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9 Website Design Must Haves

We’ve put together a toolbox of must-haves for new business website design.

9 Things Your Website Must Have

Your new business needs a website, or your current website needs updating? For many people, this can be an overwhelming experience, but with a little help from the team at Thrive Digital here on the Gold Coast, your experience can be simple and stress-free. We’ve put together a toolbox of must-haves for new business website design.

1. Quality Portfolio, Case Studies or Testimonials

When searching for a new business the first thing I look for is a quality portfolio of clients. Of course, this doesn’t suit all business types but if you have a project-based business it’s a must. If a portfolio isn’t suitable for your website, you can consider alternatives like Case Studies or Testimonials.

A project-based business should have a Quality Portfolio on its website for several reasons:

  • Showcase work and achievements: Display your best work, accomplishments, and projects in a visually appealing and organized manner. This provides potential clients and customers with a clear understanding of the company’s capabilities, expertise, and areas of specialization.
  • Build credibility and trust: Establish credibility and trust with potential clients. By showcasing successful projects, case studies, and testimonials, a business can demonstrate its competence, professionalism, and commitment to delivering quality results.
  • Attract new clients: A marketing tool to attract new clients. By displaying an impressive body of work, a business can pique the interest of potential clients, leading to inquiries and increased business opportunities.
  • Differentiate from competitors: Stand out from its competitors. Showcasing unique projects, innovative solutions, or industry accolades can differentiate a company in a crowded marketplace and position it as a leader in its field.
  • Easy accessibility: Accessible to clients and customers worldwide, ensuring that a business can showcase its offerings to a wider audience. This accessibility can lead to increased brand exposure and potential business opportunities.
  • Update and evolve: Easy to update and evolve as the business grows and takes on new projects. This allows a company to keep its portfolio fresh and relevant, reflecting its most recent accomplishments and capabilities.
  • Cost-effective marketing: A cost-effective marketing tool for businesses, particularly small businesses with limited marketing budgets. By investing time and effort into creating a captivating portfolio, a business can generate interest and leads without spending a fortune on advertising campaigns.

A Quality Portfolio on a business website serves as a powerful tool to showcase expertise, build credibility, attract new clients, and differentiate from competitors. This ultimately helps a business grow and succeed in a competitive market.

Also, a Portfolio on a business website can act like a blog allowing you to have a well-organised stream of new posts. Each of these posts have have significant content and targets niche search terms and local areas and as such it can really help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in several ways:

  • Keyword-rich content: When creating a portfolio, businesses can include relevant keywords and phrases related to their industry, services, or products. This can help search engines understand the context of the website and improve its rankings in search results for those specific keywords.
  • Image optimization: Images used in a portfolio can be optimized by adding relevant file names, alt text, and captions, which can help search engines index the images and improve the website’s overall SEO.
  • Inbound links: Attract attention from other websites, leading to valuable inbound links (also known as backlinks). These backlinks can boost a website’s domain authority and improve its search engine ranking.
  • Regular updates: Search engines favour websites that are frequently updated with fresh, high-quality content. By regularly updating a portfolio with new projects, case studies, or testimonials, a business can maintain its website’s relevancy and improve its SEO.
  • User experience: Enhance the user experience on a website, which is an important factor for SEO. Websites with better user experiences, such as easy navigation and engaging content, are more likely to be favoured by search engines.
  • Social sharing: Encourage visitors to share the content on social media platforms, increasing the website’s visibility and potentially generating more organic traffic. This increased visibility can improve the website’s SEO and search engine rankings.

So to recap, a Quality Portfolio on a business website can help with SEO by providing keyword-rich content, optimizing images, generating inbound links, encouraging regular updates, enhancing user experience, and promoting social sharing.


2. Great Brand Design

It can be hard for some business owners to recognise the importance of quality branding. Here are some reasons why brand design is essential for businesses.

