Ultimate Checklist for Building a Successful Website. 83 Tips and Tricks

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If you want to get new customers for your business, you must have a professional website. When I built my first website back in the day, I was overwhelmed with all the things you need to be aware of in order to get traffic and then convert that traffic into valuable leads. I remember having an Excel spreadsheet that I used as a checklist with tons of information from various blogs, YouTube videos and other sources. I had to do a lot of research.

If you're looking to make your life easier and don't want to spend endless hours researching, then this in-depth article is for you.
You will learn everything you need to know to build a powerful website that attracts new leads - from SEO, the right CTAs and layout to on site improvements. Plus, this free checklist will help you work your way through all the important components so you don't miss a thing.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Meta title tags
The meta title tag is the text that is displayed in SERPs and shows the topic of a webpage.
Specifics of excellent title tags
1. Meta title tags
What is the first thing you see when you search for something on Google? The blue clickable link and text, of course. These are meta title tags. Meta title tags are one of the most important components of search engine optimization. They are crucial because they help search engines understand what the page is about, and they influence whether people visit your site. Therefore, it's important to create effective and relevant meta title tags to ensure that your website ranks well in search results, attracts clicks and ultimately drives traffic to your site.

A well-written meta title tag should indicate what your page is about, contain relevant keywords and be concise. It's also a good idea to include your brand name in the meta title tag, especially for e-commerce sites. Keep the length under 60 characters, avoid keyword stuffing or duplication, and make sure the tag is unique for each page on your site.
Meta description
The meta description appears below the meta title tag in SERPs and provides a brief summary of the page's content.
Specifics of excellent meta descriptions
2. Meta description
The SEO meta description appears below the meta title tag in search engine results pages (SERPs). Its purpose is to provide a brief summary of the page's content and encourage users to click through to your website. Meta descriptions play a significant role in determining a page's click-through rate in SERPs. Why? If users see your description and know that your content is what they are looking for, they will visit your page.

To get the most out of your meta description, keep this in mind: A well-written meta description should be a concise and accurate summary of the page's content, contain relevant keywords (avoid keyword stuffing), and be unique for each page on your site. Use active language, highlight your unique selling points and focus on the needs of your audience. You can also use branded language in the meta description to increase brand recognition and trust. Keep the length of your meta description under 155 characters (including spaces) to ensure it's fully displayed in search results and make sure you check how your meta tag and meta description are displayed before you publish your page. There are several free tools available online to help you do this.
Headline hierarchy
H1 headings represent the 
main content of a web page. 

H2 headings segment the page 
in a meaningful way.
Make sure your headlines contain relevant keywords and phrases.
3. Headline hierarchy
Defining your headings (H1 = Heading 1, H2 = Heading 2) helps search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your page. An H1 heading is used to represent the main content of a web page, while H2 headings are used to segment and organize each section of the page in a meaningful way. Use only one H1 per page to make the hierarchy more meaningful.

Another benefit of using headings is that they improve readability and user experience. Headings make it easier for users to scan the content and identify the most important sections, which increases engagement and time spent on the page. In terms of SEO, make sure your headlines contain relevant keywords and phrases.
Alt text
Alt text is a short description of an image on a web page that appears when the image fails to load or when a user hovers their mouse over it.
Best practices for alt text...
4. Alt text
Alt text is a short description of an image on a web page that appears when the image fails to load or when a user hovers their mouse over it. Alt text is important because it helps search engines understand what an image is about and how it relates to the content on the page. If you check your analytics, you can see how many people have visited your site based on image searches. This means that if you have alt text in place, you will get additional traffic based solely on the images (and the alt text) you use.

Best practices for alt text include using relevant, descriptive keywords, keeping the text concise (under 100 characters), and avoiding keyword stuffing or spammy language. Make sure you accurately describe the content of the image to help visually impaired users using screen readers and other assistive technologies. Again, don't misuse alt text for keyword stuffing, but to help people understand what the image is about.

Ultimately, proper use of image alt text will improve the accessibility of your site and make it easier for search engines to index your content.
Long tail keywords
Long tail keywords are longer and more specific phrases that are searched less frequently.
Use a mix of long tail and fat head (short tail) keywords for 
your content strategy.
5. Long tail keywords
Keywords are the search terms that people type into Google search to find answers to their questions. Long tail keywords are longer and more specific phrases that are searched less frequently. However, they have a higher intent behind the search query and therefore help you drive more targeted traffic to your website. For example, "best hiking boots for women" is a long-tail keyword, while "hiking boots" is a fat-head keyword. In this example, "hiking boots" could refer to any intent. For example, visitors may want to see the latest trends or they may want to buy these boots. That's why long-tail keywords are more beneficial in the long run. Long-tail keywords lead to higher engagement and conversions because these visitors are more likely to be interested in what your website has to offer.

Another benefit is that long-tail keywords tend to be less competitive than their shorter counterparts, making it easier for you to rank for them. This leads to increased visibility and traffic for your website.
Avoid keyword stuffing
Keyword stuffing means intentionally overusing keywords to manipulate search engine rankings.
Keyword stuffing is a black hat SEO tactic and will have a negative impact on your ranking.
6. Avoid keyword stuffing
Keyword stuffing means intentionally overusing keywords to manipulate search engine rankings. The idea behind this concept is that search engines try to match the keywords that people type into their searches. So the more keywords on a page, the better, right? Well, this may have worked in the past. However, keyword stuffing is now considered a black hat SEO tactic and will have a negative impact on a website's ranking and credibility. Search engines have become smarter and can now detect when a page is over-optimized. If you use keyword stuffing, search engines may penalize you by lowering your rankings or even removing your website from search results altogether.

