Knowing what to include in a website and what to exclude is difficult. Improve your site today with these six website must-haves. By including these simple and actionable things on your site you will not only see an increase in traffic but help to create a better user experience for your reader.
This post does include some affiliate links but I only mention things I use and believe in.
6 Website Must-Haves
- No.01Newsletter list
If you don’t do anything else I suggest in this post, let this be the ONLY THING YOU DO.
Start an email newsletter list.
It doesn’t matter what your website is about. Photography services, lifestyle blogger, or selling a product online.
YOU NEED A NEWSLETTER LIST.
Don’t build your community on social media. You don’t own that platform and we all know what happens when you rely too heavily on social media to reach your audience. They change the algorithm and now you have to pay to play.
The people who sign up for your email list are your people. They are the ones most interested in what you have to say and/or sale. Treat them the best.
I have used several different services and I can’t recommend ConvertKit enough.
Their interface is extremely easy to use and the possibilities for email marketing is endless at an affordable price.
I plan to write more on email marketing because honestly, I could fill a book with how to do it but for now, do this.
1. Sign up for a ConvertKit account
2. Start capturing email address
3. Email your list at least once a month but I would recommend weekly
4. Provide value – Send them your latest posts, offers, or someone else’s post.
The key to a great email list is to provide value. Don’t just pitch offers to your list each time.
- No.02Heat Maps
We spend countless hours creating beautiful websites to help serve our readers. However, do you know what is popular on your site? What people click on most often?
Install Heat Maps by Sumo Me for FREE to see what people are clicking on your website.
What I found most interesting was sometimes people clicked on something that wasn’t clickable. This helped me to realize I needed to tweak my design to make it more user friendly.
Plus, I love seeing what people are not clicking. If people aren’t clicking it then it is taking up valuable real-estate that can be used for something else.
When you install the Heat Maps you need to install it on each page/page you would like it on. At the very least, install it on all the pages in your navigation bar.
- No.03Informative About Page
Every website needs an “About” page. This is often one of the most clicked on pages on your site.
Here’s the funny thing about the About page, it isn’t actually about you. Instead, it should be about how you can help the reader.
Talk about the benefits you can offer them. Tell them about the community you have created. Answer some of their questions. Share popular blog posts.
Don’t be afraid to share a little bit about yourself as well but make sure it is geared towards helping them.
Some people love to share fun facts as well. This is a clever idea because if you are a St. Louis Cardinals fan and one of your readers is as well you have an instant connection. (Which I am by the way)
- No.04Welcome Mat
I have said for years you should have a pop-up on your site to capture email addresses. It is essential that you build a newsletter list.
Almost everyone hates pop-ups, myself included, but they work! It’s crazy how well they work.
I recently changed my pop-up to a Welcome Mat. This is a screen that slides down the rest of your blog so the only option is for the reader to subscribe or say no.
This converts well because it forces the person to make a choice. Yes – email me free information or No- I don’t want your free information.
I suggest A/B testing (split testing) your Welcome mat to see which design and wording converts the best.
- No.05Photo of you
I can hear the moaning now. Yes, you need a photo of you on your site.
People want to connect with the voice behind the website. Especially if people are going to hire you for a job, they want to see what you look like. It’s human nature.
Try to keep this photo current. You don’t have to change it daily or even monthly but if you chop off all your hair or dye your hair blonde, it may be time for an updated headshot.
- No.06Contact page
This page may not be clicked on as much as your other pages but it is still important.
People need to know how to get ahold of you.
Please include your email address written out.
I realize some people like to use forms and that is fine but also include your email address.
Personally, I don’t like forms. I have filled them out too many times only to find out the person never received my request.
Plus, I like to have a copy of the email I sent you in my own records which is why I prefer to have your actual email address to write you from my email address.
I remember listening to a brand talk one time about how if they can’t find your email address they may not add you to a list of potential partners. They often have to put together a spreadsheet of partners with all their information on it. If they can’t find your email address you may miss out.
Don’t make them search for it. Create a contact page and place it on there.
If you receive a lot of emails (as I do) I would suggest putting an additional FAQ section on your contact page as well.