Are you getting your new business’s website up and running, or doing a redesign for an existing business? If so, you might be looking around at the competition, trying to figure out which features you should offer on your website. Before you start making a list of bells and whistles to add, let’s discuss what’s most useful to potential customers. After all, more isn’t always better! Surveys show that customers are less likely to do business with a company that has a poorly-designed website. However, there are features that will make your website the powerful tool it ought to be.
6 Features Your New Business Website Needs
A Responsive Design
Your website should be uncluttered, attractive, and easy to navigate, but above all, it should load beautifully on any platform. In the past, this required having separate templates, optimized for various devices. However, today’s responsive designs use flexible layouts and images that adapt to the device on which your site is loading. Since a third of customers say they mostly surf the web on their phones, responsive site design is absolutely essential.
A Search Box
Because customers search your site on their phones and during short breaks in their busy days, you need to get them the information they want as quickly as possible. Providing a search function allows them to cut through topics less relevant to their needs and get right to the heart of the matter. Search boxes have the added benefit of providing you with what’s known as Business Intelligence (BI), because you can use Google Analytics to see what terms your customers have been searching for. Over time, this will make your web content even better, as you learn to position the products and services that bring the most customers to your site front and center.
Sometimes we get so excited about digital communication that we completely forget the very basic step of making our business’s address and phone number accessible. Make sure you’ve got this information on every page of your site. This is important for two reasons: you don’t want to make your customers go digging, and you DO want to optimize your site for search engines. To ensure you turn up in local search results like “coffeeshop near me,” get that address where search engines can find it.
Your online presence should be designed to position you as a trusted authority in your field. An email sign-up is a great way to do this, because you can create a mutually beneficial exchange. Offer customers the opportunity to receive information via email that will help their product or service search. When you give customers useful information in a low-pressure way, you build trust, as well as your email list.
For customers who want more immediate contact, such as a quote, you need a more detailed contact form. That said, test this form and make sure it works. Too often, we encounter businesses who do not realize their contact forms are broken. How many potential sales have they missed out on?
Social Media Icons
Your website should not be the sum total of your web presence, but customers shouldn’t have to search you out on every social media platform, either. Displaying social media icons on your site allows visitors to find your other accounts and follow you easily. Make sure you change up the information you offer from site to site, so that each follow allows people to research your business further.
Never underestimate the power of a good website! While word of mouth is a powerful force in attracting new customers, about half of your new leads will still find you online—and a lot of “word of mouth” is actually happening on social media platform these days. Make sure your site is a jumping off point for all of the possible ways to engage with you, and you’ll be well on your way to attracting new customers and earning their trust.