It's also important to note that keyword stuffing has a significant impact on the user experience. When a page is filled with too many keywords, it can become difficult to read and irrelevant to the user's intent. This leads to high bounce rates and low engagement metrics. Nowadays, with the rise of voice search, natural language processing and machine learning algorithms, search engines prioritize high-quality, relevant content that provides value to users. Therefore, you should always try to use natural language to provide the best user experience, rather than artificially adding your keywords.
Internal linking
Internal linking means linking 
one page of a website to another page on the same website using hyperlinks.
Internal linking means linking 
one page of a website to another page on the same website using hyperlinks.
7. Internal links
Internal links help search engines and users navigate and understand the structure and architecture of your website. Internal linking means linking one page of a website to another page on the same website using hyperlinks.

Your primary goal here is to keep visitors interested and on your site. This will reduce your bounce rate and improve your time on site as people stay longer and visit more pages. Internal links can also help to spread link equity across your site, which is an important indicator for search engines when deciding which site to rank.
Descriptive anchor text
Anchor links are links that allow users to jump to a specific section of a web page
Anchor links are links that allow users to jump to a specific section of a web page.
8. Descriptive anchor text
Anchor text is a link that allows users to jump to a specific section of a web page. This is particularly helpful when you have long blog posts, allowing visitors to quickly navigate and access the information that is relevant to them. Using descriptive anchor text is an important aspect of website optimization, helping to improve both the user experience and search engine rankings. Anchor text should be relevant to the content of the linked destination.
Backlinks
Backlinks are links from other websites that point directly 
to your website. They signal to search engines that your site is trustworthy and credible.
Don’t go backlink-hunting, otherwise you will get penalized by modern crawlers.
9. Backlinks
Backlinks are links from other websites that point directly to your website. They signal to search engines that your site is trustworthy and credible. Search engines consider backlinks as a key factor in determining a website's authority and relevance in their ranking algorithms. Sites with a high number of high quality backlinks are ranked higher, meaning they receive more traffic and visibility than sites with fewer or lower quality backlinks.

A few years ago, people went for backlink-hunting, meaning that they asked other website-owners to link to their site, in exchange for something of value. However, this tactic was never intended by the search engines (as their goal is always to help people find what they are looking for) and should not be used.
Short URLs
Short and descriptive URLs make it easier for users and search engines to understand what a particular page is about.
Short URLS how to
10. Short and descriptive URLs
Using short and descriptive URLs is important because it makes it easier for users and search engines to understand what a particular page is about. Short URLs are easier to remember and share, and also look cleaner and more professional.

Let's take an example. If you create content about SaaS marketing tips, your URL might be "yourwebsite.com/saas-marketing-tips". A bad example would be "yourwebsite.com/the-best-saas-marketing-tips-for-your-company" because it is too long and complicated. I also recommend using URLs that use relevant keywords, as this signals to search engines what the content of the page is about.
Self canonical
Self-canonical tags help you avoid duplicate content issues and ensure that search engines recognize the correct version of your web page.
11. Self canonical
Self-canonical tags help you avoid duplicate content issues and ensure that search engines recognize the correct version of your web page to index and rank. Self-canonical tags specify that the URL itself is the canonical version of the page, so it is the preferred and authoritative version (for example, when you have a http and a https site that leads to the same content).

By using self-canonical tags, you can signal to search engines which version of the page they should index, and avoid penalties for duplicate content. This is important because duplicate content negatively affects search engine rankings, as it confuses search engines and reduces the visibility of the affected pages.
Canonical tags for publishing
Using canonical tags when publishing to other sites is important because it shows search engines that you created the content.
Always use a canonical tag when you publish your content on other pages.
12. Canonical tags for published content
Using canonical tags when publishing to other sites, such as Medium, is important because it shows that you created the content. This helps to avoid duplicate content issues and strengthens the authority of the original content. If you don't use canonical tags when publishing your content on other sites, search engines may not know which version to rank. In the worst case, the other page will outrank yours and no one will visit your site.
Broken links
Broken links, or links that lead 
to pages that no longer exist, frustrates visitors and cause them to leave your site.
Fix all broken links asap
13. Fix broken links
“Can't find the page you are looking for” is always a bad user experience. Therefore, fixing broken links on your website is crucial to ensure a high level of credibility and authority. Broken links, or links that lead to pages that no longer exist, frustrates visitors and cause them to leave your site, leading to a higher bounce rate and lower engagement metrics. As a result, your rankings in SERP will drop, as search engines prioritize websites with high-quality, relevant content that provides value to users. Having too many broken links on your website signals to search engines that your site is neglected, outdated, or poorly maintained. In short, find and fix all broken links on your website.
Reduce redirects
By reducing the number of redirects, you can simplify the site structure and improve the crawlability.
Redirects lead to a dilution of link equity, as each redirect splits the link value of the page and distributes it across multiple URLs.
14. Reduce redirects
Reducing the number of redirects on a website is important for several reasons. First, each redirect results in an additional loading time, affecting the user experience and therefore leading to higher bounce rates. This is particularly important for mobile users, who are often on slower connections and may be more likely to abandon a site that takes too long to load.

Multiple redirects also lead to a dilution of link equity, as each redirect splits the link value of the page and distributes it across multiple URLs. This has a negative impact on the overall authority of the site and search engine rankings. By reducing redirects, you can simplify the site structure and improve crawlability, as search engines can more easily follow the links between pages without encountering unnecessary redirects. This also helps to ensure that important pages receive the most attention from search engines.
301 redirects
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. It tells search engines and users that the original URL has permanently moved.
301 redirects allow search engines to transfer any link equity 
or authority from the original URL to the new URL.
15. 301 redirects
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. It is a way of telling search engines and users that the original URL has permanently moved and that the content can now be found at the new URL.

