Q: What elements are absolutely essential for my company website?

A: Gabriel Shaoolian, founder and CEO of New York City-based digital agency Blue Fountain Media, offers the three must-dos for an effective website.

State your message concisely. Shaoolian cites the example of Zappos, whose website promises “fast, free shipping.” Three words (how’s that for concise?) that define company values. “A lot of e-commerce sites are selling something, but you don’t know what’s different about them,” he says.

Provide a call to action. Your homepage should allow customers to take immediate steps—request a quote, inquire about a product, make a purchase.

Integrate social media. Put “share” buttons on content-rich pages. “You don’t share CNN’s website,” Shaoolian says. “You share an article on CNN’s website. When CNN has a great article, I’m going to share that on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, whatever.”