We’ve all heard the business credo that “cash is king.” But when it comes to websites “content is king,” which should really be “unique content is king.” It is imperative that your website have original content and its own unique look and feel. Your website should convey your unique value proposition, your agency theme and the special attributes of your products, services and solutions.

The Top 10 website elements to review when designing (or redesigning) your website:

  1. Header, logo and value proposition
  2. Navigation (keep it simple)
  3. Page title, meta description, keywords (for SEO)
  4. Unique design
  5. Graphics-versus-text balance
  6. Color and theme
  7. Content (text, graphics, video, blog)
  8. Download speed
  9. Quality inbound and outbound links
  10. Call to action

Successful websites will do all or most of these. But what should you avoid doing in designing your website?

The Top 10 things to avoid when designing (or redesigning) your website:

  1. Overused templates
  2. Out-of-date content
  3. Out-of-date images and photographs
  4. Comingling of personal and commercial product lines
  5. Vague or nonexistent calls to action
  6. Too many calls to action on a single page
  7. Browser incompatibility
  8. Large graphics or Flash video with limited content
  9. Broken links
  10. Utilities and features that make your site look too much like other sites

Use these quick checklists the next time you sit down to freshen up your website.

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Alan Blume is an author, and as founder and CEO of StartUpSelling Inc., he works with small businesses on lead generation, sales, marketing, website design and branding. For more information, go to www.StartUpSelling.com.