Has your website got these essential elements? It might be obvious, but people do sometimes forget!

#1 Contact page:

Believe it or not, there are actually businesses out there without a contact page on their website! If you do not have a contact page letting potential leads know how to contact you or where to find you, they will never turn into that much sought after client; essential to the growth of your business. Make sure to include on your contact page the most efficient methods of contacting you, be that telephone, email or physical address.

# 2 SSL certificate

or ‘Secure Socket Layer’ is a cryptographic protocol that helps encrypt communications over the Internet. As part of Google’s ongoing mission to build a more secure web, it’s now become imperative for businesses to seriously consider whether or not they need an SSL certificate for their websites. Not only would your secure website be favoured in search, it’s now favoured by the visitor using Google Chrome. Find out more about SSL here.

# 3 Terms and Conditions

A Terms and Conditions page is one of the most essential pages and an absolute must if you have an eCommerce website. Website Terms and Conditions can cover a lot of things and it’s up to you to decide what you need but the most essential elements to include are: Cookie Policy, Terms and Conditions of Trade, Distance/Selling Regulations (Terms and Conditions) for eCommerce and your Website Privacy Policy.

# 4 Privacy Policy

A Privacy Policy is designed for websites which collect and process personal information. The policy should ideally cover: details of personal information collected by the website, information about cookies used by the site, details of how personal information is used, details where personal information may be disclosed to third parties and information about data security. Templates for privacy policies can easily be found on the internet and tailored to suit your needs.

# 5 Testimonials/reviews

Testimonials/reviews are essential for building that initial trust between you and your potential clients. When a lead first lands on your website, they do not know you from Adam. They do not know whether you are capable of providing a service that they require or the product that they need. Having testimonials/reviews on your website goes a long way to bridging the gap between initial contact and the journey to building a strong relationship with a client.

# 6 Videos Embedded from Youtube

There are several advantages to this. Video is becoming even more important now as Google is beginning to update its algorithm to improve ranking of sites using videos. Youtube is also the second largest search engine next to Google. Having your video on Youtube massively increases the chances of driving essential traffic to your website.

# 7 E-mail capture forms

E-mail capture forms are a good way of building a targeted audience to whom you can send company and product updates. If a lead has made the effort to give you their email address, then it means they are extremely interested in what you have to offer. According to the Direct Marketing Association, on average, American businesses saw a 4300% ROI through email marketing. NB. It is always good to offer something for free in exchange as an incentive for the potential lead to give you their e-mail and to make sure you adhere to the Data protection act.

# 8 Site Map

A Site Map is a list of your website's pages in a single page layout. This map makes it easier for a visitor to find the content that they are most interested in and perhaps, even more importantly, a site map is of great benefit for search engines. A site map will help the Google robot index your pages more efficiently. For an in depth explanation on the advantages of a site map, you can read this informative article from Webmaster Tips.

# 9 Copyright information in footer

Having Copyright information in footer is a useful way of clearly making your claim over the website. Having the copyright to your website marked in the footer is an efficient way  of deterring anyone who might wish to plagiarise your work.

# 10 Blog

having a blog has a multitude of advantages for your website the most important of which are that a blog will drive traffic to your site, increase your SEO as you will be including more keywords and updating your website on a regular basis, prove your expertise in your field and it will allow you to develop better customer relations. You can find more on the advantages of including a blog here..

# 11  A picture of you and your team

Having a picture of you and your team adds the personal touch to your site and puts a friendly face to your business. Seeing a human face will make visitors relate to you better than a wall of impersonal product pictures and text. Some of the members of your team may not be comfortable in front of the camera and so it is essential to hire a professional photographer for the job. A professional photographer will know how to make the experience fun and relaxed and will produce a great quality photo for you to use on your website. Good quality presentation speaks louder than words.

# 12 Products/services

Always provide a clear description of what product or service you provide, the clue is not always in the name. Try to avoid jargon that may confuse your visitors; you might well understand your field of expertise, but what is obvious to you may not be so obvious to everyone else. If you are unsure if you are coming across clearly or feel that your writing skills are not your greatest strength, then hiring a copywriter can be a move in the right direction. You can read more on the advantages of hiring a copywriter here.

Conclusion

While the above points are essential inclusions for the success of your website, there is one final element that we will leave to your own judgement: pricing. There are many arguments for and against the inclusion of a price list; many would say that including one has the potential to scare customers away or give your competitors information that they can use against you. Others may point out that publishing your pricing saves a customer time and that it is something they want to see without having to go to the trouble of making contact to find out. In the end, this element entirely depends on your own personal choice or what service it is that you are offering.