In January of 2021, there were almost 6 billion websites on the world wide web. And although small businesses are still lagging behind in getting their business online, there’s more than enough competition to prove that a good business website has to stand out.
But what is it that makes an online presentation effective? Well, there are a couple of features you might need to add if you want a great business website. Fortunately, however, they’re easy to implement and will provide a significant boost to your site’s performance. And that includes conversions and sales.
So, without further ado, the following are the top essential features you need for your website if you want your business to stand out in 2021.
1. Eye-catching Design
Most people think that design is no more than an aesthetic choice. However, there’s quite a lot of data telling us that it’s actually a highly impactful element of a good business website. Let’s get into it.
In 2015, Adobe presented a group of people with a choice between a beautifully designed piece of content and a simple webpage. 64% of people went with the aesthetically pleasing option. But why is that the case? To get a satisfying answer to the question, we must first understand how the modern human brain works.
Doing business is all about making a great first impression. And, with your website, you’ve got a whole 50 milliseconds to leave one. Once a person has landed at your digital address and decided they liked what they saw, you can start with the convincing process. So how can you ensure they actually stick around?
According to research, the average human attention span dropped from 12 to 8 seconds between 2000 and 2015. Essentially, this is why so many websites, blogs, and social media posts aim to include visual and video content. Simply put, businesses need not just intrigue, but more importantly, keep their customers engaged long enough to convince them to make a purchase.
A beautiful website design can help you attract customers, have them stick around to get a feel of your brand, and, ultimately, convince them to convert. Furthermore, it can help you position your company as a recognizable, trustworthy source of goods and an authority in your industry.
2. Intuitive UX
The second most important feature of a good business website is going to be the UX. There’s plenty of statistical data showing how impactful user experience is for the success of a brand. According to Toptal:
- 88% of consumers won’t return to a website following a poor web experience.
- 90% of people have stopped using an app due to bad UX performance.
- Retailers lose $2 billion every year due to slow load time.
And although some UX features, like site structure and navigation, need to be implemented from the very first stages of web design, others can be improved at any time.
For example, you can always optimize for speed. Moreover, you can implement new payment methods and add one-click checkout features to make shopping easier. Finally, you can add a chatbot to your site and ensure your potential customers have all the help they need at the tip of their fingers.
Another way to improve UX is to look at your site’s analytical data. Which pages are performing well? Which aren’t? Are there any places where consumers tend to land? Do they come from specific sources? By having a strong command of your visitors’ basic behaviors, you can do quite a lot to ensure their smooth experience.
3. User Safety & Privacy Features
If the single goal with your business website is to turn visitors into customers, there’s one more thing you have to do. And that’s ensuring the safety of your customers.
Unfortunately, with the popularization of online shopping, ecommerce fraud is becoming increasingly commonplace. However, consumers are becoming a bit more well-versed in staying safe online.
They know that they need to look for trust signals such as safety badges and HTTPS protocols. And, they’re aware of the vulnerability of peer-to-peer payment methods and debit cards.
But, in addition to ensuring their bank accounts are safe, you will need to pay attention to their data as well.
4. Clear Calls to Action
Now that you’ve covered the three most important elements of a good business website, it’s time to move on to the smaller things. Although they’re easier to get right, they’ll still be impactful when it comes to your branding and conversion rates.
The first of these small elements will be the Call to Action buttons you place on all your pages. Their role is hugely important, though often overlooked. The fact is, if you want to move your consumers along the sales funnel, you need to present them with clear instructions on the actions they should take next.
This means several things:
- You will have to place your CTAs in highly visible places, ideally following every stage of the users’ activity on your website.
- There should only be one (or maximum two) different CTAs on a single page.
- The design and copy you use has to be compelling enough to convince people to take action right away.
5. Contact Information
Do you run a strictly online business? Or do you have a physical location as well? Whichever the case, it’s best to assume potential customers will want to get in touch at some point or another.
According to research, 52% of web visitors want to read about a business as soon as landing on its homepage. So, to avoid unnecessary frustration, you should prepare such a page and make sure that it’s easily found.
Whether you tell an elaborate story about your brand or only provide an address, phone number, and email is entirely up to you. But, make sure that you include all the relevant info. After all, making it easier for consumers to get in touch won’t just allow you to provide better customer service. More than that, it will send the message that you’re committed to the long-term satisfaction of your clients.
6. Information Availability
When assessing the benefits offered by a business, most potential customers look at the information provided. Whether they’re comparing features or reviewing product details, it’s safe to say that your website needs to be capable of providing all the data they require.
With this in mind, it’s not a bad idea to reconsider the way you present information.
Knowing that 79% of users scan web pages, you can use headings, bullets, and highlighted keywords to direct their attention. Moreover, you can add a FAQ section to your pages so that they get instant answers to their most pressing questions.
Finally, don’t underestimate the impact of a simple blog or resources page. After all, content doesn’t just serve to get you organic traffic. Instead, it should be a valuable resource of information that can help your potential buyers make the right choice when shopping with you.
There you have it, the six essential features of every good business website.
As you can see, some of these will take more effort to get right, while others can be replaced with just a few small adjustments. Nonetheless, rest assured that investing in design, user experience, consumer safety, and overall informativeness will only help your brand do well.
So, whether you’re starting from scratch or doing an audit, pay attention to these features. Get them right, and you’ll be well on your way to building up a strong name for yourself
Sarah Kaminski is a freelance writer and social media marketer. She works with a number of small businesses to build their brands through more engaging marketing and content.