  • Recognition and memorability: Stand out in a crowded marketplace, making it easily recognizable and memorable. This can include elements such as a unique logo, colour scheme, typography, and other visual elements that make up the company’s brand identity.
  • Consistency and professionalism: A cohesive brand design ensures consistency across all touchpoints, including marketing materials, website, packaging, and social media. This consistency projects a professional image and builds trust among potential customers and clients.
  • Conveying values and personality: Communicates the company’s values, mission, and personality, helping to create an emotional connection with the target audience. This emotional connection can lead to increased customer loyalty and long-term success.
  • Differentiation from competitors: Differentiate a business from its competitors, positioning it as a leader in its industry. This differentiation can make a company more attractive to potential customers and clients, who may perceive it as offering superior products or services.
  • Building brand equity: Building brand equity, which is the perceived value of a company based on its reputation, recognition, and customer loyalty. High brand equity can lead to increased customer retention, word-of-mouth referrals, and ultimately, higher revenue and market share.
  • Effective communication: Communicate a company’s offerings, benefits, and unique selling points, making it easier for potential customers to understand the value of the products or services being offered.
  • Fostering customer loyalty: Foster customer loyalty, leading to repeat business and referrals. Loyal customers are more likely to advocate for a brand and recommend it to others, contributing to the company’s growth and success.

A great brand design is crucial for businesses as it helps with recognition, consistency, differentiation, communication, and building brand equity. It also plays a key role in fostering customer loyalty and long-term success.


3. Lead Optimised Web Design

Your website needs to be designed so it is optimised for generating leads and supporting your marketing. After all, you’re in the business of making money and your website is there to help you convert leads into sales. a website optimized for generating leads is essential for businesses as it helps with customer acquisition, cost-effective marketing, 24/7 availability, measurable results, trust-building, lead nurturing, and gaining a competitive advantage. Such a website can contribute to a business’s long-term growth and success. Here are some core reasons:

  • Customer acquisition: Effectively attract potential customers and encourage them to take action, such as signing up for a newsletter, requesting a quote, or making a purchase. This helps businesses acquire new customers, expand their client base, and ultimately increase revenue.
  • Cost-effective marketing: Generating leads through an optimized website can be more cost-effective than traditional marketing methods, such as print advertising or direct mail. Digital lead generation allows businesses to target specific demographics and tailor their messaging, resulting in higher conversion rates and a better return on investment.
  • 24/7 availability: A website is accessible 24/7, providing potential customers with the opportunity to engage with a business at any time. This constant availability increases the chances of capturing leads and converting them into customers, even outside of regular business hours.
  • Measurable results: Track and analyze user behaviour, such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and the sources of traffic. This data can be used to refine marketing strategies, improve website content, and better target potential customers, ultimately boosting lead generation efforts.
  • Building trust and credibility: A well-designed, informative, and user-friendly website can help establish trust and credibility with potential customers. By providing valuable content, addressing common concerns, and showcasing customer testimonials, a business can position itself as an expert in its field, making it more likely that potential customers will become leads.
  • Nurturing leads: Facilitate lead nurturing through email marketing, retargeting, and personalized content. By staying in touch with potential customers and providing them with relevant information, businesses can build relationships and guide leads through the sales funnel until they are ready to make a purchase.
  • Competitive advantage: Give a business a competitive edge in its industry. By capturing and converting leads more effectively than competitors, a business can increase its market share and strengthen its position in the market.


Your website should be like a rockstar sales person that works 24/7

4. Custom Website Design

An essential quality of any website design business is its ability to have the flexibility to customise your website to suit your brand and content.  You need a website that works for you and your business, if you’re not getting this you’re wasting your money and time.