301 redirects are used when a website is redesigned, or when pages or content on a website are moved or deleted. Good to know - 301 redirects allow search engines to transfer any link equity or authority from the original URL to the new URL, which is one of the most important indicators of ranking positions. This helps to ensure that the new URL maintains its search engine rankings and visibility. After all, you don't want to start from scratch.
Open graph image
The open graph image is the thumbnail displayed on social media to preview your webpage whenever someone shares your link.
Make sure the image has the right specifications, including image size, aspect ratio and file type, to maximize its effectiveness.
16. Open graph image
When you share your website on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, an image is automatically displayed as a preview of your website. This is called an open graph image. When properly configured, an open graph image helps improve click-through rates and engagement by making the shared link more visually appealing and shareable. To maximize its effectiveness, make sure the image meets the open graph image specifications, including image size, aspect ratio and file type. If you use Webflow or Wordpress, you can set a link to your image that will be displayed when you share your page.
Schema markup
Schema markup is a type of structured data to help search engines better understand your content and display rich snippets in search results.
Schema markup examples
17. Schema markup to improve snippets
Schema markup is a type of structured data you can add to your web page to help search engines better understand your content and display rich snippets in search results. Rich snippets are short summaries of web pages that provide additional information such as reviews, prices and other details (within the SERP).

Schema markup is important for SEO because it helps search engines provide more detailed and accurate information about the content of a web page - such as the title, author, date, and other related information. By using schema markup, your website will appear more prominently in search engines, leading to an increase in click-through rates.
HTTPS
HTTPS ensures that data transmitted between the website and the user is encrypted and protected.
Websites that use HTTPS rank higher in search engine results pages, as Google considers it a positive ranking factor.
18. HTTPS
HTTPS is the key indicator of website security and if you are not using it today, no one will trust your website. HTTPS ensures that data transmitted between the website and the user is encrypted and protected from unauthorized access or interception. This helps to prevent sensitive information, such as personal details or payment information, from being stolen or compromised.

Regarding SEO: Websites that use HTTPS rank higher in search engine results pages, as Google considers it a positive ranking factor.
Minimize css and javascript
Large or numerous CSS and JavaScript files slow down the loading speed of a website, resulting in a poor user experience.
Reduce and remove unnecessary code
19. Minimize your CSS and JavaScript files
Large or numerous CSS and JavaScript files slow down the loading speed of a website, resulting in a poor user experience. Today, people are not going to wait 3 seconds for your website to load. Therefore, minimizing CSS and JavaScript files removes unnecessary code, reducing the file size and the time it takes for the website to load.

But there is another benefit: Minimizing CSS and JavaScript files also reduces the amount of data transferred to users, which is especially important for users on limited data plans. Your mobile visitors will thank you.
Sitemap
A sitemap is a file with a list of URLs for a particular website, and help search engines to understand the structure and content of the site.
Main benefit of a sitemap
20. Sitemap
To understand why a sitemap is important, we first need to understand how search engines work. Search engines use crawlers to search and index the content of websites. They follow links from one page to another and record information such as URLs, page titles and metadata. This information is then added to the search engine's index, which is used to generate search results for users. Crawlers constantly scan the web for new and updated content to ensure that results are as accurate and up-to-date as possible.

This is why a sitemap is important. A sitemap is a file that contains a list of URLs for a particular website. The sitemap is then used by search engines to crawl and index your site. Sitemaps help to inform search engines about the structure and content of the site, making it easier for them to crawl and index the pages. The main benefit is that your page ranks faster, resulting in higher rankings and increased visibility in search results.
Robots.txt file
A robots.txt file is a file on a website that tells search engine crawlers which pages of the website to crawl and which to avoid.
Main benefit of a robots.txt file
21. Robots.Txt
A robots.txt file is a file on a website that tells search engine crawlers which pages of the website to crawl and which to avoid. This file is important because it helps to direct search engines to avoid crawling and indexing undesirable pages, such as pages containing sensitive information.

A robots.txt file can also help prevent duplicate content, which is a common problem in SEO. When search engines crawl and index multiple versions of the same content, it can lead to penalties and lower rankings. By blocking duplicate pages with a robots.txt file, you can avoid these penalties and maintain higher search engine rankings.
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Page Speed

Use a page speed tester
Using a page speed tester is important to understand how fast your website is loading and to identify any issues that may be 
slowing it down.
Regularly test your page speed to make sure it stays fast and responsive for users.
1. Use a page speed tester
Using a page speed tester is important to understand how fast your website is loading and to identify any issues that may be slowing it down. As well as images, large CSS and JavaScript files, external scripts and additional fonts are the main causes of slow loading websites.

Using a tool like Google's PageSpeed Insights can give you recommendations for improvements. It's important to test your page speed regularly to make sure it stays fast and responsive for users, because with each new version of your website, your code becomes more complicated.
Optimize images
There are several ways to optimize images, such as compressing images, using modern image 
file formats, and resizing images.
2. Optimize images
One of the main reasons for slow page speed is the images on your website. As we mentioned earlier, a fast-loading website ranks higher and fewer people will abandon it. Therefore, optimizing images will help you improve website performance and the overall user experience. There are several ways to optimize images on a website, such as compressing image file sizes, using modern image file formats, and resizing images. Keep in mind to maintain image quality, however.
Lazy loading
Lazy loading is a technique used 
to improve website performance by delaying the loading of non-critical content until it is needed.
This technique is particularly important for mobile, as it significantly reduces data usage.
3. Lazy loading
Lazy loading is a technique used to improve website performance by delaying the loading of non-critical content until it is needed. This means that the content is only loaded when the user scrolls to that section of the page, rather than loading all at once when the page loads.

