Your website is your digital store. It is where you can carve out a place for yourself online. Sure, there are many, many websites out there. There is a lot of competition and a lot of fighting for attention. That being said, it is still full of possibilities.
A great website is one that doesnot necessarily replace a brick-and-mortar store. Instead it enhances it. It allows customers to have a pleasant experience even at home or on the go.
There are a few essentials that every website needs. Mobile-friendliness, good site speed and stability, and even great content. When it comes to the features that your business adds, however, look to add these top 7 features for a great website:
Leading Lines and a Logical Roadmap
The print industry has spent decades, even centuries, working out the best flow for contextual design. You donot want customers’ eyes to be bouncing up and down, because it makes things chaotic, and more importantly it can actually be annoying to try to sort through.
The same kind of logic applies to your overall website structure. It should never feel like a customer has to hunt through to find the information that they need. Parent and child pages should be logical, and there should be multiple and natural internal links to find the information that the customer is looking for.
Essential Business Information in the Footer
You want essential business information, including your business name, a short blurb on what you do, and your contact details to be found on every page. This is how you can reinforce the information to your customer and also how you can connect your business to those fixed points.
Tip: For best results add your business and its contact details to as many local directories as you can. This is called NAP information, or name, address, phone number. The more often these are found together, the better your local SEO.
A Chat Window
Chat windows are very useful, especially for more technical businesses where customers have a lot of questions that they want answered. Chat buttons connect customers directly with someone on your team, which gives you more opportunities to wow potential customers and to help connect the customer in question directly with what they need. This could be an answer, it could be a product, either way showcasing your expertise and your passion for what you do is a great way to win people over.
You might not immediately get a sale, but you have opened the door for one in the future.
Of course, just having a chat window isnot enough. You need to create one that is beautiful, simple, and engaging. You want customers to click to open a chat window and want to actually converse with your team. This means you need to design and install a great option, and you also need to use traditional marketing and sales tactics to encourage visitors to get directly in touch with your team.
Done right, a chat button can improve your conversion rate by 40%
You need an SSL certificate. This works to encrypt all the communication between you and your clients. It is essential from the second you request data from your customers, especially if they buy from you and are inputting their credit card details.
Of course, that is just the tip of the iceberg. You will need multiple other security measures to protect your business and your customer. Another option is HTTPs, which prevents third parties from interrupting or intercepting connections on your website.
Other options to improve security are to check over your host’s security features, to customize the security on your CMS, and to use unique passwords.
An FAQ Page
FAQ pages are great for SEO and for customers. You can keep adding to them as well, as you get asked more on your live chat. Whenever three customers ask the same thing, add it to your FAQ page.
FAQ pages should be in the question/answer format. As the FAQ gets longer you should also make it easy for customers to search through your FAQ to find the answer that they are looking for. You can even put a call to action to use the chat window if the answer they are looking for is not there.
The good news is that FAQ pages offer a lot of benefits for your business. One of the best benefits is that it actually works to make your website voice-search friendly. If someone uses their AI personal assistant (like Siri or Alexa) and asks a question that is found on your FAQ page, then your answer may be used.
Filters for Products
If you sell a lot of products, or have a decent amount of options, then it is important to help your customers filter out what they donot need or want. Filters are a great way to make a product page dynamic and to improve the satisfaction of your customers as a whole.
It can even help with services.
If filters donot suit your business, for example if your customer is a layperson and does not know what the different filters entail, then use a quiz. Have customers fill out basic answers to help your website recommend the right product or service for their needs.
A Log in Portal
Certain businesses should have log in portals for their customers. This is the easiest way to put customers in charge of their data and to offer additional features from personalized discounts to live updates on their order. There should be a reasoncustomers make an account with you, so try to reward them for opening one up and allowing you to collect and attach information to that account.
Your website should have great content, be visually appealing, be fast, secure, and have a few great features that make it a joy to use. Your website should feel complete, but remember that things break (and they will break often). Keep an eye on your analytics to take note of where traffic is going and what you need to fix to keep it working wonderfully.