As more consumers turn to the Internet for solutions on just about anything, it only seems natural for a business to take advantage of this shift and create a presence online, as well. In fact, it doesn’t make sense anymore if a business refuses to be online because this is the primary channel that the market uses to find out more about products, services, and company reputation. If they are not sure what exactly they are looking for, the make related searches using keywords or phrases.

If you are contemplating expanding your business to the online marketplace, you will need a professional in design and web application development to get started.

Browsing through many business websites, you will find that some are nicely made and pull you to look around more, while others are off-putting at first encounter, causing you to click the X button and leave. There are many sites that offer free templates to get you started on your own — and that’s all right if you have a background in web design. But if you’re new to website creation, you will certainly need an expert on your side.

How your website looks and feels can make or break your business. Be sure you get it done right. Here are the five most important elements of a good website:

1. Have a clear theme and message

The moment visitors hit your landing page, your message to them should be evident. Are you offering a product or a service? What can you say about your business in a line or two? This gives your visitor the impression that you’re here to do business and that you’re not out to waste their time. It also offers a positive reflection of your professionalism.

2. Ensure that it’s easy to navigate

If users are unable to find where things are, then your design has failed. Your headers should be visible and you should have a site map that’s easily accessible to guide their way around. Not knowing where to go and where the information they need can be found is frustrating and will turn them off eventually. Don’t get too creative with labels that you lose your customer in the process.

3. Call to action should be visible and clear

What do you want your visitors to do when they reach your website? The usual call to action statements include the likes of Request a Demo, Get a Free Trial, Buy Now, Sign Up Now, Request a Quote, and more. They should make this decision instantly without having to look for the button to do so. Also necessary as your CTA are the list of products or features and pricing information.

4. Pay attention to About Us and Contact Us

gadgets on a white desk

About Us pages seem like the least visited section of websites, but it is also one of the most important. This space is where you get to introduce yourself to your potential client and give the reader an idea of what your goals are. You can start with a short story of how your business started, who your teammates are, and how your service can help the market. Don’t make it too long, though, as to much text can get boring.

5. Be sure it’s mobile responsive

Mobile responsive sites are the way to go. When you talk to your web developer about your design, you must emphasize that it should also be optimized for mobile. Note that most Internet users browse the web while on their phones or tablets, that is, during their free or idle time (where most likely they are holding a gadget, not a desktop computer). The navigability and speed of your mobile version should follow the same principles as the PC because those who browse on their phones can be more easily distracted than those who access it from their desktops.

In addition to having clean and stellar visuals, you also need to pay attention to your content. Gone are the days when you only need to pepper your site with keywords to get a ranking on search engine results. Now, the key is to provide high-quality content, be it in the form of text, photos, or videos, to keep your visitors engaged and interested.

By coming up with fresh content regularly, your visitors will find a need to keep coming back. The point of a professionally created website is to give your business an authentic, credible, and relatable presence online.