7 Features of a Great Website
June 3rd 2020
Note: This is the beginning of a weekly WomensNet Wednesday series where we’ll tackle topics relevant to entrepreneurs. Any content ideas/requests can be submitted via our Contact Us form.
If there’s one business-related thing we’ve learned from the pandemic, it’s how critical it is to have an online presence. With access restricted to physical stores, salons, restaurants, and other businesses, many companies have survived by making their products and services available through a website.
Whether you’re a local brick-and-mortar retailer, consultant, personal service provider, real estate agent, hair stylist, child care provider – you need a website. But not just any website. You need one that is designed and developed to attract more business.
In fact, there are 7 major elements that great websites – meaning websites that are successful at attracting, retaining, educating, and selling to customers – have. You’ll want to do all you can to make sure your website has these 7 things too. They include:
1. A design that reflects your company’s brand personality.
That is, when you come to a business’s home page, do you get a general sense of its culture and reputation? Great websites do that.
Some of the design elements that make up your website and influence your brand include the colors, the use of images, the typeface, and overall ease of use. More tech-focused companies are sleek and modern. Companies that serve young children might be more whimsical, with bright colors. Environmental-related companies might have a simplistic design, with lots of natural colors.
As soon as someone gets to your website, they should get an instant sense of what you’re like to do business with. Make sure the words, colors, and layout all convey the image you’re after.
2. Functionality that allows customers to get what they need.
Depending on what your website was designed to help customers accomplish, you should have functional capabilities – such as buttons and forms – to match. So if a customer heads to your website to make a purchase, it should be easy for them to do that. If they want to schedule an appointment, a calendar should be easily accessible. If they want to ask a question, you may have Live Chat enabled. Or if they want to sign up to be on a wait list for an upcoming event, you should have a form for that purpose.
Great websites anticipate what customers will want to do once they’re at the site, and provide functional capabilities that make that possible.
3. Backlinks from reputable sites.
One way that great websites stand out is in the number of other websites that link back to it – a.k.a. backlinks. The more that other authoritative websites point back to yours, the more credible yours appears.
SEMrush has a useful tool for finding out what your current backlinks are, as well as your competitors’.
You can get more backlinks by exploring guest blogging opportunities, for example, and by making sure that your company’s website is listed in advertising, directory listings, and publicity you earn for your business.
4. Keywords that reflect the content on the site.
Great websites make it clear what visitors will find once they land on the site. Keywords and key phrases help in that regard and also help improve your Google search rank.
The best strategy for improving your rank in search is picking one key word or phrase for each page and using it 1) in the title tag, 2) as part of the page’s URL, and 3) in the page’s headline. This reinforces for Google that your site, and each particular page, is providing the information that it promised.
5. Fresh, high quality content.
To continue to get better results from your website, in the form of higher traffic, higher conversions, and higher sales, you’ll want to regularly add new content.
Creating and posting new blog posts regularly confirms to Google that your site is active. You can also add new website pages, such as if you add a new product or service, or add a media page, where you post announcements and press releases. All of these types of materials are considered content. And if you post quality content that matches the keywords on your site, so much the better. You’ll be rewarded with more traffic sent your way. Plus, by supplying content that’s useful, you’ll build up trust and brand loyalty long-term.
6. A freebie.
Sometimes referred to as an “ethical bribe,” freebies are offers of free content in exchange for a visitor’s name and email address. They are usually digital downloads, such as a checklist, a recipe, how-to instructions, or a special report, but a freebie can also be a physical gift sent through the mail.
The presumption behind freebie offers is that if a visitor is willing to share their contact information in order to gain access to the free gift you’re offering, they may be a good prospect for your products and services.
A freebie doesn’t have to be long and involved either. In fact, shorter is better. Give your visitor exactly what you’ve promised, as efficiently as possible.
7. A way to contact you.
Surprisingly, some business owners make it difficult for website visitors to make contact. That’s not conducive to generating more revenue.
One of the simplest ways to encourage contact is to create a Contact Us tab on your site and provide a form or an email address there for people to use. Some entrepreneurs put their email address at the bottom of each webpage, so that visitors don’t have to click away to find their contact information.
Although not everyone includes a phone number, it’s a smart idea if you do business by phone or use it to make reservations or appointments.
A website is a powerful sales tool that can be made even more powerful if you have these 7 elements working for you.