Successful businesses have a few things in common, regardless of their industry. In the 21st century, one of those things is a great website.
While web design trends come and go, there are a few things that every business website should always have:
What The Best Business Websites Have in Common
Whether you’re a startup or an established business, your website should have these seven elements:
1. A Clear Purpose
You know what your website is for, but does someone who isn’t familiar with your business? When someone lands on your site, two things should instantly be clear: what you do and what you want the visitor to do.
In the case of this business, their purpose (full service fuel and propane) and what the visitor should do (place an order) are the first things you see when you land on their homepage:
2. Strong, Professional Branding
Some small businesses underestimate the importance of branding. From your domain name to the colors you choose, everything that represents your business should be cohesive.
Your logo should be professional, not something your nephew’s best friend threw together in Photoshop (unless your nephew’s best friend is a professional graphic designer). The colors, fonts, and imagery on your site should be a reflection of your brand.
This is a great example of a site with clear branding:
As you click through their site, you’ll see the blue and gray color scheme and clean layout. Their website is modern, with a light, airy feeling and all of their imagery is cohesive.
3. Simple Navigation
There are a lot of options when it comes to website menus: hamburger, drop down, scroll-triggered, and the list goes on. No matter which type of menu you choose, it’s important to make it as easy as possible for visitors to find what they need on your website. Your navigation should be simple and intuitive in both the design and the way the pages are organized.
Take the navigation for Internet Summit:
The most important pages are their own items in the navigation bar and the drop downs have the most important supporting information. It’s easy to find what you’re looking for, even at a glance.
4. Strong Calls to Action
This goes back to our first point about making your visitor’s next step obvious. A call to action should tell your reader what to do and, if possible, what they’ll get out of performing that action.
For example, an accountant might have a call to action like, “Simplify your taxes by scheduling an appointment with us today.”
Strategically placing CTAs in your content is another way that you can increase conversions. This simple button is eye-catching without being too intrusive:
5. A Great Mobile Experience
Mobile traffic accounts for approximately half of all web traffic so a good mobile experience is crucial. If your site doesn’t load quickly and provide a good user experience, you’ll lose visitors. (And those visitors aren’t likely to come back.)
Ensure that your web design agency creates responsive websites. Responsive web design means your site will look and perform well on any device: computer, tablet, or phone.
6. Compelling Content
A website without content is like a house without furniture. Just like no one wants to visit an empty house, no one wants to spend time on a website with just a handful of pages. In addition, content is the way your website will get traffic, whether that’s through search engines or social media sites.
It’s important that your content is relevant to your customer, informative, and optimized for search engines. Think about what your ideal customer would want to know about your product/services and create pages and blog posts around these topics. As you might have guessed, creating good SEO content isn’t easy. That’s why so many people hire digital marketing agencies to create their content!
7. Google Analytics
While you can technically have a business website without Google Analytics, we don’t recommend it. Google Analytics gives you an unbelievable amount of information about your website traffic and users. From traffic source to the operating system most used by your visitors and so much more, you’ll learn about your users and better tailor your marketing efforts to them. You can even set up goals like a visitor making a phone call or filling out a contact form and track whether you reach those goals every month (or week).
Best of all? Google Analytics is completely free.
Setting up Google Analytics is relatively simple, but things like goal tracking are a bit trickier. Deciphering all of the data can also be overwhelming, but once you find your way around Analytics (or hire an agency to manage it for you), you’ll wonder what you ever did without it!