Over the years, we’ve been asked many questions about how to have an effective website. Almost every website owner wants their site to be successful. That could mean generating leads, acquiring readers, selling products or something else. Regardless of what success means to you, it’s important to make sure your website is set up and configured in the best possible way. In this blog post, we’ve put together a website checklist for you to follow. And in fact, if you do everything on this list, we suspect your website will be far more effective than most.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Start by Asking Yourself the Right Questions

  1. Ask the right questionsAsk yourself the following goal-oriented questions:
    • What’s the ultimate purpose of the website, and do you really need it?
    • Do you need an entirely new website, or would upgrading your current website be sufficient?
    • Is the website solely intended to function as an online brochure or does it require additional functionality (I.e. online shopping, making reservations, etc.)?
    • Do you wish to rank well on search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.)?
  1. Select the hosting provider for your website. You can hold off on this website action item until you’ve hired a website developer, if you don’t plan to develop the website yourself.
  2. Do some research on platforms for building a website and see if there are any recommendations for your specific industry. You might skip this action item as well if you hire a developer to help you.

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Consider the Design of Your Website

  1. See what design features are standard for your industry.
  2. Consider what features would set your website apart from your competitors.
  3. Check the design of your website on all devices before you publish it.

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Your Website Needs to Load Quickly

  1. Make sure you don’t upload large images (file sizes) to your website.
  2. Don’t use a large plugin if you’re using a WordPress website unless you really need them.
  3. Enable website caching, if possible.
  4. Be careful not to slow down your website due to excessive use of advertising, messy code or too many HTTP requests.

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Capture LeadsIntentionally Capture Leads

  1. Identify what free resources you can give in order to be noticed by prospective clients or customers.
  2. Make it easy for website visitors to contact you.
  3. Plan out what you should include on your about page. It should add to your credibility and should make your target audience feel comfortable with you.

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Don’t Forget to Use Call to Actions

  1. Choose a call to action (CTA), or multiple CTAs, that support your goals for the website.
  2. Consider putting your CTA at the top right side, middle and bottom of your webpages. This is particularly applicable for custom landing pages and the homepage.

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Pay Attention to Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

  1. Ensure your homepage is designed and built in a way to make your visitors take a desired action.
  2. Make it very easy for your target audience to either make a purchase or request information through your pricing or services page.
  3. Consider creating a landing page to convert your website visitors into leads.

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Know the Difference Between Designers and Developers

  1. Decide whether you need a designer, a developer, both or neither.
  2. If you aren’t sure what you need, do a little research on the pros and cons.
  3. Understand that having a website developed and published isn’t always enough to make it rank at the top of a Google search. That could require help from an SEO professional.

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Digital Marketing QuoteUnderstand Website Costs

  1. Consider whether or not a “cheap” developer can adequately meet your needs.
  2. Collect proposals and clearly articulate what you need to the developers, so they can give you accurate pricing estimates.
  3. Know what all is included in the pricing, and just as importantly, what’s not included in the website costs.

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Hire the Best Website Developer or Designer

  1. When deciding who to hire, make sure they have the following characteristics:
    • Patience
    • Experience
    • Style
    • Speed
    • Knowledge
  1. Be sure they can work according to your budget, and that there won’t be any hidden fees or unexpected costs.
  2. Once you’ve identified the top candidate, ask for a formal agreement and hire them.

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Let Google Know When Your Website’s Live

  1. Check to see if your website is indexed by Google.
  2. Set up a Google Search Console account if your website is not indexed.
  3. If you need help with this, ask your website developer to assist. They should know what to do.

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Make Your Website Rank Well on Google

  1. Do keyword research to understand the best keywords to use on your website.
  2. Be strategic when deciding on your domain name, and how to include keywords in various URLs on your website.
  3. Write specific keyword-focused titles and descriptions to be used on each page of your website.
  4. Include headers and images, and make sure the images use relevant keywords as alt text. If you need help with this, ask your developer.
  5. Give search engines plenty of context to read for each page of your website. As a general rule for SEO, more words are better than fewer words, as long as they’re valuable, and not just fluff.
  6. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

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Deciding on the Content for Your Website

  1. Create original and high-quality content for your website.
  2. Make sure none of the content on your website is duplicate. You can use a plagiarism checker (search Google for this) to find out if you’re accidentally plagiarizing.
  3. If you do have duplicate content, any of the following can help you resolve the issue:
    • Use a 301 Redirect
    • Hyperlink Your Sources
    • Use a Canonical URL
  4. Only use images that are legally acquired. Pulling images from a Google image search is definitely something to avoid.

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Follow ADA Compliance Guidelines

  1. Make sure your designer and developer know to consider ADA compliance while creating your website.
  2. Decide whether you should hire someone to audit your website for ADA compliance.
  3. Regularly review your website and check current guidelines to ensure your website follows best practices.

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Hosting QuoteWebsite Hosting & Maintenance

  1. Purchase your domain.
  2. Choose a hosting company for your website, if you didn’t already.
  3. Regularly back up your website.
  4. Have a plan for maintenance and management, whether that’s done by you or someone you hire.
  5. Keep your website up-to-date.

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Know Who’s Liable to Fix Your Website if it’s Hacked

  1. Ensure your theme, and all plugins, are updated on your website.
  2. Use complicated and hard-to-guess passwords.
  3. Contact a website developer or hosting company if you are concerned about a security risk with your website.

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Have a Solid Understanding of Website Security

  1. Download and install an SSL certificate on your website.
  2. Install a malware protector like Norton or McAfee and check with your hosting provider to see if they have software to scan for problems.
  3. Consider setting up two-factor authentication for your hosting and website logins.
  4. Install reCAPTCHA on your website to avoid spam.
  5. Conduct a penetration test if you are still concerned about vulnerabilities on your website.

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Final Considerations

  1. Contact Joshua Lyons Marketing if any of the following apply to you:
  • You need a new website designed.
  • Your website needs to be developed.
  • You need to update or revamp your existing website.
  • Your website needs to rank better on Google and other search engines.
  • You need assistance with some other aspects of digital marketing.

We hope this blog post has been useful to you and wish you the best of luck with your website!

If there’s anything we can do to help, please feel free to reach out to us via our contact page or the form further down on this blog post.

Website Checklist: 55+ Action Items to Have an Effective Website #MarketingTips #Entrepreneur Click To Tweet


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As the founder of Joshua Lyons Marketing, Josh Lyons primarily focuses on business development. He has studied and practiced marketing since 2008 and launched his first company (a marketing agency in Pensacola, Florida) in 2015. When he's not writing blog posts, recording podcasts or consulting, he enjoys spending time with family and friends. He loves listening to audiobooks and checking out different coffee shops. He also enjoys fire juggling, amigurumi, travel and swing dancing; which is how he met his wife.



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