At the heart of a company’s digital presence is their website, and as this is often the first thing potential customers will see about your company it is vital that it makes a great first impression. Your website should be not only aesthetically pleasing and follow good design principles, but it should also provide a good user experience and the information they are looking for.
First and foremost, your website must be easy to navigate. If a website is difficult to get around visitors will likely click off and head to a competitor. Secondly, your website should be the face of your brand, so ensure you consistently use your logo, brand colours and brand tone of voice across the website.
But beyond navigation and branding, here are 8 crucial features that every website should have, no matter your industry or business size:
- Responsive Design
Whether you are launching a brand new website or refreshing an existing one, it is vital that your website has a responsive design to ensure it works across both mobile and desktop. A responsive design ensures seamless compatibility across all devices and screen sizes to help create a good user experience.
Failing to design for mobile could result in you losing potential customers to a competitor as if they do not have a good experience when looking at your website on a mobile device, they will likely lose interest and go to a competitor.
- Apply Consistent Branding
Your website should prominently display your company name and logo and should accurately and consistently represent your brand identity. By this, we mean following the typography, brand colour and tone of voice principles set out in your brand guidelines. It should be clear within a few seconds of landing on your site who you are.
- Calls to Action
Your website should include relevant calls to action to help nudge potential customers closer to making an enquiry or purchase. Common calls to action include prompting people to get in touch, download an eBook or white paper or buy now. You can also use calls to action to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter.
- About Us Section
Increasingly potential customers want to know a company’s values and brand story. Leverage the power of your story and mission in your about us section to help potential customers understand who you are, what you do and why you do it. You may also want to consider adding key team members to this section with a small bio for each to help humanise the brand.
- Navigation Menu
There is nothing more frustrating than a complicated or unintuitive navigation menu on a website. Keep it simple and keep it user-friendly, overly designed navigation menus may look impressive but they can quickly turn your customers off and lead them to go to a competitor.
Common navigation menus include a navigation bar that runs along the top of your website or a drop-down hamburger-style menu - which works great for mobile. You may also want to consider including a search bar to help people get the exact information they are looking for.
- Website Footer
Sitting at the bottom of each page, your website footer is a prime area to help navigate visitors to key areas of your website or take calls to action. Consider including icons and links to your social media channels, a hyperlinked list of key pages of your website such as the blog, product pages or contact page and you may even want to add a call to action to sign up for your newsletter.
Frequently asked questions are a great way of answering the common questions that potential customers may have about your products or services. Having a separate page for these can make them easy to find and improve the user experience and therefore the likelihood of converting the lead into a sale.
You may also want to consider adding smaller FAQ sections at the bottom of a product or service page that are relevant to that specific product or service. Doing so can help leads gather as much information as they need and make them more likely to make contact with you.
A good company blog can not only share news about your company such as growth plans or recent achievements but it can also be an effective way of addressing your potential customers' pain points and positioning your company as the solution to help solve these challenges.
A blog can also help with search engine optimisation (SEO) if written to include SEO keywords. In addition to the keywords, Google prefers websites that consistently grow with new quality content and a blog can be a great way to do this.
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