Let's say you have a landing page with lots of images. When a user visits your page, only the first image (which is in the user's view) loads, the rest of the images are not yet displayed. As soon as more images are in the user's view, they will load. As a result, your page loads faster than it would otherwise. This technique is particularly important for mobile, as it significantly reduces data usage.
Caching
Caching means storing frequently accessed content in a temporary location so that it can be presented to users more quickly.
4. Caching
Caching means storing frequently accessed content in a temporary location so that it can be presented to users more quickly. When people return to your website or specific pages, they don't have to reload the whole page, improving page load times and reducing server load.
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Images

Compress images
Compressing images is crucial 
to maintaining the loading speed 
of your pages.
Use batch processes for multiple images
1. Compress images
As mentioned earlier in the SEO section, compressing images is crucial to maintaining the loading speed of your pages. There are several tools and techniques available for compressing images for websites. One option is to use online image compression tools such as TinyPNG, Kraken.io or Compressor.io. These tools allow you to upload images and compress them without losing quality.

Another option is to use image editing software such as Photoshop or GIMP to manually compress images by adjusting the image size, resolution and quality settings. In addition, some content management systems and website builders have built-in image optimization tools that automatically compress images uploaded to your website.

A pro tip: If you have long blog articles with lots of images, use batch processes to avoid having to resize each image individually. Saves time and nerves.
Use appealing images
High-quality images help to convey 
your message, evoke emotion, 
and encourage users to take action.
Never use stock photos
2. Use appealing images
Visuals are an essential element of website design, and high-quality images help to convey your message, evoke emotion, and encourage users to take action. Images on websites should be high-quality, appealing, and high-resolution to attract and engage users. Low-quality or blurry images create a negative impression and distract users from the content. High-resolution images also enhance the user experience by improving image clarity and detail.
Use copyright free images
Use platforms like Pexels and Unsplash to avoid getting copyright strikes.
3. Use copyright free images
If you use images from Google Search, sooner or later you are likely to get a copyright notice. You need to avoid this. There are plenty of royalty-free image platforms on the web (such as Pexels or Unsplash) where you can use high quality images for your website without worrying about copyright strikes.
Make images responsive
By using responsive images, you can ensure that they load quickly and don't take up too much space on smaller devices.
Always check how your images will look on smaller devices
4. Make images responsive
Responsive images adjust to the size of the screen they're viewed on. By using responsive images, you can ensure that they load quickly and don't take up too much space on smaller devices. This improves the overall user experience and reduces page load times. Always check how your images will look on smaller devices to avoid unwanted cropping or distortion.
Alt text
Alt text is a short description that provides meaning for an image
Best practices for alt text...
5. Alt text
Alt text for images, also known as alternative text or alt tags, is a short description that provides context and meaning for an image on a web page. Alt text is primarily used to improve accessibility for people with visual impairments who use screen readers to navigate web content.

The description within the alt text should be short, concise, and provide enough information for the user to understand the content of the image. It should not exceed 100 characters or be overly detailed. Alt text also benefits search engine optimization by informing search engines of the content of the image.
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Copy

Strong headline
A good headline should convey the benefit
Make sure your headlines contain relevant keywords and phrases.
1. Strong and attention grabbing headlines
Headlines are the first impression your readers will have of your copy. Therefore, headlines need to be powerful and intriguing enough to attract readers. A good headline should convey the benefit, urgency or curiosity factor that will make readers want to read on. To check if your headline is doing a good job, look at metrics such as bounce rate and time on page (dwell time).
Use concise messaging
Use simple, clear and concise messaging
Break your text into bullet points
2. Use concise messaging
Using simple, clear and concise messages is essential to grab your readers' attention and keep them engaged. People have short attention spans these days, so get to the point quickly. Long and complex sentences, jargon or rambling paragraphs will bore and confuse your readers.

Instead, use short and simple language, break your text into smaller chunks or bullets, and focus on the most important information or benefit they'll get from reading your text.
Bullet points to structure text
Structure long text into bullet points
3. Bullet points to structure text
Structuring long texts into bullet points is important for several reasons. First, it makes the content more readable and easier to follow. It also helps to break up sections of text, making it less overwhelming and more digestible. Third, it allows the author to organize their thoughts and present information in a logical order. Finally, bullets increase engagement by drawing attention to important details and key takeaways, resulting in more effective communication of ideas.
Focus on benefits
Highlight how your service solves the  users problem
Benefits vs feautures
4. Focus on benefits, not on features
You always want to connect with your readers on an emotional level. So, what do they want to achieve? How do they define success?

Benefits are the positive outcomes your product or service delivers to your customers. Features are just the technical or functional attributes of your product. Highlight how your product or service solves their problems or improves their lives to increase your chances of converting them into customers.
Credibility
Testimonials, user reviews or user recommendations are some of the most powerful tools to increase your conversion rate
Never fake testimonials
5. Credibility
Using specific details and examples is an effective way to add credibility and make your copy more tangible and relatable. You can use figures, statistics, testimonials, case studies or real-life scenarios to illustrate the value of your product and how it can benefit customers. Remember that testimonials, user reviews or user recommendations are some of the most powerful tools you can use to increase your conversion rate.
Urgency
Urgency creates a fear of missing out
Do not abuse this technique
6. Urgency
Create a sense of urgency to motivate your readers to take action. Urgency creates a fear of missing out (FOMO) that encourages readers to act now rather than later. You can use phrases such as "limited time offer", "last chance" or "act now" to create urgency and make your CTA more effective.

Be careful not to abuse this marketing technique. For example, there is no shame in running a limited time offer. However, if you use these tactics artificially from time to time, your users will not appreciate it.
Active versus passive voice
Active voice makes your copy more engaging
Keep it simple
7. Active vs passive voice
Using active voice rather than passive voice is an essential aspect of writing persuasive and compelling copy. Active voice makes your copy more immediate and engaging. It also makes your copy more concise and easier to understand, as passive voice is often wordy and confusing. Keep it simple!
Proof read
Edit and proofread your copy
8. Proof read
Edit and proofread your copy several times to ensure that your message is clear, accurate and error-free. Even the most skilled writers make mistakes.

