1. You are your website

These days, as far as perceptions of your company go, you are your website. So it should convey exactly the same high quality impression of your brand as advertising or literature. There’s evidence to suggest that people increasingly equate Google’s search rank with a company’s market position in any given category; but if you’ve got to the top, you’d better look like the market leader too.

2. Simplicity is key

Whatever you stand for, whatever you do, should be conveyed instantly. If SEO is attracting new visitors, they need to know about you as quickly as if they’d seen a really good ad.

3. The user journey

It needs to be easy to use. Websites have to square a circle: conveying headline messages instantly, but also providing enough information to satisfy an existing customer seeking detailed product information.

4. Iterate, iterate, iterate

The trick is to analyse multiple user journeys, optimise, build – and then iterate until they’re perfect. Strip all clutter and unnecessary elements. The ideal is to achieve a sense of utmost simplicity and focus – however much content and detail your site actually contains.

5. Content management

It needs to provide a powerful and flexible content management system. Google favours websites which supply relevant, useful content, and you should never be in a position where you have to ask your web designer every time you want to add a new article.

6. Integration

The best websites become the company’s business hub; the focal point of all marketing, but also – in due course – of other activities. The best CMS tools now integrate with other business processes.

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