It’s 2016 so if you have a business or simply want to showcase your talent through an unusual type of CV, you definitely need to put together a website. Sure, you hire a specialist and let him or her handle the work to improve your website if coding is not in your area of expertise. But how do you know the work you receive is good? You don’t need to be a programmer to know the essentials about what a good website looks like and that is why you need to read the following advice. Test It Out Let’s say you asked someone to build your website and counted on a marketing expert to spread the word about it. Free tools like Nibbler help you test out the main functionalities of your website and even give you advice on what you need to improve and how. It’s a pretty good quick fix for any type of business that needs improvement. This way you can give useful feedback to your team so they know how to adapt their strategy and on what improvements to focus. In an effort to make everything better you can also ask another programmer to take a look before its deployment. A fresh eye can spot bugs that can escape the strained eye of the creator, so bear in mind that checking twice is not such a bad idea after all. Plus, who knows? He might also help you bring improvements you haven’t thought of that could improve your website’s user experience. Go a Step Further To SEO There are a lot of free tools and SEO extensions you must use, that allow you to see where you stand from an SEO perspective. SEO is one of the most important aspects if you want your website to be found, have a high traffic and attract the right type of users. You need to make sure you rank amongst the main findings when keywords for your website are searched. There are many reasons why you should take SEO seriously and invest in it, one of them being that competition is probably doing it as we speak. Take into consideration that this type of investment brings good ROI, especially considering the rise of mobile device usage for searching and buying. Keywords are important if you want to retrieve good results in customer’s searches, bringing you popularity and increasing the overall accessing rate of the website. So before you go and do all of your SEO homework make sure that your website is well optimized for any device, that the platform is responsive and that all of your content is what you need it to be. If major updates are made after the initial launch, you might risk seeing a decrease in the site’s popularity and all your investment in SEO might turn out to be useless. Sitemaps Take You a Long Way We spoke earlier of SEO. In order to have effective SEO, sitemaps are a must have. A sitemap is the site’s backbone if you want the simplest definition, acting as a back-end structure for the website that is not visible to users. It’s what gets it out there on the search engines and makes SEO stronger for the content that you put up. The greatest thing about sitemaps is that you can tailor is so it shows what you want to be found and what you want the search engine to retrieve when your key words come up at someone’s fingertips. A Visual Sitemap Generator helps you discover what will work and what will not before launching the website. This helps you a great deal since no one wants to be taken by surprise on launch day with a site crash when a lot more users than anticipated access the page all at once. That would definitely render any marketing investment useless and would probably lose you three quarters of the traffic that you planned. Search engine spiders use visual sitemaps to have a faster indexing of the website’s pages, helping create a much better user experience. Visual Sitemap Generators can be used when re-designing an old website as well. Like anything that evolves through time, sometimes it happens that by always adding improvements and new content to it, the site becomes disorganized, generating errors and damages the overall user experience. There are tools that help create your visual site map in a couple of minutes. The only thing you need to do is input your web address and wait. Design We covered the back end part of the business but let’s face it: the user only sees and appreciates the interface of the enormous work behind. Design is important since it’s the decisive factor when it comes to the first user experience. Make sure the main page delivers an interface that suits your type of business and that is easy to navigate. Users don’t generally have patience to figure out where they can find what they’re looking for so instead of trying to figure the website out they’ll simply click they’re Google search bar and move on to the competition. Design is essential not only for accessibility purposes but also in setting the feeling of the business. Does the site’s interface tell you that you just landed on the page of a tourism agency? Well that isn’t so great if you’re trying to sell interior decoration items. Choose the colors carefully and make sure that you have consistency all throughout the pages in maintaining the vibe, color and feel of the brand. Finally Try to balance the two interfaces as best you can. It’s never going to be perfect but that doesn’t mean that you can’t strive for perfection and continue to improve every detail along the way. Remember: every app, game or website has weekly updates in order to fix bugs or to improve the overall performance. So if you launch half-heartedly thinking of that 1% that still isn’t ready yet, make sure that there’s nothing essential amongst that percentage and go ahead and deploy. Images: ” user experience design – word abstract in vintage letterpress wood type with a cup of coffee / Shutterstock.com“ ____________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.