In a world of ever-changing website fundamentals...

OK, first of all, let's get back to basics on what your website must do (this hasn't changed for years)...

- Works well on a smartphone as well as a desktop computer
- Keep people on there longer than a few seconds
- Convert visitors to either call you, chat with you or email you
- Load quickly!

With that in mind, let's have a look at the bare requirements on what you need in 2018

1. Get Your Website Loading Fast

It seems pretty obvious but it is crucial in this day and age. As we have evolved in attitude to the internet and our own busy lifestyles we have become incredibly impatient, if you haven't made an impact before the user has blinked their eyes they will be off somewhere else.

If your website is not loading as quickly as you think it should, then get in touch with Pebble and we can run some tests on it to see where improvements can be made. There are some really cool tools available to check:

a) Pingdom

b) GMetrix

2. Keep The Layout Simple

You may be the most creative person on the plant but that doesn't mean your visitor will be. Making a user work to find their way around your website will quickly result in high bounce rates and Google will love you less and less.

Stick with a simple layout, something people understand. They want to see a menu at the top of the page, possibly a burger if they are on a smartphone, if applicable, the telephone number at the top and additional contact options at the bottom. Everything else in the middle is where you can unleash your creativeness but keep in mind, the more important the content, the higher up the page it should be. If you think that the brain works better when viewing a grid system, this is how your website should be put before them.

3. Get Great Content Online

Content is what it is all about. If you have great content then people will hang around on your website for longer. If you use non-descriptive one-liners on your website people will shoot off in another direction, and again, Google will love you less and less. Avoid jargon, you may use this all day every day but you have to appreciate that your visitors aren't ofay with your lingo and acronyms.

If you can, use video to express yourself, rich content like this can have a dramatic shift in user behavior. The rise of websites like YouTube is proof that this medium is the way forward.

4. Get Your Calls To Action In

By this, we mean, drop-in valid action points into the page, if they are at the end of a blog, what's next? You add a call to action here, it could be "Read More", "View The Next Post" or "Contact Us For More Information". You have to keep in mind that web pages, like books and magazines, need a flow, if you stop the flow, your visitors will go somewhere else for their pleasure.

5. Security

If you haven't got an SSL on your website then now is the time to get one. If you have any kind of form on your website that takes personal information then why not think about the security of your users. Speak to Pebble about SSL certificates if you do not have one, they are cheap to buy and quick to install.

6. Mobile Website

We have been speaking about this for a couple of years now. Google is to launch their mobile first index in December 2017 meaning that priority on their website is going to sites that are geared up to serve mobile browsers first so if your website is not looking too hot on your smartphone, get hold of Pebble who can do some pretty cool web design things with mobiles.

7. Update Your About Us Page

This is often overlooked but go ahead and have a scan through your about us page if you have one. Tell everyone about what you have achieved this year, as well as this, if you have a team page that has staff on it, is it up to date?

For more information about these points above feel free to reach out to us at Pebble, you can get in touch by our contact page or by calling us on 01733 902070, you will also find us hanging around on Social Media.

Established in 2007, Pebble is specialists when it comes to Web Design, Ecommerce & SEO.