Written by Paige Dawson
Maybe the goal of your business is to do good for others or generate sales leads. Or perhaps your company just wants to make money via online sales. And lots of it.
Whatever the reason, one thing is certain: if your company’s website is lacking some key components, you aren’t doing yourself, or your bottom line, any favors.
We broke down a few things you need to have a successful business website.
Confusion. Panic. Despair.
Is that the reaction visitors have when they come to your website? Golly, we hope not, but if that’s the case, you have a usability issue.
How can usability impact your business? Well, let’s see.
Improve your site’s usability by including easy-to-understand and logical names for your site’s pages, such as “Contact,” “About,” “FAQ,” etc. Also, include clear links to the most important pages on your homepage.
A well-structured site navigation is a key usability practice. Include drop downs from the navigation to make it easy for visitors to get a comprehensive view of the content that falls under each category so they can quickly find what they are looking for.
One might argue (and would be right) that responsive website designs are a key function of good usability. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a website that is designed responsively scales to fit various browsers and device types.
So, whether it’s on a desktop or phone, when your site is responsive, your end user has a pleasant browsing experience free of pinching, pulling, squinting…you get the point.
When customers come to your site, the information needs to be accessible. Include big buttons on cell phones so that even the largest of thumbs can click it. Don’t make your text hard to read. Be sure your links look clickable. If you have a video, subtitles are a great addition for people who are viewing your video in a noisy area.
Don’t make the mistake of losing a customer due to a frustrating website experience.
What is it that you want people to do on your site? Download a content piece? Buy something? Email you for a quote? Make an appointment? Make your goals clear with prominent calls to action.
Don’t make your user guess what you want them to do. Be upfront and get to the point. And also, don’t try to be cute or clever with your calls to action. Sure, it might seem fun and creative, but it may not translate well to your user and could turn them off. Be specific about what your user is about to click on, or they won’t take any action at all.
This isn’t something you want to take lightly. Having an unreliable website host can cause a number of issues, including slow site speed and load failure.
Instability and poor performance can be annoying to users. It can also annoy search engines, who will punish you for your mediocrity.
Search engine algorithms detect web-page performance, including speed and bounce rates, so if you want to rank high in the results, go with a reliable host that will give your site a strong foundation.
A set-it-and-forget-it attitude toward your website will surely lead to its early demise. That’s why you need to keep your site maintained. Having a web care plan can help.
What exactly does a web care plan do, you ask? It’s basically a maintenance package that helps keep your site running smoothly.
Web care not only keeps your site functioning smoothly, it also keeps it secure. Outdated themes and plugins can make your site vulnerable to hackers.
Having a well-maintained site is just good business.
Social media is one of the top places on the web for consumers and potential customers to interact with your brand. It’s part of a comprehensive digital strategy, so don’t hide your participation on your website.
If you aren’t active on social media yet, it’s time to carpe diem, you guys. Social media helps drive traffic to your website, lets you engage with consumers in online spaces they visit frequently and builds trust and loyalty.
You wouldn’t want to lose a customer to a competitor just because you made it difficult for them to get in touch with you.
Key information to include:
When you’re listing your contact information, remember your mobile users. Make sure that your information is clickable and not part of an address.
For example, if you have an address, link it to google maps. Phone numbers should allow users to make a simple click to call functionality and email addresses should open directly into an outbound email.
This is the basic information people are looking for when they come to your website. If your business is a restaurant, include a menu; if you’re a designer, showcase your work.
The criteria for what is considered “crucial’ can vary from business to business, but a few examples of information that you might include are:
What the heck does your business do? Put yourself in a site visitor’s shoes. Could they figure it out? Quickly?
Along with the brief mission statement mentioned above, every business website needs an “About Us” page. This page is incredibly useful because it tells people who you are, what you do and reinforces your brand.
Don’t go crazy and write an epic novel. Nobody has time for that. Stay to the point and keep it brief.
You may not have time, energy or staffing resources to keep up with all that is necessary to maintain a successful business website.
But we do.
If you feel like your site is lacking, let us know. We’re happy to help.