Every time a new person lands on your website, your business goes through a “job interview” of sorts. People are critiquing what they see in detail, establishing an opinion of you, and determining if it’s worth getting to know you further, and most importantly they are figuring our whether they want to do business with you.
Is your website making the right first impression?
In this article, we’ll share our top features we like to include in every website we create.
What you choose to include on your website will vary on the industry you are working in, but there are several must-have elements that every website needs to have across the board:
1. A Clear Value Proposition
Tell your visitors exactly what you do with a clear, easy-to-find value proposition. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be shocked at how many websites out there don’t have one.
If people don’t have an understanding of what your company does, who it does it for, and how it does it differently, they are not likely to stick around to find out.
2. Links to Social Media
You want people to follow and engage with your company on your social media. So, on your homepage place social media buttons in a consistent, conventional place, where people can easily find them when needed (i.e. your header or footer like Wistia does below).
Increasing your social following helps increase the number of eyes that are on your content and are more likely to click back to your website on a regular basis.
3. Intuitive Navigation
Your navigation should be easy to understand and use for a first-time visitor. You want someone to arrive on your website and know exactly where they can find the information they want and need without being confused.
It should also reflect your buyer’s typical behaviour on your site by bringing the pages they visit most often to the forefront. For example, if your blog is your most highly trafficked page, make it easily accessible through your navigation. Don’t hide your big sellers!
4. Contact Info
How many times have you been in need of customer service, but couldn’t get someone on the phone to save your life?
Don’t put your prospects in the same position.
Visitors should be able to find your contact information easily on your website. Most commonly found in the footer (like in the example from our website here), your website should include a mailing address, email address, and phone number in case someone is interested in reaching you.
People want to work with people. Having this information readily available offers comfort by letting people know they can get a hold of someone if need be and also adds credibility, making it clear that this is the homepage of a legitimate business.
If you’re worried about being on the phone all day, display “opening hours”.
5. Client Testimonials
Research shows that 79% of consumers trust online reviews and testimonials as personal recommendations from their friends or peers. So, if your company has positive reviews from your previous or current customers, capitalise on them!
Let your potential customers know that you’re not just boasting about accomplishments. Testimonials build trust and let people know they can feel confident in choosing you — you the social proof that shows it.
Now, this one feature that you don’t have to implement, but you certainly can’t go wrong with it. Having a quick introductory video on your website that explains what your business does, is one of the easiest and most effective ways of engaging a user (especially one that is new to your brand).
The video on our services page is a great example:
Try to keep your videos on the shorter side (less than 3 minutes) so that you do not lose your visitor’s interest. The idea is just to do give someone a quick overview of your company; not your entire origin story.
7. High-Quality and Original Images
Stock images are convenient, but they won’t build credibility for your company or engage your audience. The same can be said for low-resolution or small images.
Using real photos of your team and office on your homepage paints a realistic portrait of what people can expect when working with you, while high-quality images show professionalism and attention to detail.
8. Overview of Services/Features
Your value proposition and video may give customers a brief overview of what your company does, but it in terms of content, it is still important to include these features, products, or services.
Having this information present on your website offers a bit more detail for prospects and also helps your page rank higher for those services in search engines.
9. A Clear Call-to-Action (or Two)
When someone arrives on your homepage, let alone any page on your website, it should be clear what action you want them to take next.
On your homepage, this is usually a “top-of-the-funnel” action such as subscribing to your blog and/or a “bottom-of-the-funnel” like requesting a consultation. Sit down with your team and decide on what one or two actions you really want people to take when land on your site. Having more than this will only confuse your visitor and clutter your buyer’s journey.
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