Consumers depend on the Internet to learn about various services and products and as a way to compare what companies are offering to one another. If you don’t have a website as a business, you’re taking yourself out of the running.
Of course, just because you have a website doesn’t mean that your business will automatically be successful. Your website will need to be effective to help your business grow and you may need to enlist the help of a professional to make this happen.
The following are some of the essential things every website should include:
We all know how valuable a good first impression is. That same approach should be applied to your homepage, since it’s most likely the first page of your website that visitors will see. Among the ways you can improve the overall user-friendliness, avoid clutter and make sure the page loads quickly. Users should be able to immediately find what they are looking for by promptly glancing at your homepage, whether it’s a search or navigation to your products, services, or content.
“About Us” Page(s)
Dedicate a page to information about your business. In addition to providing a bit of history about your business as well as any positive recognition that it has gotten from reputable sources, provide a unique selling proposition and a more personalized feel that helps set you apart from your competition.
You can say as many positive things as you want about your services or products, but (as true as they might be) consumers will still be dubious if they aren’t familiar with you yet. When it comes to trust, there’s no one that consumers trust more than the opinions of other customers. If you post customer testimonials—be it through quotes, images, or videos—you’ll help alleviate concerns and prove the quality of your offerings.
Blogs aren’t just for expressing your personal opinions in a public setting—they are incredibly effective features that every successful business uses. The blog allows you to post content aimed at your target audience. The better your blog content is, the better your reputation as an authority within your industry becomes. Your content can also help to improve your search engine ranking, which in turn will result in more website traffic and more potential customers.
Social Media Integration
Social media is an excellent way to increase awareness of your business and to interact directly with consumers. Adding sharing buttons around your site allows visitors to instantly show off your content (and your business as a whole) to their personal social circles.
Every page should have a call-to-action that incites the visitor to do something, such as signing up for your email list. These are especially effective at the end of blog content. Your calls-to-action should be concise, offer something of value in return (such as free e-books or whitepapers) and convey a sense of urgency.
The last thing you want is your customers experiencing identity theft because of your website. If you are asking for visitors’ personal information in any capacity (this is especially true of e-commerce websites), you need to make sure your website has all the necessary protection measures. Secure your website with SSL certification in order to encrypt the communication of sensitive information between your company and your customers, such as credit card information.
Always have your company’s contact information easily visible on every page of your website. If a visitor wants to contact you, you’ll want to make the process of doing so as easy as possible. Most importantly, it helps to establish legitimacy and gives a sense of transparency.
While you can definitely expand from here, incorporating these features is a very important starting point for all newly established websites. From this point on, you can focus on driving traffic with your content, adding better custom web design features, and, of course, delighting your customers.