How often has a company introduced its new website features that only left users scratching their heads? Rather than guess what the next big thing is, why not ask consumers? These days, it isn’t about what a site can do, but what it should offer. Businesses aren’t trying to make the Internet tangible but to rely on providing a streamlined experience.
At ALYKY, we know how busy people are online, mostly because we’re some of them. Some websites we research are fantastic, while others make us want to rip our hair out. Your users only have a few minutes left on their break. Make sure they can spend their time wisely with these much-needed website features.
Straightforward Page Navigation
What is it going to take for modern companies to have a website that’s easy to use? For whatever reason, it seems as if some businesses want you spending more time idling on their page. Maybe they think of their site like a scavenger hunt, or they need ad revenue. Unfortunately, if it takes more than a few moments to find an answer, people will leave.
94% of those surveyed (or nearly everybody) said that easy navigation is the best feature for any website. So, for the love of God, give us a recipe without another pointless backstory.
Although the trend has been spam users with popups and forms, it’s becoming outdated. Streamline the process for users and see more of them stick around longer.
Intuitive Modern Designs
Companies don’t seem to notice outdated web designs because they see them daily or never. When your pages still look like old Angelfire sites, it’s going to repel users.
While there is certainly a place for nostalgia, it shouldn’t be unintentional. However, it’s more than images and text that need to be improved regularly. The overwhelming majority of users base their opinion on how sites look. Of those vital first impressions, the design is most important.
Good contemporary design already favors ease of use and faster searching. Applying best practices keeps you on the right side of the consumer’s mind.
Relevant Authoritative Content
It’s no secret that companies, especially social media platforms, are cracking down on fake news. Many brands twiddle their thumbs and act too late, but Google has already looked for this. It isn’t enough to have new blog posts or pages on your site if the content isn’t both relevant and authoritative. Without it, it won’t rank.
In other words, having a landscaping website talk about Bill Gates brainwashing people won’t work. Articles about what flowers to plant in the summer or the best spring cleaning tips will perform better. Much like writing an essay, any unnecessary topics need to be removed immediately. Otherwise, you’ll bore your audience and will inevitably chase them away.
Image-Based Product Descriptions
Would you buy a product if you only had one image or just a text-based description? Chances are, you need both before you even commit to making a purchase. In general, text posts that include images see 650% higher engagement over others. If you don’t have pictures, even stock images, your posts aren’t being read.
Pictures also offer a sneakier way to potentially rank higher as well. When you caption photos, you can often include meta descriptions that search engines will see. Once you’ve finished mastering images with descriptions, you can include video as well. When done correctly, 85% of shoppers become more likely to buy after watching accompanying videos.
Social Media Integration
Social media is something every business owner uses without fully understanding how their platform works. Each site performs as its own individual search engine with unique requirements and best practices. What works on Reddit likely won’t gain much traction on TikTok and vice versa. Before you jump into hashtags and viral challenges, you must discover what serves you best.
You could spend all day, every day, jumping from platform to platform and not grow. Among all of the social media sites available, these are the most popular among consumers:
Finally, social media is no longer a way to connect with customers but to solicit them. As millions of daily users are online, they will see ads relevant to their interests.
Manage Corporate Blogs
Ah, the corporate blog, where generic ideas go to die for the sake of clicks. Your company probably still has Alice from accounting managing your blog, but please, for all that’s holy, stop her. As with anything on your website, it takes more than throwing pasta at the wall. Your posts need to offer something, anything of value, that your users care about.
While blogs aren’t as trendy as they used to be, there are still millions of active ones. Best of all, 61% of shoppers buy a product after reading a post about it. Keep in mind that articles still need to be relevant to whatever industry you compete in daily. Software companies posting about Top 10 vegan celebrities probably won’t see posts rank very high.
Other Website Features You May Want to Include
While some website features are a must, there are some that seem nice to have as an afterthought. Others can become legally required later as the Internet continues evolving. Some design elements won’t improve your search rankings much but have other useful properties. When users find a streamlined, personal experience, they enjoy sticking around.
You may not necessarily need these optional features, but you may find them practical. You may even discover that they prevent unnecessary design changes that only hurt your scores. A successful website is one that puts the user first and allows them choices. If your site already has the basics, consider these additional features to maximize your outreach.
The Importance of Accessibility in Your Website Design
A growing concern for many companies is providing a website that is accessible for all. When some users have sight, hearing, or physical disabilities, their experience soon becomes different. As is the case for your facilities, accessibility must remain a top focus. If you wouldn’t want someone to struggle to enter, you don’t want them fighting with your website either.
Accessibility extends past those who these measures work best, but to everyone else as well. Having different options for display, sound, and navigation can also improve how others interact. Other design features to consider include elderly users, slow Internet speeds, and temporary disabilities. By focusing on those who need help the most, your site becomes all-around more accessible to everyone.
Integrated WordPress Sites
Yes, WordPress is alive and well, and it has tons of active users. Even if your primary website doesn’t utilize the platform, you can still benefit from it. You may consider utilizing it to host your corporate blog or for announcements. It can even open your brand up to audiences it hadn’t even considered before.
Learning WordPress can take some effort, but you can do so quite affordably. Although paid plans exist, many templates, widgets, and styles can be found free of charge. Finally, if for no other reason, Google loves WordPress, and these pages typically rank high. While you may not feel like an expert, following the best practices will improve viewership.
Include a Way to Contact Someone
We know the whole ARG craze has businesses wanting to seem mysterious. However, when no one knows what you do, they aren’t buying your products. 44% of users will bail when they can’t find a contact form, email, or phone number. Sneaky and aloof are attitudes best reserved for politicians and not for making sales.
Including contact forms are essential, but using them effectively is even more so. You can’t constantly spam users until they begrudgingly give up their personal information. While websites take the place of brick and mortar stores more and more, think about the customer experience. If you got bombarded as soon as you entered a store, you would immediately leave.
Offer a Way to Search Your Site
Sometimes, no matter how easy you make things, people still need alternatives. Among the most vital to include on your site is an onsite search tool. Remember, intuitively answering questions remains a primary focus in closing online sales. When users have an onscreen search bar, they can dive deeper into your products.
Studies show that offering advanced search options can significantly boost your conversion rates. Even if you don’t want to include an onsite engine, sitemaps alone can help. Users don’t want to feel boxed in or like they don’t have all of the answers. Better transparency also leads to improved consumer awareness, which leads to more sales.
Who is Your Website Host Provider?
You already know that a fast-loading site is one that people will love. However, what can you do when nothing seems to improve your page speed? If you have applied every other suggestion and things still don’t work, ask about hosting. Web hosting not only keeps a site online but impacts other factors as well.
Some companies skimp on hosting fees, not knowing they pay for slower download speeds. It often isn’t until they purchase premium-tier service that their site runs faster. Unfortunately, Google hates waiting for sites to load and will skip over yours. Even someone with an awful website could rank higher should their host prove to be better than yours.
Do You Need Help with Choosing Website Features?
Not all website features will be beneficial for all brands, but we can help. After meeting with our digital marketing experts, we can offer professional advice and technical assistance. While we know business owners prefer to handle things alone, websites require experienced designers. Without them, you can easily see minor mistakes ripple throughout the entire site.
Choosing the right features for your website will also guarantee a boost in search rankings. Give your corporate pages the best designs possible with ALYKY. Contact us to schedule an appointment with us today.