A website is a must-have for any successful business in this era, whether you’re an insurance agency, a barbershop or a fun new game app. And while most people appreciate websites with a trendy, enticing design, they also have to work well functionally. The last thing you want is for potential customers to struggle to view your website, find what they’re looking for, or take certain actions.
Fortunately, there are several simple features that can help you avoid common website faux pas. They may not be as sexy as an attractive color palette or logo, but they’re probably even more necessary. Here are the top 5 features every website needs to be successful.
Calls to action (more commonly known as CTAs) are common practice in digital marketing, and they should be a high priority on your website. A CTA is any sort of button that initiates an action on your website. CTAs usually come in the form of something clickable, such as a bit of text with a hyperlink, a button, or even a photo. By taking this kind of action, a person signifies their increased interest in your brand, product or service, moving them along down the sales funnel.
CTAs that are clear, eye-catching and direct will do wonders for your website by directing your audience where you want them to go. You’ll want to consider factors such as color, placement and copy, and make sure you don’t have too many CTAs competing for your viewer’s attention. For more tips on how to create the most effective CTAs, read our blog on the subject.
Today, more than half of all web traffic comes from a mobile device. That’s more than half of your customers you can’t afford to lose, which is why responsive design is so important.
Responsive design means that your website is designed to be both functional and attractive on all major devices. So if you were to go to your website on a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet and a smartphone, it would still look good and be easy to navigate. Your website won’t look exactly the same on each device, but using any device shouldn’t hinder your audience from getting what they need out of your website.
According to a study by Clutch 94 percent of people say easy navigation is the most important website feature. With confusing navigation, people have to spend more time on your website, searching for the information or product they need, growing ever more frustrated in the process. It’s one of those pain points that can cause customers to immediately leave your website and find a competitor with better navigation.
What does easy-to-use navigation look like? Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Think about the essential information they would need to gather from your website and make sure it’s easy to find from your main navigation bar. Start with categories of the highest interest, then drill down to other topics that might belong in a dropdown menu or on another page. What belongs in your navigation bar is totally dependent on your specific business, but here are some general things to keep in mind.
- Be descriptive with page names
- Include your main navigation menu on every page of your website
- Limit your number of menu options to 7 or less
- Stick to recognizable design conventions to help users find their way
- Optimize your website over time based on how people actually use your site
Social Media Links
This one is incredibly simple to do and it makes a significant impact, yet some brands forget to do it. While you probably link to your website on all of your social media platforms, doing the opposite is also good for your overall presence. It’s a great way to nurture your viewers by encouraging them to follow you on social media and engage in a more personable way. It’s yet another way to foster trust with your audience and stay at the forefront of their minds.
Gaining information from your audience is an important part of digital marketing, as it allows you to better understand your customers and nurture those relationships over time. A capture form allows you to gather important information from your audience. It could be a contact form, a form filled out to download an offer, receive a quote or subscribe to a blog or newsletter. Just make sure you offer something of value so that the user will be incentivized to provide their information – at the very least, an email.
As you work on the neverending project of perfecting your website over time, make sure you have each of these features and they’re as effective as they can be.
Looking for more tips on how to make your website work for you? Download our free guide below.
If you found this blog helpful, check out these other related topics:
- The Importance of Good Website Design
- 6 Web Design Trends for 2021
- 3 Simple Things You Can Do To Improve Your Website's SEO