what they are looking for. If your a builder, your nav bar can be quite simple and include things like an about us page, contact page and services you offer.

The aim is: make navigation as simple and familiar as possible. For a simple to medium sized business, you probably need just a simple non-hierarchical menubar. Even a sidebar is a bit heavy-duty considering the amount of space it takes up.

But, what every website should have is a search bar. This enables even the most confused users to find what they are looking for. Even if you think ‘this website is too small for anyone to get lost’... you would be surprised. You can make a Google search widget for any website easily here.

The worst thing you can do is reinvent the wheel when it comes to navigation. If you have a brilliant idea for some animated circular navigation thing... probably don’t invest time and money into it. It will confuse people.

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5. Testimonials

People don’t trust company’s; they trust people. This is a basic instinct.

The most credible way to have reviews on your site is to embed them from a review site that supports embedding. Truelocal and Zomato don’t, but Yelp does thankfully. Here is a review of the excellent Paul’s Famous Hamburgers:

Read Angela Y.'s review of Paul's Famous Hamburgers on Yelp

While having reviews on your site is okay, even more importantly is having reviews on credible review sites. For example, getting good reviews on websites such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, Truelocal and dLook is a great way to help boost trust in your business.

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6. Search Engine Optimisation SEO

Search Engine Optimisation is a serious field which you can spend a career delving into, but the basics will probably always remain the same.

You need:

  • Meta titles
  • Meta descriptions
  • Image alt tags
  • Meta keywords
  • Keywords

The easiest thing you can do right now is add 'keywords' to your website. For instance, if you are a painter from the St George area, you want keywords like: Sydney, Painter, Painting, St George, Rockdale, Paint, Walls, Roofs. As you grow your website you can target more keywords to help your businesses online presence develop and grow. The thing is, it’s hard to rank highly when people search for general things like ‘painter Sydney’ due to the immense competition, whereas it’s more feasible to rank highly on specific searches like ‘wall painter Rockdale’.

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7. Social Media Integration

This is easy: add social media sharing buttons like AddThis. Also, link to the social media profiles of your business if you have them.

Having social media profiles and posting regularly has become an important part of online marketing. Making sure your business information is correct across all social platforms is also very important as customers and search engines can get confused if the information is different across various social media.

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8. A Clear Call-To-Action

The actual way your business website is going to make money is by getting visitors to do something, like calling you, subscribing to a service or buying something. This could be a button or a heading that get your customers to choose your business.

Where to put this call-to-action? Either on the landing page above-the-fold (before the visitor has to scroll) or below-the-fold after some content that convinces them towards the action.

What should the call-to-action look like? It should be noticeable. Colouring works well, also make it a decent size so it stands out from the rest of the content on your page.

Come up with something creative that makes users want to purchase your product or choose your service. If you offer any discounts or are promoting and particular products this should be used front and centre. Addressing the users needs in the main goal of a call-to-action.

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MydLook Express Sites

MydLook Express Sites are simple websites that tick off all the elements of this checklist. They are a basic, yet attractive way to get your business online with no coding required, very little time to set up and they are very affordable. Basically, if you want your business to start ranking well on Google, without needing to research ways to optimise its keywords and the like, then you should consider a MydLook Express Site. With built-in mobile responsiveness, social media integration, eCommerce, custom forms and “do it for me” solutions, Express Sites have everything you need in a business website.

Express Sites are an offering that MydLook has created to give you the best SEO in the simplest way, so it is not something that other businesses are offering. To tick off every essential item in your website checklist in one fell swoop, you should try a MydLook Express Site.