Do you have a business website — or are you planning to build one for your brand new venture? You may have known by now your site needs to be unique for your business to be successful online. However, it can be quite overwhelming, and you may find yourself lost in the jargon of web design. Responsive? Single-page? CMS? Custom? Moreover, this can be the primary reason why you may think you don't need a business website. However, not only is it required to have a business website, but it’s also necessary to have essential features on your site to keep up with your competitors. The first thing you must do is secure a right, unique URL that represents your brand. Once you've set up your domain, it's time to build your business website and make some big decisions. Before you go chasing trends, read below to discover the 10 essential feature your business website must-have to improve your company's digital footprint and increase engagement with your brand.
10 Must-Have Features for Your Business Website
1. A Clean Website with a Logical Roadmap
Indeed, a website has to be aesthetically pleasing, but it's more necessary for it to be useful. Clean web design has the benefit of being simple and functional. Essentially- it means that it is likely for it to be successful. Before you even select a server or type an HTML tag, you should map out how you'd like the website to work. Most people think clean web design is all about minimalism. However, a clean website design focuses more on the aesthetics of the page. Whitespace is the fundamental building block of good web design. If used correctly it can transform your website and get you more potential customers. Your website layout should be accessible on eyes and make people want to read more. It is crucial both for user-friendliness and for SEO since search engines consider the content and structure of a site when it ranks your website. Have a navigation bar at the top of every page on your website. When people come to your website, they should be able to navigate your site quickly. Make sure you use simple and logical names for all your web pages. They should be able to find what they are looking for promptly which increases the possibility of them being your customers rather than just visitors.
2. Crucial Company Information
It is a known fact that one of the most important features of any business website is company's contact information - hence it has its section. It is essential that you include essential contact information on your site. It includes your business location (with a map), contact number, email address, and a contact form. They should be easily accessible. Get an email address for your domain. Using an AOL email address or Gmail isn't professional. If you like Google interface for emails, you can set up custom email addresses through Gmail. Up to 10 email addresses it is free. When you put a phone number or an email address on your business website, don't upload it as a part of an image. You don't want to miss the customers using smartphones. They should be able to place a call or send an email quickly and conveniently as smartphones can "click to call". Also, have the information that concerns specifically about your business such as your working hours, social media buttons, and other locations.
3. Your Website Should be Optimized for Any Device
Mobile devices and tablets are driving a significant amount of website traffic. People browse the internet on their computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Andy Chu, director of Bing for Mobile, says "70% of task completion happens within one hour on mobile sites". Meaning, most of the people who have used the web from their mobile phones with various intents like shopping, or go somewhere will be performing the task any time soon. Suppose someone is looking for a restaurant in New York. They should be able to call you instantly and should be able to use their phones navigation system to reach your place directly from your website. Hence it is more vital that your website be mobile- friendly and has a responsive layout. Responsive layout for your website enables you to use fluid widths that will adapt to the screen on which it's being browsed. Google is now giving preference in ranking to sites that are responsive, so it is important to make sure that your site is mobile friendly.
4. Optimize Your Content for Search Engines
If your website isn't optimized for search engines, you may not drive relevant traffic to your website. You may be offering services or selling products, having relevant content on your website it a great way to engage new visitors. When people search for your business, they are most likely to use keywords in their search queries. Something like, “Ice-cream parlor in Woodward Avenue, Detroit”. Alternatively, maybe “Best ice-cream parlor near me”. It is a must to know how is your audience searching for you. If your website content is not optimized for local discovery, you may be losing your business to your competition. However, how sure are you that you are using the right set of keywords in your content? Search engines match the people searching the web based on the content you publish. If your website is ranking for wrong keywords, again, you are losing your customers.. Unless your site is Search Engine Optimized, you will not be able to generate quality traffic on your site. Search engines want to make it easier for people to find relevant information on the web. Understand what the search terms your users are using to land on your website are. There are many paid tools like SEMRUSH, UBERSUGGEST, MarketMuse that can give you keyword suggestions for your website. It will help you to create content that is more relevant to your customers.
5. Call-to-Action is Not an Option
Anything can't replace a right Call to Action (CTA) on every page of your website. You should have several CTAs like sign-ups, contact forms, action buttons, subscribe button, etc. on your homepage. Also, include your phone number and a hyperlink to your contact page. You can even add a box on the web pages to highlight your contact information. It will make it more visible and may increase the possibility of people contacting you. At the same time, don't go overboard and make your site look like a sales pitch. You need to find the best balance to find out which works best for your website so that people won't turn away and you are getting new customers.
