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Congratulations! You've picked a URL and hosting for your website. You've picked a platform (like WordPress or Squarespace), a theme, and set up your website. You've got a logo and some images, and your first few blog posts. You may even have a contact page and links to your social media accounts.
Here are a few things every website needs that you may not have thought of yet:
Terms and Conditions:
If you're serious about growing your business online, then you need Google Analytics on your website. With Google Analytics, you can learn about who is coming to your site (where they're from, age groups, technology, etc), how they're getting there (organic search, social media, referral links), and what they're doing while they're there (page flows, bounce rates, etc.) Google Analytics is free. In most cases, you can add it to your site in less than 5 minutes.
While a sitemap doesn't seem like it adds much value, they're still important for search engines. SEMRush has a great listing of tools you can use to generate a Sitemap, and how to submit it to Google and Bing webmaster tools. If your website is built on WordPress, and you're using Yoast for SEO, they also have a sitemap generator tool.
A Mobile Version:
Virtually everyone has a computer in their pocket these days. We use them to keep in touch with friends, family, and our businesses. They're also the first tools we pull out when we have a question. Websites that are responsive (that just means they adjust well to mobile devices as well as desktops) rank higher in search engine results.
Bonus Reminder – CONTACT INFORMATION:
It may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure you have contact information on your website. I've actually visited websites that I loved, but couldn't find a way to get in touch with the site owner. A simple contact form will do. If you're a brick and mortar business, be sure to put your full business address (including city and state.)
There's one more “big little thing” that's really important for every business website. I've mentioned it in a couple of the items above. Can you guess what it is?
You don't have to be an SEO guru, but you do need to be doing the basics, like Title tags, alt tags on your images, and meta descriptions for your pages.
What are the “big little things” that your website needed? Let me know in the comments!