Don’t worry, I’m not trying to sell you something here. This is just a free little tip for website owners from someone who’s been building websites and helping business communicate clearly online for almost a decade.

So, here are the three elements new website owners often don’t realise their website really needs.

1. An upfront value proposition

You’d be surprised how many websites I come across in which the first thing a visitor sees when they land on the homepage is something like “welcome to our website”. Please, don’t do that.

We call browsing “surfing the web” because there’s a tidal wave of information out there, so we surf that wave. You’re competing with 1.2 billion websites so visitors don’t have a lot of time to dig into your content to find what you’re really offering.

So make it easy. Hit them with it upfront with how you can add value to their lives. This is known as a value proposition, and it should be pretty much the first thing users see when they land on your homepage.

Here are a few examples of great value propositions (click to view large):

Buffer website design
OnePlus website design
Netflix website design
Virtual tour photographer in Norfolk

It helps to express the value you offer right up in a big title, but it can be much more than that too, with the whole homepage dedicated to sections laying out why people should be interested in what you offer them.

2. Consistent NAP

This one goes beyond the borders of your website because it’s about consistency.

‘NAP’ stands for Name, Address and Phone number. These are the main three contact details that Google look for and what’s key is that these need to be identical everywhere they appear online. That includes your Facebook page, any directories your business is listed under and, crucially, your Google Maps business listing.

If any of these three important contact details are inconsistent this blurs the picture for search engines, making it harder for them to be confident you’re an established and reputable business.

So make sure your list your name, address and phone number consistently everywhere they appear online.

3. A privacy policy

I know this is the boring one, but many laws around the world require websites to feature a privacy policy. Many third-party services (e.g security tools, SEO, e-commerce plugins, payment processors, analytics tools etc) also require their users to have one in order to use their services.

Search engines also check whether websites feature a privacy policy. If a website does, they take it as a good sign the business means business, that it’s reputable and diligent. Search engines want to send searchers to reputable sites so featuring a proper privacy policy on your site will give it a little boost in search results.

You don’t need to splash it all over your homepage, just a link in your footer will do, but make sure to title the link “privacy policy”.

 

So, has any of this helped you? Any questions or additional tips? Leave a comment below.

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Author: Aidan Ashby

Aidan is a web and branding designer living in Northampton, UK. He’s a cautious optimist and is loathe to discuss himself in the third person. He loves pancakes and has a perpetual desire to just be sat in the woods with his feet up in front of a bonfire.

Connect with Aidan on LinkedIn.

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