  • Unique identity: Establish a unique identity and stand out from the competition. A distinctive brand, logo, website, or marketing materials can create a memorable impression on potential customers and clients, making the business more recognizable and memorable.
  • Tailored to the target audience: Create visuals and messaging that resonate with its specific target audience. By understanding the preferences, needs, and pain points of potential customers, a business can create a design that effectively communicates its value proposition and appeals to its target market.
  • Flexibility and adaptability: Offers greater flexibility and adaptability, allowing a business to adjust its visual identity and messaging as it evolves over time. This ensures that the design remains relevant, fresh, and aligned with the company’s goals, values, and target audience.
  • Reflecting brand values and personality: Enables a business to showcase its unique values, mission, and personality, fostering an emotional connection with potential customers. This emotional connection can lead to increased customer loyalty, word-of-mouth referrals, and long-term success.
  • Differentiation from competitors: Sets a business apart from its competitors by highlighting its unique selling points, expertise, or innovative solutions. By differentiating itself in the market, a business can attract more customers and position itself as a leader in its industry.
  • Consistency across channels: Ensures consistency across all touchpoints, including the website, marketing materials, packaging, and social media. This consistency projects a professional image, strengthens brand recognition, and builds trust with potential customers and clients.
  • Better user experience: Allows a business to create a user experience tailored to its target audience, making it easier for potential customers to navigate the website, find information, and engage with the company. A better user experience can lead to higher conversion rates, increased customer satisfaction, and positive word-of-mouth referrals.


Your unique site should be custom designed to represent your brand and target your market.


5. Ongoing Content Creation

Blogging and portfolio posts are one of the easiest ways to keep your website updated with fresh content. Blogging helps with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and is a great way to generate content for other marketing channels.

  • Improved search engine rankings: Search engines, like Google, favour websites that are frequently updated with relevant content, which can lead to higher visibility and increased organic traffic.
  • Engaging the audience: Keep the audience engaged, informed, and entertained. This can encourage repeat visits, increase the time spent on the website, and ultimately result in higher conversion rates.
  • Establishing authority and expertise: A business can position itself as an authority and expert in its industry. This can build trust with the target audience, who are more likely to turn to the business for information, products, or services.
  • Supporting SEO efforts:  Incorporate relevant keywords and phrases, which can help a website rank higher in search engine results. Additionally, high-quality content can attract backlinks from other websites, further boosting the website’s SEO and visibility.
  • Social media engagement: Give businesses fresh material to share on social media platforms, increasing their reach and visibility. Engaging content can encourage social sharing, driving additional traffic to the website and potentially generating new leads.
  • Nurturing leads: By providing valuable information and addressing common questions or concerns. This can help move potential customers through the sales funnel, increasing the likelihood of conversions.
  • Demonstrating brand personality and values: Showcase their unique personality, values, and mission. This can help create an emotional connection with the audience and foster brand loyalty.
  • Staying current and relevant: This can demonstrate that a business is up-to-date with the latest trends, developments, and best practices, which can enhance its credibility and appeal to potential customers.


6. Have an easy to use intuitive CMS

The CMS, or Content Management System, allows you to make changes to your website from the backend. It’s extremely important that you have a CMS that is easy to use and access so you can make your own changes as needed. We use WordPress CMS which is super stable, flexible and secure when set up correctly.

  • Efficiency and time savings: This enables businesses to quickly and easily update, edit, or publish content on their website without requiring extensive technical knowledge. This saves time and allows for more efficient content management, ensuring that the website remains fresh and up-to-date.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Businesses can manage their website content without the need to hire a web developer or designer for every update. This can result in significant cost savings, especially for small businesses with limited budgets.
  • Consistency and quality control: Helps maintain consistency in design and layout across the website, ensuring that all pages adhere to the same style guidelines and branding elements. This consistency contributes to a professional and cohesive online presence.
  • Collaboration and delegation: Allows multiple users to access and manage the website content, facilitating collaboration and delegation of tasks among team members. This can improve productivity, streamline workflows, and ensure that content updates are completed in a timely manner.


7. Reliable Hosting

Look for fast hosting that provides local homegrown support. It’s much easier to deal with a support team right here on Australian shores when you’re working with the technical aspects of your website. We use Amazon and Vultr (AWS) as they have a data centre in Sydney and a worldwide reputation as the best hosting provider available.

