5 must-have features you need for your website
When it comes to designing websites, it’s common for our clients to ask, how can we make their online platform stand out? After all, there are more than 1.9 billion active websites in the world, which makes competition to get your virtual voice heard at an all-time high.
The thing is, each business is unique, which means every web design is naturally going to be different too. After all, how your website will look and feel will ultimately depend on the industry you’re in, the audience you’re speaking to and the purpose of your site – to name but a few.
However, there are a number of features that we believe every website should commonly have. Each of these will work to enhance user experience, get your website ranking higher on Google, drive traffic to your website and most importantly convert leads.
Here are our top five must-have features that you need for your website:
Call to actions (CTAs)
Having clear and persuasive ‘call to actions’ – or CTAs – across your website is key.
What are call to actions? As the name suggests, CTAs are words, commands or phrases that prompt and encourage somebody who is visiting your website to take some sort of action. They tend to be clickable links or buttons that take the user to a further page where they can take action, engage with your business or complete a task.
Remember, when a potential lead is visiting your website, they’re embarking on a journey. These call to actions are essential in guiding visitors through your website, signposting and directing them towards the action you want them to take. Examples of typical call to actions include the likes of ‘buy now’, ‘sign up to our newsletter’, ‘read more’, ‘share this product’ or ‘add to wishlist’.
It’s important to remember that your customers will want to see call to actions. They’re not just important for your business but they’re essential for customers too, who want to know what the next step is for them to take on your website.
After all, if you don’t have call to actions, what should the customer do next? Give them an excuse to stay on your website, instead of their visiting time coming to an end.
A contact form is essential to generating leads from those visiting your website.
In short, a contact form is simply a selection of questions asking for information about the customer, including the likes of name and contact details.
It’s vital that your contact form is user-friendly and easy to use, so you don’t put visitors off from filling them in.
The great thing about contact forms though, is that they allow you to be in control of the communications you have with customers. A clear contact form helps to reduce spam messages to your business while ensuring you don’t miss any emails – which in turn, will help to enhance relationships with customers. Additionally, you’ll be able to keep a good record of all incoming enquiries too, while enabling you to build up a banging email marketing list.
There are two main reasons why you need to get on top of the speed of your website: user experience and search engine optimisation (SEO).
Slow, poor-performing website designs will drive users away – it’s that simple. Nobody likes a slow website, especially in this day and age. After all, if your website isn’t performing well enough, your customers will simply head on over to one of your competitors.
And poor user experience can have a huge impact on SEO. SEO is the process of improving the amount of traffic to your website from search engines, such as Google. Here’s the thing, page load speed is crucial for SEO because it’s one of the key determining factors that impact Google’s algorithm. Slow sites and poor user experience turn visitors away and Google will recognise this, thus having a negative impact on your website’s SEO. Likewise, a fast website will generate good user experiences, which means Google will rank those sites higher.
We’ve already mentioned SEO and what it is. But, the thing about SEO is, that the influencing factors that impact your website’s ranking on Google can change all of the time. And it’s important that you keep on top of what keeps your business on Google’s page one. Working with professional web developers and creative designers at Oxygen Graphics will ensure your website is well optimised and driving traffic from Google.
A top tip from us is that when building your website, you include GA4, the latest analytics tracking code from Google. This will enable you to measure traffic and engagement across your website, which as we all know, is essential to improving and developing your online strategy. GA4 is replacing Universal Analytics, which will be discontinued from 1st July 2023, and all of your historical data lost – so embedding the GA4 really is important. Feeling slightly overwhelmed? We’ve got your back – all websites built by Oxygen Graphics have GA4 embedded in them, which means one less thing for you to worry about.
Booking system or customer portal
It goes without saying that we’re all trying to create more time-efficient and seamless business processes, especially when it comes to the admin side of things. By incorporating an easy-to-navigate booking system or customer portal on your website, you’ll be allowing visitors to take control of their own shopping journey while reducing the amount of time and money you spend on administrative tasks.
In fact, recent statistics show that almost 90 per cent of people asked wanted a company to provide some sort of online service portal. Customer portals in essence provide visitors with a virtual ‘self-service’ shopping experience, giving customers a personalised platform shaped around their individual interactions with your business. The customer portal might include the likes of recent orders (including tracking and returns), the ability to create and follow support tickets and favourited items.
As well as saving your business time, an efficient customer portal will undoubtedly help to strengthen and grow customer relationships, while improving user experience.
Are you ready to improve your website?
These are just five of our favourite must-have features that promise to create the strong foundations for any website wanting to survive in this jam-packed virtual world. We get it though, without professional, expert advice and support from industry creatives, it can seem overwhelming and time-consuming.