We’re all told that we need to have a website because that’s the direction that the world is moving in. We’re in the technology age, and that’s not likely changing anytime soon.
So, you’re finally jumping on the bandwagon and getting a website. Or maybe you’re finally updating that decades-old website with something quite a bit more modern. Either way, there are a few features that you’ll want to make sure your new website has.
Your website needs to look good. It doesn’t matter if you have the best product or service out there, if the design of your site hurts the customers’ eyes, you aren’t going to retain traffic very well.
From typography to color to white space, there are several things to consider when designing your website. Make sure that the design flows well together, compliments your brand, and helps move leads down the conversion funnel.
Along with good design, your site has to be easy to navigate. If a customer doesn’t know how to get from point A to point B on your site, then it has failed. They should easily be able to find the answers to the questions that drove them to your site in the first place.
Content Management System
An easy-to-use content management system (CMS) allows you, the website owner, to update the content on your website yourself. Old-school developers want to keep all of that to themselves so you have to rely on them to update even the smallest wording changes on your website.
When you are shopping around for a new website and meeting with web developers, ask them about the CMS that they will be using. You can even ask for a tour of their CMS so you can see if it is something that you will be able to easily use. After all, everything that you can’t do yourself, you’ll have to pay for someone else to do.
Most probably they are going to suggest WordPress, Drupal, Joomla or Wix.
We talked having an easy-to-use CMS, now the next step is making sure you utilize that by adding valuable content to your website. Many businesses just list their services and contact information and leave it at that. But you can offer so much more value to your customers and other potential customers by including more.
Great types of content to include on your website can be FAQs, explanations of services or products, and at-home tips.
Use blog articles, videos, and pictures to enhance your website and make it more interesting. Not only will this help keep your website users engaged, but it can also help greatly with SEO, especially if you have a piece of content that gets a lot of attention.
Social Share Buttons
Social share buttons are so helpful if you have a lot of really great content. If you’re sharing helpful tips in a blog post or video, add share buttons to it! This will increase the opportunity you have to to get your voice and product out there. So don’t lose out by leaving off this simple feature.
In July, Google started flagging websites that don’t have an SSL certificate as “Not Secure”. An SSL certificate offers a secure encryption for any information that is passed from your website onto your server, preventing cyber threats from accessing it. So any contact forms, payments or sensitive information is protected when submitted on your website.
This is a pretty crucial step for all websites to take now with Google labeling those that don’t have it as “Not Secure”. Seeing that label could cause confusion for website users. They might think just by being on the website that they are at risk of being hacked – even though that’s not the case.
Learn how to use Google Analytics and add it to your website. Analytics will allow you to see the traffic that comes to your website, where it came from (by location, media, and device), what pages perform best, the traffic flow, and so much more.
This data is extremely helpful for marketing efforts and making sure your website is performing according to its purpose and goals. Don’t do yourself a disservice by forgetting about incorporating Google Analytics into your website. You can even get it set up before your website is live to make sure you collect all traffic data when it launches.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is helpful for SEO efforts. It keeps track of the phrases that people typed into Google to find your website. You can use this to determine if you are getting optimal traffic for the keywords you want to be ranking for by seeing how many clicks and impressions you are getting on each phrase and where it is showing up in the search results.
A majority of internet searches take place from mobile devices, so it is very important to ensure that your website is responsive. This means that it renders well across all devices – desktop, tablets, and cell phones – no matter the size.
Some CMSs are better for this than others. Just make sure when you are talking to a web developer about your new website, that this something they can do.
Responsiveness allows your website to perform optimally on all devices, meaning it will load quickly and look good.
This might fall in line with content, but you would be surprised how many people leave contact information off of their website. No one is going to find you if you don’t have it.
Make sure you have a clearly labeled “contact” page and at least include one method of contact, whether it’s a phone number, email, address, or contact form. Preferably, you’ll add each of those methods to your contact page.
When you are building a new website, make a list of everything that you need it to have before you meet with any developers. Do your research and make sure you are getting the best website for your business.
And if you’re not sure where to get started, there are many of websites with prebuilt designs like IdahoFallsWebDesign.com.
What are some must-have website features that we haven’t included in this list? Let us know in the comments!