You should review your copy several times to catch any inconsistencies, typos or awkward phrasing. You can also use online tools to help you write better and more concisely, or have someone else proofread it.
Experimenting
Experiment with different formats, headlines and your overall message
A/B test until you get the results you want
9. Experimenting
Nobody hits a home run the first time. Experiment with different formats, headlines and your overall message to find out what resonates with your target audience. Copywriting is a creative process that requires experimentation, testing and measurement to find the best approach.

For example, you might experiment with different formats, such as long-form versus short-form copy, or images versus no images. Once you have enough traffic on your website, you can A/B test and refine your approach until you get the results you want.
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Call To Action (CTA)

Use compelling action words
Use action words
Don't use these words arbitrarily or when they do not fit
1. Use compelling, action words / trigger words
As the name suggests, action words are simply there to motivate users to take a specific action. There are many statistics that prove that certain words can instantly increase the conversion rate of a button. That's why these words are often called "trigger words" or "keywords".

Examples of trigger words are "Learn, Start, Get, Contact, Read, Request, Demo, Free". Remember that the wording of your call to action can be focused specifically on the action you want your users to take. Of course, it is not a matter of stuffing these words or using them arbitrarily when they do not fit, but I recommend that you try using them as a starting point.
Time oriented words
Immediate gratification words show users that they will benefit immediately
Time based words create urgency
2. Use instant gratification words and time oriented wording
Immediate gratification words show users that they will benefit immediately from taking the action. Examples include "Now", "Today", "Immediately" or "In seconds". The aim of these words is to show users that they do not have to wait long to benefit from your solution.

At the same time, time-based words create a sense of urgency. "Only 2 left in stock", "Stay ahead of the competition", "Don't miss this opportunity" all appeal to the fear of missing out and can work well as conversion boosters.
Avoid generic words
Always show the benefit
Don't use generic words.
3. Avoid generic words
Along with generic words like 'click here', 'submit' or 'download', 'learn more' is one of the most commonly used phrases for buttons. The problem is that these generic words do not show the user what will happen next, nor do they show the benefit of clicking the button. So instead of using generic words that do not help your users, always show the benefit and what will happen next when a user clicks.
Show the value
Show customers the value they will get
4. Show the value
Customers do not click buttons just for fun. In fact, they always want to get something out of it. So always remember the importance of showing customers the value they will get. Ask yourself: "What's in it for them?", "Why should they take the action?".

If you already know what your customers want to achieve, this should be much easier. Here I want to emphasize the important difference between features and benefits. Customers buy benefits, not features. A good example of this is: "More legroom on the plane", which is a feature, vs. "A more relaxed travel experience", which shows the benefit. So always show the value your customers will get when they click the button.
Describe what will happen
Show the user what will happen next
This applies to all kind of experiences, not only critical ones.
5. Describe what is going to happen
One of the worst user experiences is when people do not know what will happen when they take an action. This applies not only to critical experiences, such as entering credit card information, but also to seemingly small actions, such as clicking a button to create an account.

A good example is when you want to buy something from an online store and you have a discount code that you want to apply before you buy the product. However, if it is not clear when you can do this, you may get lost and abandon the shopping journey altogether. A simple note below the call to action such as "You can apply your discount code in the next step" solves this problem and creates a smooth user experience. So always remember to show the user the next steps right away.
Address users' fears
Address users' fears and objections right away
Example of taking users' fear away
6. Address your users' fears and objections
When you want your users to take an action, there is always a struggle between what they want to achieve and their fears, objections and doubts. On the one hand, there is a force pulling them to take the action to get the benefits you promise. On the other hand, the fear of the unknown and their objections hold them back.

So, in addition to telling users what will happen next, it is important to address their fears and objections right away. These fears could be anything from "Do I need a business address to try this demo?" or "Will I get a bill if I buy this service?" to "What will happen to my data?

Again, one of the best ways to solve this problem is to use a helper text just below the call to action that answers the user's question and takes away the fear. For example, if you have a call to action button below a form field where users enter their credit card details, state that the data is encrypted. Bonus text and details such as "no credit card required", testimonials, quotes or case study results can give people the push they need to proceed.
Use your CTA multiple times
Use a CTA wherever a user could have a mindset shift
Example of multiple CTAs
7. Use your Call To Action multiple times
Having a Call To Action is great, but especially on a website where people can scroll or in apps where screen estate is valuable, you do not want your users to go all the way back to the top if they have decided to buy from you. You want them to buy anywhere they feel like it.

The question that arises is: what is the perfect number of calls to action on a website? There is a lot of debate about this and some research has shown that the average SaaS website uses 6 call to action buttons on their website. Of course, this is not a hard and fast rule and may not apply to your site.

A good rule of thumb is to use a call to action wherever a user could have a "mindset shift". For example, if a user is interested in your service but does not yet trust you, they will continue to scroll. Once they see the testimonials section with trust marks, a mindset shift could occur. A great opportunity to use a call to action. Another example is when the user still has questions about your service and scrolls to the FAQ section. After his questions have been answered, a CTA could again be valuable.
Focus on one CTA
Focus on the primary target audience
You can still address your secondary target audience with a secondary CTA.
8. Focus on one main Call To Action
Keep in mind that you cannot satisfy all of your potential customers and if you try to, you are going to lose all of them. Therefore, I recommend focusing on the primary target audience respective on the buying stage, which has the most business impact.

You can still address your secondary target audience or a different buying stage with a secondary Call To Action, but make sure to focus on the action that brings you success.
Use prominent colors
Make sure colors are well saturated
Squint test
9. Use prominent colors
If people do not see your call to action, they will not click it. Therefore, one of the most important levers you can use to improve your conversion rate is colour. You may have noticed that there are certain colours that are used more often than others (yes, I'm looking at you - ocean blue). The reason for this is that studies have shown that certain colours perform better - than others.

