If you own a business, there’s no doubt about it: You need a website. Most people research companies online—and if they can’t find you there, you lose a shot at their business. However, in 2018 it’s not enough to just have any old website.
People will judge you based on the quality and functionality of your website. Even if you’re the best at what you do, if potential customers view your website as unsophisticated or unprofessional, they’ll think the same of you. So, what makes a great website? The best websites have the following features:
Simple, user-friendly navigation
We cannot stress this enough. If potential customers have to search for information or struggle to move from one page to another, they will exit your website fast. Use simple dropdown menus, and provide plenty of directional arrows, links, and buttons so people can easily interact with your content and navigate pages.
This is the area at the top of your webpage. It should immediately tell a visitor who you are and what you do. Include a logo, and a short, catchy tagline that describes your business. Additionally, include a link to your most compelling free content, your navigation bar, and a direct Call to Action (CTA), such as “Contact Us.”
CTAs on every page
On every landing page, you should be asking visitors to take an action that moves them along the sales cycle. A CTA could be downloading a free report, subscribing to a newsletter, clicking for more information, contacting a sales rep or any other directive that compels potential customers to engage deeper with your business.
Thorough products or services page
This is the most important page on your website because it describes what you sell. Don’t be vague to encourage people to contact you for your full elevator pitch. People want information, and many potential customers will make up their minds—or at least narrow their choices substantially—before they ever contact you.
Make this page count. Provide a detailed list of features, benefits and even pricing. Talk about what sets you apart from competitors and provide visitors with a solid understanding of the value they’ll receive when they purchase from you.
Detailed “about” page
This page offers you the opportunity to share the history, goals, philosophy and mission of your company. It also offers you an opportunity to introduce your leadership team and employees. It gives customers the chance to learn more about your organization and the people who work there, and that boosts their trust in you.
Keep the page simple and don’t be too long-winded, but do offer enough to give visitors a taste of your corporate culture and personality.
“Contact us” page
Create a separate contact us page that you can link to on every other page of your website. Use a form format that visitors fill out, but also provide a physical address, phone numbers and email addresses if people want to contact you directly.
Even better: Use an actual person’s email address and phone number with an extension, rather than a general 1-800 number or generic email address (e.g., sales@XYZCorp.com). People are more compelled to contact you if they know they will reach a real person.
Customers expect to find free resources on your website. They want blog posts or articles that share information they can use, background and product or services videos, and freebies, such as e-books, newsletters, and other resources.
Sharing quality content is also good for your business. You build your thought leadership and credibility. Beyond that, you can create “Sign Up” and opt-in forms that allow you to generate leads and build your email lists.
Social media buttons
Make it easy for people to follow you on various social media platforms and to share your content with others via social media. It’s a simple, but effective way, to spread the word about your business
Solid design and consistent branding
The look of your website matters too. The colors you choose, the amount of white space on your pages, the images and the fonts all reflect the sophistication and professionalism of your business. Take care to ensure that your website makes a great first impression and that it supports the brand message you want to share with the world.