Are you a small or medium scale business looking to create a true online presence? Then you probably already know that having a website is the perfect way to do that. This is could also potentially improve your sales. However, not every website hits the mark and there are times when it becomes very obvious that there is a dire need to remodel a website. This could be because of poor traffic to the site or traffic that does not convert into sales. If you have decided to build a website or remodel an existing one, this guide will walk you through some essential 8 Elements Every Business Website Needs.
Does Your Homepage Spell Out What You Do?
One of the first things you must consider in designing your website has to be what is on your homepage. Your homepage is the first place most of your visitors will land, except where you have deep links working for you. No matter what you have elsewhere on your page, your homepage is your major landing-page and it needs to be detailed and concise at the same time. Your visitors should be able to get all the necessary information about you and your brand as quickly as possible and then know the next step to take.
Your homepage should also be able to direct your visitor to any area of your website, and this can be done easily by adding excerpts or snippets of different sections of your site in the homepage. Most important of all should be the presence of clear and easily identifiable navigation links.
Consistent Navigation and Navigation Menus
One of the most annoying things to most internet users is a site which does not have proper navigation. Visitors get frustrated and leave, usually straight to your competition. You should incorporate navigation menus all through your website, with a consistent design and style so that visitors identify them instantly as they go from page to page. This way, they do not have to use the browser ‘Back’ buttons to navigate.
Even if your site is a one page long-layout site, you should be able to incorporate navigation arrows or jump links that jump a visitor to particular sections within your site without having them to scroll through endless script and most likely miss the actual thing they are searching for.
Do Not Neglect Your Brand
It is not enough to have a homepage which advertises all that you offer and navigation menus which direct the visitor through different pages on the site if the visitor does not realize who you are. It is necessary to advertise who you are to prospective clients and visitors to your site so they are convinced that after their Google search, they really did find the right place after all.
Your logo should ideally be housed in the upper left corner of the screen for all the pages, irrespective of how deep into the site the visitor has navigated. It is also wise to incorporate a primary link which takes the visitor back to the homepage.
Every Site Needs Contact Info
Visitors want to reach you, and you shouldn’t make it harder for them to do so. Your site should have your contact info; with details on as many platforms as possible (phone number, toll-free number, email, Skype etc.). You should also incorporate links to social media handles and profiles so your visitors can contact you in a myriad of ways.
Visitors like to know that your company or brand is real and run by humans, and can be reached Dropping your contact info is one way to achieve that.
Focus on Quality Content
Besides the fact that the better your content the more likely you are to come out on the top of the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), Google rewards sites which have original content. This not only increases your ranking, it makes the user experience all the more satisfying and is sure to increase your conversion rates.
But it is not enough to simply have great content if it is not readable. Internet readers do not have the time to go through endless lines of “content”. Short paragraphs and subheadings are an essential part of content creation for your site and would have readers a lot more interested in your work. This way you can direct readers immediately to the salient points of your work and get them to perform your call-to-action all the faster.
Have a Focused and Concise Call to Action
From the very beginning, you should be able to identify what your call-to-action is. Whatever the purpose of your website, you should have a specific CTA, which you want visitors to the site to perform. Do you want them to subscribe to a seminar or webinar, buy a particular product, submit to a poll, register for an editorial or apply for a particular service, whatever it is, you should state is out in your site.
Call-to-actions work better when they are supplemented with time limitations. If you simply put a call such as ‘Read more’, this would not guarantee you as much a response as a call such as ‘Apply now!’ or ‘Subscribe today’. The urgency being hinted in the call pushes your visitors to respond.
Display Testimonials and Customer Reviews
The success of any marketing or eCommerce site relies on your customers investing trust in your store and a great way to evidence that trust is by displaying testimonials and customer reviews. Include columns for verified customers to comment on your products and services and have these testimonials go a long way via word-of-mouth to advertise your brand than you would have been able to do without.
Recent visitors to the site will potentially be convinced by the real-life accounts of other customers than by whatever sales pitch you may have prepared.
Do Not Neglect Aesthetics
Do not skimp on the aesthetics of your sight just because you are trying to incorporate certain fields and you want to focus the client’s attention. Your site should be aesthetically pleasing with images, high-quality videos to explain products and services and a responsive design which is adequate for both mobile devices and computers. This is one of the most important necessities of a website that is interested in converting traffic. It serves to make the user experience on your site all the more pleasing. Other things involve using appropriate fonts and font sizes for your text which would more favorably be read by users.
Creating a website that is both functional and attractive to your visitors is not impossible. Paying attention to details and incorporating these tips will help achieve that.