A website is the foundation of any company’s digital presence. It needs to be rock-solid to function as the conversion engine you want it to be, and that means more than looking pretty (although that’s important too). For a truly great website that outperforms your competitors, there are certain things you can’t be without.
Here are eight things that should be built into every business website.
1. Responsive design
Responsive design is a must-have in today’s world. Users are more mobile than ever so your website must cater for all screen sizes, delivering a user experience that’s just as seamless on mobile devices as it is on desktop. A responsive design ensures that the website's layout and content automatically adjust to fit the screen size, making it easy for users to navigate and consume content without having to zoom in or out. This also has benefits for search engine rankings since a responsive design increases a site’s accessibility.
2. Fast load times
A study by Google found that 53% of users will leave a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. A slow loading speed is not something most people are willing to suffer, no matter how fancy your website might be. It will also have a powerfully negative effect on your search engine rankings since the likes of Google prioritise faster-loading websites. So that means less traffic to your site as well as a higher bounce rate and fewer conversions if you don’t take the trouble to optimise it.
3. Clear CTAs
A call to action (CTA) is the rallying cry of your sales message and serves an important function – giving your audience a route to follow to continue down the path to conversion. To usher them towards the desired action, your CTA needs to be unmissable and clearly state where that next click will lead them, be it a signup page, a product or service catalogue or a sales portal.
4. Easy navigation
If your site isn’t intuitive and easy to navigate, visitors aren’t likely to stick around and try to figure it out. They’ll move on to a competitor that doesn’t make it so difficult, and your bounce rate will go up. A well-designed navigation system, on the other hand, will deliver conversions by putting the information people need right in front of them and ensuring that it’s easy to explore your site’s content to learn about what your business has to offer.
5. Search engine optimisation (SEO)
There are plenty of reasons why good SEO is vital, and a website that hasn’t been optimised for search engines is like having a store without any signage. If you want traffic on your site, you need to ensure that you tick all the necessary boxes, from on-page optimisations, including keywords and content structure, to technical optimisations like sitemaps, fixing broken links and simplifying URL structures.
6. Quality content
Having authoritative content on your site is a great way to draw relevant traffic and earn credibility by demonstrating expertise. Content marketing has also been shown to deliver unrivalled ROI, generating three times more leads than outbound marketing for a 62% lower cost.
Search engines also reward clear, well-informed and well-structured content with a higher ranking, especially if others have linked back to your site as a reference.
7. Social media integration
By including social media links on your business site, you can invite users to engage with your business on a more personal level. You can use your social channels to communicate, build relationships with customers and earn their loyalty, so it’s important to advertise your social media presence.
8. Tracking and analytics
A business can gain a better understanding of its customers' behaviour and preferences by analysing metrics such as page views, bounce rate, and click-through rates. There’s a great deal of data that can be mined from your website traffic, and that information can then be used to optimise your site’s design and content to ensure the best user experience possible and drive sales.
Could your website be better at enabling growth?
There are plenty more features and optimisations that you can add to your business site, depending on your industry and your path to conversion, all of which should be determined by data-driven strategy. Consider the merits of adding video content, for example. But the points on the above list are non-negotiable, and every business needs to get them right to be competitive online. Our expertise in website development will ensure that you get a site that delivers results, so take a look at what we can do.