Designing a business website is not an easy task.
Here are six essential features your business site needs to have in order to make sure your customers have a great experience, improve your online presence, and increase engagement with your brand.
1. Logical Flow & Clear Navigation
While it is true that your website needs to be visually attractive, it is more important for it to be functional. So, the first thing you need to do is map out how your site will work. This is crucial for both the UX and the SEO because search engines take the structure and content into consideration when ranking websites. When mapping out your site, ensure that everything makes sense and flows logically (ask a few friends to take a look at it if necessary).
Without clear navigation, your website will be pretty much useless. Make sure to use logical, easy-to-understand names for your website’s pages — FAQ, about, contact, etc. Don’t try to appear funny or clever at this point!
In addition, consider adding a CTA. Want do you want visitors to do on your website? Do you want them to place an order? Subscribe for an email newsletter? Visit your physical store? Your goal should be perfectly clear.
2. Mobile-Friendly Version
There’s no doubt that mobile devices are driving a huge amount of web traffic, and this trend is not going to stop any time soon. As tablets and smartphones are becoming cheaper and more accessible, people are starting to rely on them to find places to eat, things to buy, or travel destinations. In other words, people are browsing on their handheld devices with intent.
So, what does this mean when it comes to web design? Until a few years ago, designing a website meant designing a desktop version; today, it means designing for any device that has an internet connection.
The best solution is responsive design, which will enable your site’s layout to adjust to any screen size.
Speaking of mobile, here’s a bonus question: Do you need a mobile app for your business? If you can afford it, go for it. Having an app can’t hurt – on the contrary. A mobile app will make it easier to promote your products or services, help your business stand out, and boost customer interest in your products. All in all, companies with apps make better impressions than those without one.
If you are selling products or services online, you need to make sure your site is safe to use. Use an SSL certificate to encrypt the communication between you and your customers (including sensitive info such as credit card numbers or Social Security numbers). TrustE, VeriSign, GeoTrust, and Entrust are great options to consider.
4. Contact Info
The contact page is probably one of the most important elements of a website. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to contact a company. Make sure to provide a phone number, email, address (if applicable), a contact form, and a live chat. In addition, make sure that this information is visible and easily accessible.
Don’t add your phone number or email as part of an image. Ensure they’re clickable or that at least they can be easily copied from your website so that people can contact you quickly and conveniently. Most mobiles nowadays have an option to do “click to call” on the web, which makes the process even simpler.
Finally, ensure to check your email frequently and answer the emails in a timely manner.
5. FAQ Page & Knowledge Base
Having your contact info displayed is nice, but if you don’t want to find yourself buried in emails from customers, you should add a FAQ page to your site. Collect the most frequently asked questions into a concise list to offer clear answers. These questions are often related to shipping information, ingredients, or materials used, sizing, and return policies.
Do you know what’s even better than a FAQ page? A knowledgebase. Building and maintaining a consistent knowledge base is a great way of providing high-quality post-sale service to your customers. A good knowledge base will give your customers the chance to solve their problems without your help, thus creating a positive customer experience and keeping them happy. You can use a WordPress knowledge base plugin for this purpose.
6. Good Hosting
When it comes to hosting, there are no compromises. Poor hosting can cause your site to be slow and sloppy, and that is extremely frustrating. If your site takes ages to load, people will get annoyed and leave. And they’ll probably go to your competitors right away. In addition, poor hosting will also affect your SERP rankings as search engine bots also take loading speed as a ranking factor.
You should also think about mobile app hosting (if you decide to have one). The most popular options include cloud hosting services, such as Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for server-based apps. Some others include Heroku or Heroku alternatives for free backend app hosting, Firebase for apps with straightforward backend requirements, etc.
These six business website essentials are fundamental to the success of your online marketing efforts. They might seem very straightforward and obvious, but leaving out some crucial elements may negatively affect your website. Check all these elements off the list, and you can rest assured that your site will bring great value to your customers!