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Everyone knows that a website is necessary for any business. Even if you do not intend to sell products online, your customers will use the internet to find businesses like yours. But simply throwing together a couple of web pages just won’t do the trick. You need to put thought into the design and content of a business website.
Business websites do not need to be overly complex. Still, some fundamental features should be incorporated into the design. Here are 10 important web-design features that any business website will need.
1. Unique Branding
There are millions of websites on the internet, some of which will be competing with your business. Consequently, the branding of your website must stand out and differentiate your company from your competitors. Avoid using an out-of-the-box template for a business website. Or, if you do use a template, use the customization options to tailor the site to your brand. Your website branding also should match your offline branding. So, use the same logo, color scheme, and typography that you have used on signage, advertisements, and social media accounts.
2. Explanatory Home Page
People take only seconds to decide if they have landed on the right website, so it must be immediately apparent what your business does. The home page should have a brief description of what your business offers. It is also advisable to highlight the offering’s unique selling points (USPs) on the home page. You can think of the home page as the hook that will entice people to explore the site further.
3. High-Quality Written Content
Once people have committed to exploring a website, they will, of course, begin reading the content. But if that content is difficult to read or contains spelling and grammatical mistakes, it will reflect poorly on the brand. Therefore, pay close attention to the readability and accuracy of the written text on a website. Content also needs to be scannable on a website. So, break blocks of text up with subheadings and use bullet points to list crucial information.
4. High-Quality Visuals
One of the first things to catch a visitor’s eye on a website is the visuals. Indeed, visitors may not even bother reading the content if the pictures are of poor quality. Stock images that a user may have seen many times before will have a similar effect. Therefore, try to use original, high-quality visuals on a business website.
5. Straightforward Navigation
When visitors wish to locate information, their route to the relevant page should be intuitive.
So, keep navigation elements like menus simple and easy to locate. Try to use accepted naming conventions for pages, such as Home, About Us, and Terms and Conditions. It might seem a little boring, but a straightforward drop-down menu with few options at the top of the site is generally the best option.
6. Calls to Action
You will be hoping that visitors take a desired action on a business website. That action might be to purchase a product, request a quote, or subscribe to a mailing list. However, if users cannot find the means to take the required action, they will not waste too much time looking for it. Consequently, clear, persuasive, and easy-to-find calls to action (CTAs) are essential.
7. Easy to Locate Contact Details
Even with excellent explanatory content and clear CTAs, some users will want to contact the business. So, contact information, including a physical address, email address, and telephone numbers, should also be easily accessible on a business website.
8. Social Proof
Do you believe all the claims made for products on websites? No, nor do most people. However, if third parties back up the claims, you would be more likely to trust them. Hence, social proof is another crucial feature of a business website. The type of social proof will vary by business. A professional service company might have case studies, and an e-commerce site will benefit from customer reviews. Companies can also display professional qualifications or trade accreditations. The crucial point is to provide third-party validation of the products or services sold on the site.
9. Mobile Friendly
More than half of all website visits today come from mobile devices. Consequently, mobile-friendliness is no longer an option; it is essential. However, choosing a responsive theme or template is only part of the solution. The content of a business website must be designed with mobile devices in mind. For example, attention should be paid to the spacing of clickable objects on a page. And even excessively long page titles can take up too much space on a mobile device screen. Therefore, assess a site’s usability on various mobile devices before going live.
10. A Blog
The blog on a business website provides a platform for communication with customers and prospects. You can use a blog to establish authority in a niche, make company announcements, and sell products and services. It also provides a source for fresh content that can prove beneficial to your SEO strategy.
While some of these points may appear to be stating the obvious, these crucial features are sometimes overlooked or lost during the process. Creating a polished website with technically clever features is easy. But if you don’t get the basics right, you will not achieve the desired results.