Hands up if you’ve recently landed on a website only to be completely frustrated by it?5 website must-haves

Sites with poor navigation, horrendous images, awful flash and highly annoying auto-play videos are just some of the modern Internet user’s worst nightmares.

The best sites tend to go for simplicity. They are easy on the eye, simple to find your way around and they tell you exactly what you need to know without having to go hunting high and low for the information.

So, to help you review your site to make sure its working rather than frustrating your users, here are my top 5 website must-haves.

1. Photo

A photo of you (if you’re a sole trader) or your team will show your potential clients that you’re real. After all, most people like to know who they are dealing with and, although they may never meet you in person, seeing you will make a big different to them because it adds a personal touch to your business.

2. Contact details

How frustrating is it to land on a website, have a query, but having no way of being able to contact someone?

More and more companies are opting for incredibly long FAQ pages rather than making their contact details available. Yes, very large corporations, you know who you are.

Don’t make your customers jump through hoops trying to find a phone number or email address, have a clearly defined contact page that lists your physical address, phone number and email address – make yourself accessible to your customers and give good customer service.

3. Benefits

Your website copy has to be all about your customers. They don’t care about you, they only care about how you’re going to make their lives better.

Keep your writing focused on them and how you’re going to help them.

4. Navigation

I mentioned this one a bit earlier. There’s nothing worse that a site with either hard to find navigation, too much navigation or too little navigation.

When someone lands on your website it should be easy and intuitive to find their way round (and to get back again). If you make it complicated you’ll risk losing them.

5. Call to action

Once you have them on your website you must tell them what you want them to do.

You might think it’s obvious that you want them to buy or contact you, but unless you tell them that they could just wander off and find another site. Spell it out to them: ‘Buy now’, ‘Call now’ etc.

What are your thoughts?

Can you think of anything else a website should have to be effective? These are just my top five so I’m sure you can come up with some others too.

Leave a comment below and have your say.