In general, saturated colours perform better. Of course, your colours should match your corporate identity, but make sure they are well saturated, stand out from the background, and motivate users to take action.

A great way to find out if your buttons have enough contrast is the squint test. The idea is to take a step back, squint at the website and see if you can still see the button. Ultimately, it is only through testing that you will find out what colours work well for your audience.
Design for color blindness
Use a color blindness tool
10. Design for color blindness
This pro tip is probably one of the most neglected ones, yet it can have a massive impact on your conversion rate. When designing a call to action, using a bold colour is one of the most important aspects of it. On many websites you will find orange, yellow or bright red buttons that are designed to get users to take the action. However, a recent study showed that 8% of men and 2% of women are colour-blind, so they may not see your button as you expect them to. In the worst case, they do not find your button and leave the page or try your competitor's site.

A viable solution to this problem is to use a colour blindness tool to see if the contrast is high enough and people with a certain level of colour blindness can still see the button. There are many types of colour blindness other than red-green colour blindness, so using this type of accessibility tool can show you which colours work and which do not.

There is a specific list of colours that work well because their presentation is not affected by colour blindness. Although these colours can work well, keep one thing in mind: Never use colour alone to display important information. Often it is not possible to cover all types of colour blindness, so make sure that people who cannot see the action can still understand it - for example, with helper text.
Put your CTA in prominent spots
Put your CTA above the fold
Use a sticky CTA for mobile devices.
11. Put your Call To Action in prominent spots
A call to action is there to show people what to do next and help them achieve their goal. If people cannot find the call to action at first glance, your conversion rate will drop. So it makes sense to put it in the most prominent place. On a website, this is the above-the-fold area, which is visible without scrolling. Another example of great call to action placement is within the header area of a website. As the user scrolls down, the call to action can be sticky and remain in view. This way, users can take action when they feel ready.

On mobile devices, things can get more tricky because of the limited screen estate. Therefore, you have to be even more sensitive about where to put your Call To Action to make sure that people – even with smaller devices – can still reach their goal. Similar to website-design, a sticky Call To Action button can help you here as well.
Remove distractions
Use white space
12. Use white space to your advantage & remove distractions
White space in design is the space between design elements. The biggest advantage of white space is that it helps users focus on what is important. White space goes hand in hand with removing distractions and therefore can help you steer your users' focus to the Call To Action.

In design, it is about making people successful. Therefore, adding "random" design elements (floral patterns, etc.) to make things look more appealing is counterproductive. Instead, use white space to your advantage and remove any unnecessary elements to make your call to action stand out. This will help draw the user's attention to the CTA and make them more likely to click.
Steer the focus toward the CTA
Use graphic elements such as arrows or signs
People follow the directions of other people's eyes.
13. Use additional elements to steer the focus toward the Call To Action
In addition to white space and bold colours, there are other tricks that can help draw customers' attention to the call to action. One is to use graphic elements such as arrows or signs that point to the specific button. It also works well to use images of people looking or pointing in the direction of your call to action. People follow the direction of other people's eyes. So always try to place your images where you want people to look on your page.
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General optimizations

Clear user journey
A clear user journey guides 
users through your website and ensures they find what they are looking for.
Check the labels on your website
1. Clear user journey
A clear user journey is essential to guide users through your website and ensure they find what they are looking for quickly and easily. The user journey needs to be logical and intuitive to help users navigate your content. Use clear headings and menus to help users and create a seamless experience.

Pro tip: Check the wording and labels on your website and ask yourself if it is clear to people what to expect when they click on a link or your call-to-action button.
Clear calls to action
Clear calls to action are essential to motivate users to take action
Use action oriented language
2. Clear calls to action
You have to tell people what to do next, otherwise they will not take action. Clear calls to action are essential to motivate users to take the next step on your site - and ultimately to buy your service. A call to action must be specific and relevant to the user's needs or wants. Use action-oriented language to create a sense of urgency or FOMO, and make sure your CTA is visible and prominent on the page.
Offer a lead magnet
Offering a lead magnet is an effective way to capture leads and build your email list.
Specifics of a good lead magnet
3. Offer a lead magnet
A lead magnet is a freebie that you offer on your website in exchange for a user's email address. The goal is to get their email and then nurture them with valuable offers. Offering a lead magnet is an effective way to capture leads and build your email list. Make sure you know your target audience to create an engaging lead magnet. Also, be specific, relevant to your audience's needs and offer a tangible benefit.
Make form fields easy to fill out
Make form fields short
Only ask relevant information
4. Make form fields easy to fill out
Making form fields easy to use is essential to reduce friction and encourage users to complete the form. Your form fields need to be clearly labeled, specific, and concise. Use placeholders, helper text, and validation messages to guide users and catch errors.

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is asking for too much information. Make form fields short and only ask for information that is valuable to you. There is no need to ask about people's interests when they download your lead magnet.
Address users' fears
Addressing users' fears is critical to building trust. Use testimonials, badges or display user ratings to take their fears.
Common user fears include security, privacy and reliability
5. Address users' fears and objections right away
Addressing users' fears is critical to building trust. Common fears include security, privacy and reliability. Use social proof, third-party endorsements, or trust badges to allay users' fears and reassure them that your site is safe and trustworthy.