6. Listing Accuracy is Important
You may be a small business owner or may have branches in multiple locations, the consistency of your NAP data across the web can either help grow your business or serve as a barrier to customer discovery. Google trust your business based on your listing accuracy. It is the method for Google to determine if it can trust your company for local discovery or not. So to understand it better, let's say that you've already set up your Google My Business. You have filled in all the business details - your business name, address and phone number - accurately. However, your website is showing different information. In this scenario, Google will consider both as two separate entities. The last thing you need is that your potential customers think your company no longer exists or have different contact information. Think it this way, with inaccurate contact information, how can you expect customers to find or choose your business over others?
7. Customer Engagement Can Drive More Traffic
Social sharing results in more links and can help you to improve your rank by growing your followers. SEO and social media together can help you to rank well in search engines. You can establish your value, credibility and influence in the industry using social media. The number of following you on social media has a positive impact on your search engine rankings. Search engines take notice when you post relevant content that both resonates and reaches your target audience. For instance, a doctor with a million Twitter followers will receive considerably more rankings than a doctor with a hundred Twitter followers. Social media also adds valuable credibility to your content. If Google finds you to be a credible industry source, it will rank your website higher. Moreover, one way for you to prove your credibility is through your influence on social media. There are many social media channels where you should promote your online presence. Integrating these platforms into your site will help boost your SEO. You may think if it worth it to maintain a presence on so many social channels? Yes — as long as you post relevant content and keep users engaged.
8. Help Search Engines to Understand Your Page Better
Search engines understand your business website based on the keywords you have used. Optimize your site based on schema.org guidelines for SEO. Websites built on SEO guidelines create a consistent language throughout. You can start optimizing your website by updating your page titles, meta descriptions and URLs. It can help you drive relevant traffic to your site. Use keywords in your page URL to help search engines understand the relevance of the page. Moreover, when you have relevant search terms in your URL and meta tags, it is more likely for a user to click on the link and land on your website. Along with all these factors, pay attention to your website's speed. People might find relevant content on your page, but if your website takes much time to load, they may leave your site almost immediately. A slow website is frustrating. Have a good hosting provider since search engines algorithms identify web page loading speed. Increasing bounce rate can also affect your website’s search result ranking.
9. Website Analytics Tools
Website analytics help you learn who your visitors are, what they’re interested in and how well is your site performing. It is a valuable source of data that gives you the opportunity to understand about them-and change your strategy based on what you find. Your analytics data helps you to inspect visitor data to see how, where and when your site traffic is coming from. Based on the reports you get, you can create that relevant and engaging. You can use tools like Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. Google Analytics will help you with the keywords that are ranking well. You can create your content based on those search terms. Using Google Webmaster tool you can understand the behavior of the visitors who are visiting your site. Here are just a few techniques you can apply analytics to your business strategy:
If your website isn't responsive, people who visit your website via smartphone may leave immediately. Create a website that is mobile-optimized. Regardless of what device or browser your customer is using, they shouldn't have any navigational issues.
New vs. Returning Visitors:
Are enough people visiting your website daily? Do your audience come back to your site? If not, you need to rework your marketing strategy. Engage your customers by providing content they can subscribe and follow your business.
Track what your most popular pages are? See which are the pages your customers don't visit at all. Improve your content strategy based on what resonates with your audience.
10. A Secured Website is a Badge of Trust
If you have a website, you need to be familiar with trust badges. They are a proof that your business is legitimate and your site is secure. Cybersecurity poses a significant challenge for online marketing, that's why all websites should use secure sockets layer (SSL) protection. SSL certificate proves an encrypted connection between your site and the web browser of the visitor. It will allay your customer's fears of providing information such as a credit card number, Social Security number as there's so much identity theft on the web.
How can RedTim help?
RedTim websites help businesses like yours to get discovered online. It comes with SEO built-in. Essentially, it means all the web pages created on the RedTim websites are optimized for search engines. Every time you publish content, a separate web page gets created on the website with SEO-friendly URL. The website extracts primary keywords from your content. When a customer looks for your service using the search terms used on your website, search engines will show them your page. RedTim websites have built-in lead acquisition forms placed on each web page. When a customer lands on your web page through search or other channels, he or she can get in touch with your business by filling in the form. RedTim websites are designed to help business to reach their local audience through search engines and social media channels.