The key is to ensure that your website provides an answer to what the visitor is looking for and making sure that they have a good experience going through it.
- How many times have you clicked on that ‘back’ button without a second thought?
- How many times have you fast-forwarded through a video without really thinking too much about it?
Browsing the internet and sifting through a ton of websites is so ubiquitous these days that we really don’t stop and think what we’re doing, do we?
Every time you hit the ‘back’ button and left a webpage/website, every time you fast-forwarded through a video, you affected the count of the average time people are spending on that piece of content.
And this has an effect on SEO. You know, the system based on which Google decides which website to rank first in a web search and which to rank last…. the system which determines search ranks.
And it also has a more direct effect on you and your business.
If people don’t hang around your website long enough to go through what kind of services you offer, orders won’t come in and revenue won’t rise.
Luckily, you can give people a reason to stay on your website and read about you, your company and your services if you incorporate 5 key features in your business website.
A clear idea of the goods you sell or the services you offer
Take the Rossmass Group website. Their business is repairing Apple’s Macbooks. If you go to their website, you will find all their services listed right on the main menu on the homepage.
Or take this Bangladeshi interior design company called Imagine Interiors. They have an entire page – the ‘interior design services’ page – that showcases the various services they offer.
Remember, you want people to know about your services and request a meeting with you. That’s why all your services must be clearly shown on your website.
If pricing is fixed (like if you’re selling essential oils, for example), display them. But if it varies (interior design service prices would heavily depend on the particular project), make sure you have a prominent ‘call us for an estimate’ form that people can access, fill up and submit easily.
What did I just say about the Rossmann Group website? You can find their services listed right on the main menu on their home page.
Or the interior design firm from Dhaka, Bangladesh. They have a clear menu at the top from which you can go to any section of the website that you want within 1 click, 2 clicks at the most.
And this menu at the top – it’s called the Header Menu – is present on every webpage.
This means that you can go from any page on their website to any other page within a single click.
That makes the browsing experience smooth. The visitor is less likely to get fed up and hit the ‘back’ button.
Logical site structure
You need to map out the entire website – web designers call this process ‘wireframing’ – to ensure that the structure makes sense.
Please note that this is not the same as having smooth navigation.
Here you take all the elements of the website and arrange them logically, paying attention to the function and priority of each element.
This is especially crucial for SEO since if Google’s ‘bots’ can’t make out your search structure, they won’t be able to obtain the data necessary to properly rank your website in Google’s search index.
Correct and ready-to-use contact information
Think how frustrating it is for someone who wants to get in touch but can’t.
Or worse, who gets an old number and can’t reach you when they dial it.
It’s critical for business websites to clearly publish the contact details so people can get in touch with you to talk about their requirements.
If they can’t get in touch with you, they’ll go to your competitor. It’s that simple.
So, have a separate ‘contact us’ page and keep all your contact information up-to-date.
A lot of people are browsing the web on their phones so make sure that the phone or email can be clicked or tapped to start the contact process.
Speaking of browsing the web on a phone…
More and more people are browsing the web from their phones these days.
Being mobile friendly is so useful, Google has set up a free online tool to check your website for mobile friendliness.
The common problems that appear if your website isn’t mobile-optimized are
- Broken images.
- Page width exceeding that of the phone screen so you need to repeatedly scroll left to right and back.
- Excessive text making your website boring.
The best way to avoid this is to use a design protocol called Adaptive Design in which the webpage adjusts itself to the device – laptop, tablet or smartphone – is it being accessed from.
If you can’t implement that, you can consider hiring the services of a professional web designer; it’s THAT important.
To sum up, the 5 must-have features for a business website in 2019 are
- A clear idea of the goods you sell or the services you offer
- Smooth navigation
- Logical site architecture
- Correct and ready-to-use contact information
- Mobile friendly
Please note: When I started writing this, I started off with an account of talk about a global recession peaking.
But then I thought better of it and changed course.
Because this is a post about features your business website must have. It does not tell you how to grow your business.
If you want to grow your business, having a great business is just one of the steps you need to take; your battle is far bigger.