If you are selling a product, especially on your checkout page, these trust signs are crucial. To build trust, use badges such as "Secured by SSL payment" or display a rating from Trustpilot (or other rating sites).
Testimonials
Testimonials are quotes from users who have already used your offering and are a powerful motivator for hesitant buyers.
Never fake testimonials
6. Testimonials
You wouldn't believe how many people don't buy your service or product because they don't trust you. One way to change this is to use powerful testimonials. Testimonials are quotes from users who have already used your offering and are a powerful motivator for hesitant buyers. When using testimonials, make sure they are genuine, specific and highlight the benefits and results your customers have achieved. Never fake testimonials!
Track your metrics
Tracking your metrics is essential to understand how users interact with your site and identify areas for improvement.
Always use data to inform your decisions
7. Track your metrics
Want to know if you are getting closer or further away from your goal? Then tracking is the way to go. Tracking your metrics is essential to understand how users interact with your site and identify areas for improvement. Use tools such as Google Analytics, Matomo or Adobe Analytics. You can collect data on page views, bounce rates, conversion rates and other key metrics, and use this data to inform your website strategy.
Favicon
A favicon helps your site stand out in a user's browser, builds trust, and shows that you pay attention to detail.
8. Favicon
A favicon is a small icon that appears in the browser tab or address bar and should be consistent with your branding and website design. Using a favicon helps your site stand out in a user's browser, builds trust and shows that you pay attention to detail.
Videos
Video is a powerful tool for communicating with visitors. Make sure your videos are high quality 
and have a clear purpose.
If you have long blog posts and see a high bounce rate and low time on site, try using videos that summarize the blog post.
9. Videos
Video is a powerful tool for communicating with visitors and keeping them engaged. You can use videos to showcase products or services, educate users, or add a personal touch to your site. Make sure your videos are high quality, relevant and have a clear purpose.

If you have long blog posts and see a high bounce rate and low time on site, try using videos that summarize the blog post. This will keep people on your site for longer and improve your SERP rankings.
Helpful FAQs
Helpful FAQs provide users with quick answers to common questions and reduce friction in the user journey.
Don't create a separate FAQ page, but rather sprinkle your FAQs wherever it makes sense within the 
user journey.
10. Helpful FAQs
FAQs provide users with quick answers to common questions and reduce friction in the user journey. As mentioned above, FAQs are a great way to address your users' fears and concerns right away.

Here's a pro tip: don't create a separate FAQ page, but rather sprinkle your FAQs wherever it makes sense within the user journey. Are people on your checkout page? Let them know if there is a money back guarantee right away.

Another benefit of FAQs is that they also help improve your SERP rankings for relevant queries.
Show your local address
Showing your local address through a Google My Business listing helps you improve your local search rankings and visibility to users in your area.
11. Show your local address via Google My Business listing
Showing your local address through a Google My Business listing helps you improve your local search rankings and visibility to users in your area. It also builds trust when people see you are a real business. Always make sure your listing is up-to-date, complete, and accurate.
Make your site accessible
Examples of good accessible design include using high-contrast colours, alt text for images, and keyboard navigation.
Never use color alone to display important information
12. Make your site accessible
Did you know that 8% of men are colour blind? This means that these people will struggle to navigate your site if you do not use accessibility standards. Examples of good accessible design principles include using high-contrast colours, alt text for images, and keyboard navigation.
Support multiple languages
Supporting multiple languages helps you reach a global audience and increase engagement with non-native speakers.
13. Support multiple languages
If you serve an international market, allowing users to choose their preferred language is a good idea. Supporting multiple languages helps you reach a global audience and increase engagement with non-native speakers. You can use tools like Google Translate or hire professional translators to accurately translate your content and ensure a seamless experience for users.
Mobile friendliness
Making your site mobile friendly 
is essential to ensure that users can access your content on 
any device.
Use responsive design principles
14. Mobile-friendliness
Today, if your website is not mobile friendly, you will lose a lot of traffic. Therefore, making your site mobile friendly is essential to ensure that users can access your content on any device. Best practice is to use responsive design principles, such as flexible layouts and font sizes, to ensure that your site looks good on any screen size.
Remarketing
Remarketing means using advertising to target users who have previously visited your site.
15. Remarketing
Remarketing means using advertising to target users who have previously visited your site. Try it for yourself. Visit some shopping sites, disable your ad blocker and do a random Google search. Chances are you will see ads from the sites you just visited.

Remarketing is a powerful strategy for re-engaging users. It's especially helpful for users who may have abandoned their shopping cart or failed to complete a desired action on your site.
Testing
Testing allows marketers to get insights into visitor behavior.
If you have enough traffic, use A/B testing to test headlines, the layout, images, forms or the navigation.
16. Testing
A/B testing is an experiment conducted to test potential improvements compared to an original version. In the case of a website, A/B testing allows marketers to get insights into visitor behavior by creating 2 or more versions of their webpage and analyzing which version leads to a higher conversion rate. Version A refers to the original state, while version B refers to the new version of the testing variable.

For example, you added a blue “Request a Free Demo” button to your landing page. After a set amount of time or traffic volume, you can test to understand if this color and copy results in more demo sign-ups. But you can not only A/B test buttons. You can also test the headline on your website, the general layout, images, forms, navigation, or graphical elements. Ideas for testing are often a result of analyzing heat-maps, website analytics, session recordings, user tests or direct user feedback.
Exit-intent pop-ups
Exit-intent pop-ups appear when a visitor is about to leave a website, giving businesses one last chance 
to capture their attention.
Set the pop-up to appear when the user has been inactive for a while or when the user is about to leave 
the website.
17. Exit-intent pop-ups
Exit-intent pop-ups are a popular website optimization tactic that can be used to increase conversions and reduce bounce rates. These pop-ups appear when a visitor is about to leave a website, giving businesses one last chance to capture their attention and encourage them to stay or take a desired action.

One of the most critical factors when using exit-intent pop-ups is timing. The pop-up should not appear too early, as this can be disruptive and annoying to the user. Nor should it appear too late, as the user may already have left the site. A good rule of thumb is to set the pop-up to appear when the user has been inactive for a certain period of time, such as 30 seconds, or when the user is about to leave the website (hovering to another tab).
Shareable content
Making your content easy to share on social media will help increase visibility and traffic to your website.
Include social media icons on every page or blog post and encourage 
readers to share.
18. Make your content shareable
Making your content easy to share on social media will help increase visibility and traffic to your website. One of the best ways to do this is to include social media icons on every page or blog post and encourage readers to share.

