When thinking about how to create an awesome business website, consider what you like to see when you’re surfing the web. We’ve all experienced that moment when you search for something, click on a link provided in the search results, scan it quickly, and leave five seconds later because you couldn’t find what you wanted. In fact, you probably do this daily.
The next time you abandon a site, contemplate why you left. It’s obviously because the site is missing something. Sometimes the problem is that a search engine didn’t bring up relevant results. But more often than not, the problem is the website’s design.
As an online business owner, the last thing you want is for your website to fail this five-second scan test. When looking for a way to keep more visitors on your homepage, consider these essential website features that may be missing on your site:
1. A Relevant and Timely Blog
Despite the constant reminders that online businesses need to have blogs, many companies still haven’t stepped up. Furthermore, a vast majority of those who do have a blog either don’t update it regularly, or load it with poor-quality content that doesn’t perform well. If you want a site that gets rankings while also enticing web visitors to stick around, relevant and timely content is a must.
It’s hard to understand how a successful blog works without seeing one in action. So, on that note, check out the blog for Pines Lincoln, a major online car dealership. Their blog posts are neatly categorized, regularly updated, and loaded with trending news topics that match trending search queries. They know people are looking for valuable information on things like used cars for sale, and they deliver with a quality blog that’s updated every couple days.
2. Clearly Displayed and Up-to-Date Contact Information
According to a 2015 report, a shocking 51 percent of business websites either had no, little, hidden, or outdated contact information on their websites. A business website that wants to turn visitors into customers will clearly display the physical address (if applicable), email, and a business phone number. A chat option and easy-to-use contact forms are also useful. The information should be available and easily acceptable if you want to have customer interaction.
3. An About Section
It’s hard to create a humanized, personalized touch on your website without a good “About” page. This is essential for creating trust and credibility regarding your company and the people who work for you. It’s also vital for making your company mission clear.
Don’t take the development of this section lightly. Spend time drafting your company’s backstory and mission statement. Your “About” page will be how your customers associate with you, and without it, they’ll take longer to identify with your purpose.
Major companies like Apple, Nike, and Coca Cola have mastered the branding game. When you visit any of their websites, you can click on links within the site and know if you’re being directed to an internal page or a different site. Everything from the color scheme to the logo to the design layout lets you know each page belongs to them.
Spend time on any major website to see an example of good branding. Note the similarities between pages, and try to replicate this on your own blog. The result will be customers who actually remember your company and what it stands for.
5. Loading Speed
According to research, 40 percent of website visitors will leave your site if it doesn’t load faster than three seconds. Since the average loading time for a business website is 7 seconds, there are a lot of websites scaring away customers, simply due to speed.
Fortunately, this is an easy fix, though it may cost you a little. Caching files and installing plugins with the intent of speeding up your site is the best way to achieve a faster site. Don’t think of this act in terms of lost money, but as an investment. In the end, a faster site will bring in more customers and revenue.