Start-up essentials: The 5 things every new website needs

Keep your wording clear: Online consumerism has become a fast-paced, competitive environment and your text needs to stand out. Imagine a clock is ticking and you have seconds, not minutes, to sell yourself.

Breaking down your wording into clear, punchy and straight-to-the point sentences will allow visitors to your website to understand exactly what you do – immediately. Make sure you keep your style and wording appropriate to your target audience to maximise your suitability.

Choose great pictures: Illustrating a website is crucial for allowing a customer to see what you do. Photographs, graphics and diagrams are very useful if they’re used appropriately and of good quality.

Like the shop window theory, a blurry, poor or outdated photograph can be more detrimental to your reputation than not having one in the first place. It’s worth investing in professional photography but if you’re taking pictures yourself, make sure the image is clear, colourful and well-lit. If you’re using your own picture or photographing people, remember to smile!

Make it memorable: Like many brands on the high street, consumers like what they know and the internet works in the same way. Many of the world’s most visited websites maintain a consistent brand by considering colours, imagery, simplicity and multimedia content. Being memorable will help you ensure that customers will return to your website.

Check it’s up-to-date: Picturing a website as the front of a store on a busy shopping street should help you understand the importance of keeping your website content up-to-date. During the Christmas period, for example, shoppers wouldn’t expect to see an offer for Easter Eggs or summer fashion in a shop window.

Don’t forget contact details: Contact information is vital to allow potential clients/consumers to get in touch. It may sound an obvious suggestion, but people will be sceptical of your service if you don’t include an easy way for them to contact you.

Decide on your contact preferences and work around that; if you prefer to be emailed, highlight your email address as your main port of call. For a consumer, it’s extremely frustrating when you need to contact a company whose information remains inconspicuous.