6 Important Elements of a Successful Business Website
When you’re paying precious dollars to get your website up and running, you want to know it’s money well spent. Similarly, if you opt for a DIY website project, you don’t want those hours of work to be a waste. So, how do you measure if you’re doing it right or getting your money’s worth?
The goal of a website isn’t simply to be a display of your business. You want to lure in your audience and engage with them. It can be overwhelming to try and determine if your website has what it takes. Let’s help you get the process started with the most important website elements. Audit and monitor the following features of your pages and you’ll be well on your way to having a website that complements your business’ performance.
We’re mentioning this first because your audience is using their mobile devices more and more. Many people are investing in state-of-the-art smartphones while desktop PCs and laptops are becoming less important. This is because smartphones can do many tasks previously done in person, such as shopping for grocery, medical diagnoses, and even sell your old laptop. Now, if your website isn’t mobile responsive, users will quickly navigate away in search of sites that do accommodate their screens’ sizes.
Fast Loading Speed
Another feature that can quickly prompt a visitor to look for another source of information is the slow loading speed. Text, images, and videos must load quickly, preferably in under two seconds. If not, your visitor will get impatient.
You can improve loading time through a range of improvements, including optimizing your images and ensuring you have a good server response time.
It Must Be Visually Pleasing
When your visitor does decide to stay on your page, what will they see? The visual elements determine how someone feels looking at your page:
– You must incorporate images because it makes a quicker impression than text.
– If the layout is too cluttered, visitors will feel confused and feel they waste time trying to find information.
– Quality design will communicate professionalism and build trust, while low quality—such as pixelating images—will cause visitors to doubt your brand. This relates to logos, banners, buttons, and other designed elements on each page.
Even though images are what attracts people’s attention the most, your audience members do actually browse online for information. Once a visitor assessed the page and decided to use your website to source information, services, or products, you need to meet their expectation of obtaining quality content.
Content on your home page, services pages, product pages, and your blog should have these characteristics:
- Well-researched, so your audience can trust it. This will make them come back for more.
- Compiled in a scannable layout with multiple relevant headings, so readers can quickly find what they’re looking for.
- Content must contain keywords often used in online searches, to notify search engines that you have content relevant to what people are looking for.
- Keep pages interesting in the way you write—don’t add unnecessary fluff—as well as by using images and videos in between text.
An About Us Page that Impresses
Even though a lot of business happens online these days, your customers are still looking for vendors they can trust. To build trust, they’ll look for information about your brand, so they know who they’re doing business with. Instead of only focusing on the product pages during the design of your website, help them discover your values as well as the people behind the brand. This can be done by writing an interesting About Us page.
Using CTAs and Contact Information Effectively
As mentioned above, a web page’s purpose is to ensure engagement with your audience. You need to continually prompt your page visitors into action, or they’ll simply be ‘viewers’ instead of ‘doers’. One of your best tools is using calls to action.
A call to action also makes it clear to a visitor what you expect of them next, so no confusion could make them give up on their quest. Also, when you make it easy for them to take action, there’s less chance of them postponing the purchase or overthinking their decisions such as joining your mailing list.
One of the reasons why CTAs are important is because users are actually a bit lazy. They want to find what they’re looking for with as little effort as possible and a clear CTA is the simplest way for them to take the next step. If you expect too much of them, they’ll lose interest.
A few tips to improve your CTAs:
- Design buttons that are clearly visible by using contrasting colors.
- Use words that mention an action, such as ‘Subscribe’, ‘Contact’, or ‘Register’.
- Add some urgency with words like ‘Now’ or ‘Today.’
Also, don’t assume they’ll navigate to your contact page because as mentioned, online users don’t like effort. Make it easy for them to find your details by adding them to the bottom of each and every website page. If they want to phone or email you, they must be able to do so with a few clicks as possible.
How well did your website score? Don’t lose heart. You can now go from random changes to focused improvements that have a real impact. Start with a few tweaks and over time you’ll see the positive results.
David Anderson is a business graduate with a marketing major. He specializes in communication design and has helped many brands achieve their goals in marketing communication. Now he writes for freelance clients on topics related to brand design, visual communication, and marketing.