When you’re building the website where your brand will live online, it’s important to make sure you are sending the right message and including the right functions. Certain elements will impact your customers’ time on your website and can even drive up your bounce rate or reduce customer retention.
Here are some of the most essential components of every successful business website. Your design should be stunning, but if these items aren’t there, you could be left wondering why your website isn’t generating the sales you expected it to.
Your website may be beautiful, but if it’s too complicated to navigate, users will leave your page. It’s not up to your users to figure out how to use your website – it’s up to you to make sure they don’t have to put in extra effort just to look around. Find the balance between striking design and optimal flow. Sometimes, simplistic is better.
#2. Clear Calls to Action
Calls to action are important because they guide your users along the marketing funnel. These are the “buy now” or “request a quote” buttons you see on every page, as well as the “learn more” options at the bottom of articles or blogs. You need to make sure these are clear and visible to your audience with a direct indication of what you’d like them to do. Make sure it’s incorporated into your design and is easy for people to find.
#3. Your Story
People want to know that there are real people behind a brand. Use your ‘about us’ page to tell your brand’s story and connect with them on a more emotional, personal level. Tell them your story, how you started the company, what your goals are, and even your vision for the future. If you have a company video, this is a great place to embed it. When relevant, employee biographies can also help you add some extra faces to your brand.
#4. SEO Optimization
Any business owner understands that showing up on search engine results pages is an important and essential way to reach more users and customers. You want your business to come up when people search for your products and services, and SEO optimization is how you can accomplish this. Your website should be optimized for SEO with page titles, meta descriptions, and alt text, and it should also feature content such as blogs, articles, and product pages that include researched, relevant targeted keywords.
#5. Mobile Responsiveness
You may hear this a lot when it comes to web development, but it is extremely important for your website to be mobile responsive. This means that your website will be scaled to fit a mobile screen when someone accesses it from their smartphones. With more than half of your website traffic coming in from mobile, it’s important you appeal to their mobile experience. As of 2015, your mobile responsiveness also affects your rank in Google searches, as Google’s algorithm has shifted toward a mobile focus. That means if your site isn’t mobile friendly, your SEO will be affected.
#6. Analytics Tools
You should always make sure you have analytics tools in place to check on your site’s metrics and examine how your efforts are going. Google Analytics is a free tool that integrates with many different websites. It can help track users on your site, and provide information about how they came, what they did on your website, and what their interests are. This can help guide many elements of your content and marketing strategy.
#7. Social Media Integration
Your website can stand alone, but it’s important that you integrate social media in order to maximize your online presence and connect with your customers. Give people more space to get to know you and see what your products are like, and for them to experience positive interactions with you. Add social share buttons, share your website content on social media, and make sure you’re always connected.