The importance of having a website for your business cannot be over emphasized. A website can add lots of value and go a long way in helping a business achieve its goals. Some benefits of a business website include projecting a good online presence, driving traffic and increasing sales. We explained better in a previous article some of the reasons why a business needs a website.
In order for a website to be effective and serve its purpose, it’s important to ensure that the website have some particular features. Here are some important features that you should consider and add when designing a website for your business.
A website should make it easy for visitors to contact the business. Some visitors will want to get in touch to make enquiries or patronize your services. Contact details such as phone number, email address and office location should be present and placed where it’s easy to locate on the website. Another means of making communication possible is to use contact forms. You can also include directions to the business location to make it easy for people intending to visit you. Embedding Google maps on the website is a common way of providing directions.
This refers to the information about the business, a website should articulate in clear terms what the business does without leaving anyone guessing. This can be done by creating an about page that has details of the business, the values, mission and vision and profile of the team members. Having a services page will also help explain what the business has to offer.
Security – SSL certificate
SSL certificate refers to an advanced encryption technology which helps secure the data and information which visitors enter on a website. When an SSL certificate is installed on a website it will have an Https which ensures that any data or information remains confidential, this will protect the website and information from phishing attacks and hacking. The security of a website is also a factor which influences search engine ranking because Google places importance on security.
In recent years there has been a huge rise in the way people use smart phones to browse on the internet, people look for information and browse the internet while on the go. Statistics have shown that a large percent of website traffic worldwide is from mobile phones. Hence it’s important for your business website to work well on mobile phones and devices of different screen sizes. Mobile responsiveness provides users with a good experience and is also a factor that can influence the search engine ranking positively. The most popular search engine Google prioritizes mobile responsiveness and tend to give higher ranking to websites that are responsive.
Navigation refers to how people move around on your website, making it simple and intuitive will improve the experience of visitors to the website. Users will want to visit sections or pages within your website and if it is hard to move around or find information this will lead to frustration. Most users will exit a website when they have a frustrating experience and this can lead to loss in potential income for the business.
There are some best practices when it comes to designing a good navigation for your website. There should be a main menu that will be obvious and consistent on all pages of the website. The menu will include links to the most important pages on the website. The main menu could be on top or sidebar of the page, this will make it easy for users to locate and click on the links to the pages they want to visit. The links to the most important pages can also be included on the footer section of the website. Another tip is to ensure that the logo links to the homepage, this will enable users go back to the homepage from the other pages. The structure of the pages should be arranged in a hierarchical manner; the use of breadcrumbs and active links can also help the users identify the section of the website they are browsing at every point in time.
Call to Action
Websites are built with the purpose of getting users to complete a particular action which benefits the business. Creating a good website won’t be complete without adding call to actions that encourage visitors to take some actions on the website. The action can vary depending on the business and/or its goals. Example of the desired actions a business might want users to take include signing up for newsletters, contacting the business, placing an order for a product, completing a contact form e. t. c.
The call to action should be compelling enough to encourage the users to take the desired action. The effectiveness of the call to action will determine the rate at which website traffic will convert to sales or patronage.
Bonus: Other features
On page Search engine optimization
Testimonials, case studies
Pictures and videos
Blog, comment feature
Frequently Asked questions (FAQ)
A website will benefit a business in several ways and to make it effective it is important to build a website such that it is easily navigable, makes visitors/users feel safe to browse the website, communicate up to date information about the business and makes it easy to contact you.
A website with these features will be liked by both users and search engines and adequately reflect the brand of the business.