  • High availability and uptime: Ensures that a website is accessible and functional most of the time, minimizing downtime. This is crucial for maintaining a professional online presence and preventing potential customers from encountering errors or being unable to access the website.
  • Fast loading times: Fast server response times are essential for delivering a positive user experience and preventing potential customers from leaving the site due to slow load times.
  • Security: Robust security measures, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and regular software updates, to protect a website from hacking attempts, data breaches, and other security threats.
  • Data backup and recovery: We include regular data backups and recovery options. This ensures that a business can quickly restore its website and recover critical data in the event of a hardware failure, cyberattack, or other unforeseen incidents.
  • Cost-effectiveness: While quality hosting may come at a higher cost than budget options, the benefits it provides, such as improved performance, security, and support, can outweigh the additional expense. A reliable hosting service can prevent potential revenue loss due to website downtime, slow loading times, or security issues.


8. Quality Content

There are certain aspects of your website that are essential, including trust signals to create customer confidence and website personality to successfully tell your story. Oh, and avoid tacky content and stock images that will only demean your brand.

Visual elements: High-quality images, videos, and other visual elements can enhance the overall design of your website, making it more engaging and visually appealing. These elements can help showcase your products or services and support your written content.

Why do you need quality content?

  • Engaging the audience: Quality content is engaging, informative, and relevant to the target audience’s needs and interests. This can encourage users to spend more time on the website, explore further, and ultimately take action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
  • Improving search engine rankings: Content that is well-researched, original, and contains relevant keywords can help improve a website’s search engine rankings. This can lead to increased visibility, more organic traffic, and higher chances of attracting potential customers.
  • Encouraging social sharing: Compelling, shareable content can increase the likelihood of users sharing it on social media platforms, which can help expand the business’s reach, attract new customers, and boost brand awareness.
  • Supporting other marketing efforts: Quality content serves as a foundation for various marketing initiatives, such as email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization. Investing in high-quality content ensures that these marketing efforts are more effective and successful.
  • Strengthening brand identity and values: Quality content helps communicate a business’s unique brand identity, values, and mission, fostering an emotional connection with the target audience. This emotional connection can lead to increased customer loyalty, repeat business, and word-of-mouth referrals.


9. SEO & Marketing Strategy

At Thrive Web we take a holistic approach to web design, but not all businesses think in the same way. We believe it’s also important to have solid SEO and marketing strategies to ensure your website doesn’t become stagnant, is fully supported and keeps moving in the right direction.

  • Increase visibility and online presence: A well-executed SEO and marketing strategy helps improve a business’s visibility in search engine results and on various digital platforms. This increased visibility can lead to more organic traffic, attracting potential customers and expanding the business’s online presence.
  • Target the right audience: A solid marketing strategy allows businesses to identify their target audience and tailor their messaging and marketing efforts accordingly. This ensures that marketing campaigns are more relevant and effective, increasing the likelihood of attracting and retaining customers.
  • Boost brand awareness: By consistently promoting the business through various marketing channels, such as content marketing, social media, and email marketing, businesses can build brand awareness and recognition. This helps establish the business as a trusted and reliable source in the industry.
  • Gain a competitive edge: A well-planned SEO and marketing strategy can help businesses differentiate themselves from competitors, highlight their unique selling points, and position themselves as leaders in their industry. This competitive edge can result in attracting more customers and increasing market share.
  • Drive conversions and sales: An effective marketing strategy focuses on driving conversions and sales by guiding potential customers through the sales funnel. This can result in increased revenue and business growth.
  • Measure and optimize performance: A data-driven SEO and marketing strategy enables businesses to measure the performance of their campaigns, identify areas for improvement, and make data-informed decisions. This continuous optimization process ensures that marketing efforts remain effective and deliver a high return on investment (ROI).


Google gives you free access to some great SEO tools such as Analytics and Webmaster Tools. Make sure you have access to these, they are very easy to setup.


Want more information? If you need help updating your current website or designing a new one, call our team on 07 5535 0063 or fill in our contact form to get started.

Written by Samantha

Samantha is our resident web designer and front-end developer wizard. She is knowledgable in all things digital design and loves to bring new and fresh ideas to our company.