10 Website Must-Haves in 2017

A green cartoon computer displaying a website sits on top of a background of cartoon computer mice.

Is it time for a new site?
Your website is the hub of all marketing activities. It could be how you generate sales, where you establish yourselves as industry leaders, or how you capture leads and enter them into a nurture program. It’s one of the first places your users will visit before they even consider reaching out for your services. First impressions are key, and if yours sucks, you’re missing out.

Here are 10 elements your website really should have if it’s going to be effective. We’ve mixed in some oldies but goodies, with some of the newer trends.


A strategy.

Every site we build at 834 begins with a 4-8 page website strategy. This forces you to think through your audiences and what they’re looking for, identify your goals, figure out how you can stand out from your competitors, and a slew of other things.

A mobile-first approach.

You can argue with us all day, but the fact is that you need to be designing for mobile devices. Not only are the majority of your customers going to look for you there, but designing for mobile forces you to be strategic about certain principles that will result in a better site on desktop as well.


We love when sites tell us good morning, or that we should take another look at these items we recently viewed. If e-commerce, user accounts, or geo-targeted messages aren’t your thing, at least make sure you’re providing high quality and targeted content for your different audiences. If you work with different industries, provide each industry with tailored content on how you help to solve their unique needs.

Creative lead capture.

Ditch the generic ‘get in touch’, ‘sign up’, and ‘chat now’ calls-to-action. Think outside of the box. We saw one recently that said ‘let’s grab a drink’ – you know we were immediately hooked. Think about your audience; who are they? What struggles do they have? What would really resonate with them?


Use short video clips and/or animation to add movement to your site. This gives your site a polished look and engages your audience without going overboard with fancy or unnecessary bells and whistles.

A personality.

Use language that people can understand. Show off your staff with a fun and creative Team page. Experiment with colors that show of your brand personality.

High quality content.

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘Content is King’ about a billion times. Well, that’s because it’s true and continues to be more and more the reality. Keep the flashy bells and whistles to a minimum and let your content shine. Please stay away from stock photography. Your users can spot those in a second, and they’re often completely ignored. Invest in high quality, custom photography for your site (which you can then repurpose in all of your marketing collateral).

Conversion tracking.

This is an oldie but a goodie. If you’re not defining conversions and tracking those on your website, you’re essentially flying blind.

Intentional UX review.

Navigation, forms, buttons, content blocks, gestures, and all other elements should be intuitive and user friendly. Get nit-picky here; the smallest details can make a world of difference.

A properly formatted copyright notice.

Okay, this one might be more of a pet peeve for our Web Director, but it doesn’t hurt!
Want some feedback on your site? Looking for suggestions? Get in touch with Kayden, our Web Director! You can find him on Twitter (@kaydengrinwis). Hint: he loves coffee, beer, and pizza.

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