What makes a great business website? Is it the design? Or the contents? Which are the key elements visitors want to find on a website to continue browsing and take action? There are so many interlocking aspects which create an amazing browsing experience and they evolve together with people’s expectations.
Websites are one of the fastest growing structures in the business world. Just a few years ago, websites were designed for browsing only on desktops and laptops. At the present, websites need to be responsive – that is, display properly on any screen size, from a computer monitor to a 4” smartphone screen. They also must load fast, and provide users with simple and intuitive navigation so they can quickly find what they are looking for and share it with their friends if they want.
How does a website achieve all these? The answer is found in the five essential elements any business website must have in order to be perceived by visitors as professional and useful:
- Prominent Contact Details on All Pages
The ultimate purpose of any website is to put people in contact with your business – potential customers, partners or suppliers. Even if people land on your website without any clear purpose in mind, they may realise that they want to ask your customer service department a question, place an order or establish a business meeting with a representative.
Do not leave these people searching for your contact page. Instead, include your phone number and email address on every page of your website so that anyone can get in touch with you quickly and easily. Pro tip: add a Skype calling button next to your phone number, so that people can call you directly from the website with just one click or tap on the screen.
Testimonials are the supporting evidence for everything you claim in your About Us page and on product description pages. Every company should actively collect testimonials from happy customers, either by asking them to rate their shopping experience after a purchase, or by asking them questions on the social media.
There are two different approaches to sharing testimonials: creating a separate web page for them or including them throughout the entire website, whenever they can endorse your claims and statements.
- Social Media Buttons
Sharing is caring…and it is also a great way for your business to gain exposure to different audiences. People are always ready to share interesting content to their social media profiles – so make it easy for them to do so. Social media buttons should include as a bare minimum: Facebook™, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Also, you should add the Pin button on all the photos on your website.
Social media buttons can be placed either at the end of each piece of content or floating on one side as people scroll while reading. Additionally, you can split large articles with quickly tweetable memorable quotes from it.
- Opt-In Forms
You should not just wait for people to get in touch with your business, but try to build a connection with them by asking them to leave their email address and receive your newsletters and other special offers. Quick opt-in forms can be placed at the end of the featured articles on your blog and on each product page.
One of the key elements used by Google in determining page ranking for websites is the frequency with which it is updated. Except for product pages, the standard presentation pages of any business website are static – they are not updated unless some specific events happen in the activity of the company. This is why any business website needs a blog. It can be updated daily or weekly with useful and interesting content for your customer, and help you build a solid SEO strategy.