Today most businesses and professionals have a website, created with the intent of opening a storefront on the Web, to attract new customers.
However, most websites developed for commercial and professional purposes have shortcomings and problems, often serious ones, that are difficult if not impossible for their owners to perceive.
This happens mainly for 2 reasons:
- Web site development is done amateurishly and not by web development professionals;
- most of the web development agencies, which are present in the market, do not have all the necessary skills to perform the development of a website in a workmanlike manner and in accordance with current regulations.
A website represents the image, experience and professional philosophy of its owner. One must, therefore, pay the utmost attention to every detail of it in the development stage so that it centers its marketing goals effectively and in full compliance with privacy, tax and business regulations.
So what are the characteristics of an effective website for businesses and professionals? In this article we list the basic ones.
The basic characteristics of an effective website
Any website developed for commercial or professional purposes must have the following characteristics:
Must have clear and complete content
An effective website must contain all the strategic and distinctive information of the company or professional it represents. It must be clear to the user of the site who owns the site, what products or services it offers, what its strengths and uniqueness are, what its contacts are, and how one can request its products or services.
With regard to e-commerce sites in particular, key content should include clear descriptions accompanied by good quality photos and videos of the items being sold, as well as any other information-such as technical data, available colors, categories they belong to, etc. – that can help users get a clear and complete picture of what they can buy online.
Must be developed with great attention to detail
A corporate website must not contain linguistic/typing errors or broken links and must be harmonized graphically by taking care to use fonts, colors and corporate logos in a uniform, reasoned and coordinated manner so that the end result conveys professionalism and has a clear style representative of its owner’s philosophy.
Must allow easy and intuitive navigation
We often come across websites that are overly rich in graphics and animations added in an attempt to impress users.
There is nothing more wrong with a pleasant user experience, and the result of doing so is almost always users abandoning the site, who will end up looking for the information they want on other, more user-friendly sites published by competitors.
There is ample evidence that when a user visits a Web site, he or she expects to find the information that interests him or her within an average time frame of 3 seconds.
If you want, therefore, to increase the effectiveness of a website, it is important to avoid any graphic elements that confuse the user and slow down loading.
It is equally important to make it extremely easy and fast to find and reach all key information through a simple and comprehensive menu that divides the various sections of the site in a logical and straightforward manner.
In addition, the menu must be easy to reach from every page and every height of every page on the site.
With regard to e-commerce sites in particular, you need to make sure that the check-out and payment experience is easy, fast and intuitive or else users will abandon their shopping carts and end up buying on competitors’ e-commerce sites.
Must be responsive
Responsiveness is the ability of a website to adapt to the screen size of any device from which it is visited, whether it is a desktop pc, tablet or mobile device. This feature is indispensable considering that today, on average, over 70% of web traffic comes from mobile devices!
Responsive website on different devices
Must be easily upgradable
When developing a Web site, one must always keep in mind the evolution of technical Web standards and the discovery of vulnerabilities in computer security standards.
Most web development agencies lack adequate cybersecurity knowledge and deliver to their clients sites developed in an overly customized manner at the technical level, disregarding the fact that technical update cycles have now become so much shorter, reaching in some cases as often as 2 or 3 major updates per year.
This happens because the discovery of vulnerabilities that allow a website to be attacked are now commonplace.
It therefore becomes vitally important, for the security and functionality of a website, that it can be updated often and easily without incurring exaggerated development and maintenance costs and time.
Technical customization and updatability of a website therefore do not go together very well.
Must have content, both static and dynamic, updated
Each company or professional generates two sets of publishable information on its website.
The first group includes all information, cd. “static,” that is, not changing over time or changing at very large intervals.
Business or professional background, contact information, certifications, locations, products or services offered, and the mission of the site owner are part of this group.
The second group of information, cd. “dynamic,” includes all information that is part of the daily routine of the company or professional such as, for example, its news or new products/services introduced in its offerings.
Information belonging to the first group should be published in “static” sections of the website, while information belonging to the second group should be published in dynamic sections designed specifically for that purpose.
This logical distinction between static and dynamic content is important so that it is clear to users of the site which parts are the “institutional” parts of the site and which parts are the parts where they can find out the latest news about the company or professional it represents.
Website search engine optimization
Must have a structure built with SEO in mind
SEO is the activity through which one aims to improve the presence and visibility of a website on the search pages of major search engines such as Google or Bing.
When developing a website one must, from the earliest stages of development, take all appropriate SEO steps so that the site is indexed in a targeted and effective manner.
The benefit of such indexing is that the site will begin to attract users who are in line with the site owner’s target customer base, which will benefit revenue.
It must be safe
Most Web sites contain contact forms through which users contact the site owner to request information.
Today there are unfortunately still many websites that put users’ data at risk because they allow unsecured browsing (at http://), without SSL security protocol.
When sending personal data (first name, last name, phone number, emal address, etc.) through a contact form on a web page that is not protected by SSL protocol, it becomes extremely easy for malicious parties to intercept this data which could be used for illicit purposes.
Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that each website is protected by SSL security protocol and that it is navigable only in secure mode (in https://).
Must comply with current regulations
Unfortunately, the number of websites that do not comply with current regulations is currently very high.
The owners of these sites , almost always without their knowledge, risk very steep penalties because there are a number of pieces of information that every business/professional website should, by law, provide to its users. Let us briefly see what the main ones are.
All VAT-registered individuals must indicate this on the homepage of their website.
All relevant corporate data-such as name, registered office, business registration of registration, REA number, paid-up share capital, liquidation status, if any-must be published on the websites of firms/companies.
Professionals enrolled in professional registers, with mandatory registration, are required to follow the ethical rules of their respective order.
Among these rules, for example, might be a requirement to indicate on one’s websites such data as one’s bar membership number, one’s professional title, and the state in which it was issued.
Data to be provided by e-commerce sites
In addition to the categories of data mentioned above, e-commerce sites must also contain all data governing online sales such as, for example, the general terms and conditions of sale, payment methods, the possibility of using dispute resolution tools, the timing and method of shipping, and any other information is required by current legislation to protect the rights of buyers.
Privacy and cookie policies
Current privacy legislation at both national (Privacy Code) and European (GDPR) levels requires that each website, through which personal data processing is carried out, provide detailed disclosures to its users in this regard.
Also in the area of data protection, websites must provide tools that allow users to quickly and easily revoke any processing consents provided to the website owner. By way of example we cite tools to opt-out from the use of profiling cookies as well as tools to unsubscribe from any mailing lists.
The arrangements listed above do not exhaust the mandatory regulatory requirements for all types of Web sites.
It is therefore important to check, on a case-by-case basis, which fulfillments affect one’s website with the help of experienced consultants.
Investing in a website, as a means of bringing one’s business or professionalism online, is a complex activity that should never be entrusted to amateur developers who are unable to deliver a project that is detailed, functional and complete in every respect.
Not relying on an experienced web development and web marketing team results in, at best, ending up with a website that provides no benefit to your business while, at worst, it could result in penalties for not complying with current regulations.
Developing an effective website is a process that can only be carried out successfully by teams that have knowledge and experience in web development, digital marketing, advertising graphics, seo-oriented copywriting, and regulations on privacy, e-commerce, and business data advertising.
Our team is made up of people who are experts in these areas and are able to bring any company or professional to the Web in an effective and compliant manner.
On this page of our website you can request a quote and a personalized consultation for the website of your company or professional activity.