6 Must-Have Features for Your Business Website

When someone visits your website, what do they see?

Do they get a look at a polished, thought-out design that highlights your branding, guides them to learn more about your business, and provides a positive user experience?

Or are they embarking on a frustrating journey of out-of-date design, broken links, and underwhelming content?

As a business owner, you get to decide how people perceive your site. By investing some time to think strategically about how visitors will use and benefit from your website, and partnering with experienced web designers and developers, you can have a site that starts churning out leads and stands out from competitors.

As you consider revamping your website or going through a total redesign, make sure to include these six features in your website.

Your why

Today’s consumers want to know more than just the name of your business and what you do. You need to share why you provide your services or products.

Are you passionate about the market? Have a unique history in your industry? With the current climate of endless options and readily-available information online, telling your story lets potential customers connect with your brand. And those connections are what can convince them to choose you over others.

How to share your why: Whether it’s an About Us page detailing your company’s journey, a homepage video giving a first-hand look at management, or team member bios, there are plenty of ways to draw back the curtain on your business.

How you help

Much like your why, it’s important to detail exactly how you help clients. The ‘how’ is easy to overlook, because you’re knee-deep in your industry every day, using best practices and knowing exactly how to get from point A to point B.

But don’t make any assumptions on your website. Don’t bet that your prospective client understands off the bat how long your process takes, what’s needed from them to get started, or the price point of working with you. They don’t operate in your industry and are looking for you to guide them.

Also, digging deeper into the details means you’re giving potential clients more access to your brand and the behind-the-scenes of how you operate. And armed with more information, you’re more likely to receive leads better aligned with your target customer.

How to show how you help: Add a page to your website that explains your process, or bulk up your offerings with step-by-step descriptions, timelines, and pricing (if preferred).

Mobile-friendly design

This one’s an absolute must for your business. More than half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, so don’t forget to cater to this major segment of your overall traffic.

61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. – MicKinsey & Company

A website should be as easy to operate on a tablet or phone as it is on a desktop computer. This means text that is legible, buttons and links that don’t overlap design elements, and a navigation menu that makes switching pages simple.

Without an optimized design that displays properly on smaller screens and lets mobile visitors engage easily, you allow potential leads to slip through your fingers.

How to develop a mobile-friendly design: Choose a platform, such as WordPress or Squarespace, that has a mobile design feature built in. Or work with an experienced web developer to create one for you.

CTA’s

Your website should have a goal, possibly more than one. Because your website, something you invest time and money in, should offer value both to your audience and your business. Maybe your goal is to educate through a blog, show off your work in a portfolio page, or sell solutions in a detailed services page. Whatever your objective, don’t rely on the assumption that visitors will automatically know what to do once landing on your site.

Here’s where calls to action come in. They accentuate your content by summarizing your main point, engaging visitors to take action on your website. Calls to action come in different forms, such as linked text or a branded button.

How to use CTA’s: Review your site analytics, whether it’s platform-provided data or Google Analytics, and figure out main traffic pages (often your homepage) and ones with high bounce rates. Add calls to action to those key pages to take advantage of traffic landing spots and improve retention on high-bounce pages.

Social media links

If you’re actively posting to social media channels as part of your marketing plan (you should be!), make it easy to find and follow your brand. Include icons for the channels you use in your website footer or on your contact page.

This way, web visitors can easily connect with your business and keep up with the insights and behind-the-scenes updates you’re sharing. Plus, social media posts that link back to your website help with search engine optimization (SEO), so why not make it easier to share and interact with your posts?

How to add social media links: Depending on your website, take advantage of a plug-in, available settings, or custom coding to connect with your social media accounts.

Engaging visuals

“Content is king,” but it’s not the only element needed to get your visitors to stick around on your website. Design matters, and it’s often the first thing people see and evaluate. And if your visuals don’t gather interest or share your brand personality, then don’t expect visitors to spend time learning about your business.

Your image also have to pull their weight. Choose stock photos that align with your brand aesthetic, and avoid copying competitors. And consider partnering with a photographer for brand photos custom to you and your company.

Then go a step further and brainstorm more ways you can add visual appeal to your site. Think on-brand icons, infographics, and video.

How to incorporate engaging visuals: Revitalize your website’s visual direction by evaluating current design and graphics and adding more layers.