I also love the following feature: Medium allows you to highlight any passage of text and then share it directly on social media. A great way to take advantage of social media sharing.
Use customer feedback
Customer feedback is valuable for improving the customer experience and helping you tailor your service more closely to your users' needs.
Conduct customer feedback regularly to stay ahead of 
the competition.
19. Customer feedback for improvements
Customer feedback is the information, issues and opinions your users have about your product. These insights are valuable for improving the customer experience and helping you tailor your service more closely to your users' needs.

If you want to understand how people use your service and how to make them more successful, feedback is essential. Quality customer feedback also gives you insight into your product, helps you make improvements, and even helps you attract new customers by improving your service. In short, to stay ahead of the competition, listen to your users.
Search bars
A search bar on your website makes it easier for users to find the content they're looking for.
Remember to provide an "error page" if no results are found.
20. Search bars
A search bar on your website makes it easier for users to find the content they're looking for. Whether they're looking for a specific product or piece of information, having a search bar on your site can improve the user experience and reduce bounce rates.

After all, your goal is to provide value to your visitors and help them achieve their goals, and a search bar helps people find what they are looking for quickly. Remember to provide an "error page" if no results are found.
Live chat
Using live chat improves the user experience by providing immediate support
Make sure people are interacting with real people, not chatbots.
21. Live chat
Using live chat improves the user experience by providing immediate support. This can be particularly helpful for e-commerce sites or other businesses where customers may have questions or concerns that need immediate attention. Where possible, make sure people are interacting with real people, not chatbots. Chatbots are often not as sophisticated and can only help so much.
Helpful error messages
Error messages should be clear and concise
When you design your site, think about the errors that might occur and how users can resolve them
22. Helpful error messages
Displaying the message "Something went wrong" without helping the user is a huge user experience mistake. Users will become frustrated and leave your site immediately. Therefore, error messages should be clear, specific and provide actionable steps to resolve the problem.

Use plain language and avoid technical jargon or generic messages. Remember: When you design your site, think about the errors that might occur and how users can resolve them immediately.
Helpful 404 page
An excellent 404 error page provides helpful links, suggests related content, or offers a search bar to help users find what 
they are looking for.
23. Helpful 404 error page
A helpful 404 error page can turn a negative experience into a positive one. An excellent 404 error page provides helpful links to other parts of your site, suggests related content, or offers a search bar to help users find what they are looking for.
Cookie banner
Make sure your cookie banner is clear, concise and provides a user-friendly way for users to accept or decline cookies.
Check how your cookie banner looks on mobile
24. Cookie banners
Using a cookie banner is now a legal requirement. These banners inform users about your site's use of cookies. Make sure your cookie banner is clear, concise and provides a user-friendly way for users to accept or decline cookies.

Pro tip: Check how your cookie banner looks on mobile devices. If you don't optimize it for mobile users, you'll see a drop in traffic.
Imprint and privacy policy
An imprint and privacy policy is 
a must for any website, as it 
builds trust and shows that 
you take user privacy seriously.
25. Imprint and privacy policy
Providing an imprint and privacy policy is a must for any website, as it builds trust and shows that you take user privacy seriously. Make sure your imprint and privacy policy are up-to-date, specific, transparent, and compliant with relevant laws and regulations.
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Layout

Responsive design
Responsive design means that your design adapts to the screen size of the users device
If your site is not optimized for all types of devices, you will lose a lot of traffic.
1. Responsive design
Responsive design means that your design adapts to the screen size of the user's device, from desktops to mobile phones. This helps to reduce bounce rates and increase conversions. If your site is not optimized for all types of devices, you will lose a lot of traffic.
Place your CTA prominently
Place your CTA above the fold
2. Place your CTA prominently
Your call to action is the main action you want people to take. Everything depends on how many people click on that button. Therefore, placing your call to action (CTA) prominently on your website will immediately increase conversions. Prominently means "above the fold", the area that is visible without scrolling.
Easy navigation
A clear navigation menu helps visitors understand the layout of your site and find the information they are looking for.
Organize your pages into logical categories and provide a search function to make your site easy to navigate.
3. Easy navigation
A clear and consistent navigation menu helps visitors understand the layout of your site and find the information they're looking for. Organize your pages into logical categories and provide a search function to make your site easy to navigate.
Navigation via Footer
A footer-navigation is a great way to help users find the information they're looking for, even if they've scrolled past your main navigation menu.
Include links to important pages or sections or even a direct search to help visitors get to their goal.
4. Enable navigation via your footer
A footer-navigation is a great way to help users find the information they're looking for, even if they've scrolled past your main navigation menu. Include links to important pages or sections in your site's footer or even a direct search to help visitors get to their goal.
Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are a navigation technique that help users better understand where they are on your 
site and how they got there.
Use breadcrumbs for large sites that have multiple levels of navigation
5. Breadcrumbs
Using breadcrumbs is a navigation technique that helps users better understand where they are on your site and how they got there. Breadcrumbs typically appear at the top of a page and provide links back to previous pages or sections. This helps visitors quickly navigate back to where they came from or back to the home page.

Breadcrumbs are particularly useful for large sites that have multiple levels of navigation, or where users may get lost among a large number of pages.
Use white space
White space guides the viewers eye to whats important
White space creates harmony
6. Use white space
Often, designers feel the need to fill the entire website with design elements so that it does not look empty. However, the opposite is true for excellent design. White space guides the viewer's eye to what's important and prevents them from feeling overwhelmed by too much information.

White space can also create a sense of balance and harmony in a design. So don't be afraid to use it.

Wrapping up

If you want a professional website that will bring you new customers, there are many aspects to consider. From SEO, quality design, copywriting, images to page speed.

With this checklist at hand, you can navigate through the website design process and create a website that consistently brings in traffic and new leads.
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