Your website truly is your window on the world and each time someone lands on your webpage, you make an impression upon them. But is it a good one?

Unless your web designer has done a great job of making your webpage engaging and user friendly then they might get the wrong message, even establishing the wrong opinion about the product or service you provide. If you don’t appear to be worth getting to know, the chances are they will go elsewhere and make overtures to the competition.

In order to avoid this, how can you be sure that your webpage is making the right impression? Here is our take on the key elements that you should include if it is to do its job in a powerful way. Of course the content will vary according to the industry that you are involved in but generally the must-have essentials will remain across the board.

1. Make your value proposition unmissable
Ensure that your viewers understand exactly what you are providing with a clear and easy to understand value proposition. Don’t make your message so complex that they have to read it twice; it should be as simple as possible with no technical jargon. Your webpage should tell them not only what you do, but who you do it for. Tell them how you do it differently and why they should choose you.

2. Include a responsive design that is mobile friendly
No matter what type of device your webpage is viewed from – smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop – it should appear the same. If a viewer switches from one device to another, they don’t want to start from scratch. This is particularly important if your website is an e-commerce one. Items put into the shopping basket should remain and be seen when they move to a different device. Instead of having a separate mobile design and desktop design, just have one that is fully responsive.

3. Use social media links
It’s important that your customers can engage with you and follow your company on social media. Your webpage needs to have social media buttons in a place where they can easily be found and clicked upon. This will also get them clicking back to your webpage when on your Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites.

4. Navigation needs to be intuitive
When your web designer plans the webpage navigation he will assume that it is for a new visitor who has never seen your site before. It will therefore be clear and easy to understand, allowing them to find what they want first time without any confusion or needing to go backwards and forwards. The page that they visit most of the time should also appear at the front. They will appreciate this convenience and in turn, it will be much easier to gain them as a client.

5. Contact details
Many companies but this just on the back page but much better to show it at the top of each webpage so that customers can get hold of you quickly and easily. If they have to search for it, they just may give up. Include everything from telephone number through to email address. When webpages don’t show any contact details, viewers become immediately suspicious, feeling that they are not dealing with a real person. Get it wrong and you will lose credibility. Also show a local number if possible rather than an anonymous general one such as 0800. A live chat bot may also be useful, depending upon the sort of service you supply.

6. Access to blogs
A lot of companies have great blogs on their webpages but they are impossible to find. Always make sure that blog access is highlighted on your webpage. They help to prove your expertise and frequently lead to conversions and new relationships. Your web designer may also suggest adding a subscription box so that viewers can sign up for the latest publications.

7. Testimonials
When you have them, flaunt them! Although there may be some fake ones around, 79% of people trust online testimonials and reviews. If you have these from current customers, make sure that you show them off. This will help to build trust and inspires confidence.

8. Video
Whilst this is not essential, it certainly helps to attract viewers. People like to watch rather than read so a short introductory video can tell them everything they need to know in just a few minutes. Tell them interesting stuff, show them what you do and maybe introduce the team; putting faces to names is a great way of kicking off relationships. Keeping it brief and under 3 minutes is a winning recipe.

9. Superb images
Whilst stock images are useful, high resolution original pictures will resonate far more strongly. Try using real photos that are professional and tell a story.

10. Services link
Your value proposition has given an overview but you also need to include a detailed list of what you do. Adding a link works well so that when viewers need more detailed information to make a buying decision, they can quickly find it. It will also help your webpage to rank higher for the services listed when it comes to SEO.

11. Brandish those awards
If you have any certifications, awards or something similar that will show your high calibre, show them off. They build immediate credibility and support your professional image. By illustrating your third party credentials, it is not only you that is stating how good you are!

12. CTA (Call to action)
Always end with this. Before someone leaves your webpage, they should be clear as to what you need them to do. Don’t be vague or woolly. Decide on the actions that you want to include and ensure that your web designer includes them. But don’t have more than one or two as this will appear pushy and leave your customer dazed and confused.

Get your web designer to include as many of these key elements as they think fit. That way you will become the owner of an engaging and user friendly webpage that will work hard for your business, all of the time.