10 Website Features and Strategies Your Business Needs for 2022
It’s just a fact: your business needs a website. While some businesses manage to get by having nothing more than a Facebook page or Yelp listing, if your business really wants to thrive, you need a place people can go if they want to learn more about what you have to offer.
And not only that — your website has to be compelling and engaging, and draw them in quickly. A poorly designed, slow, or uninteresting website will lose an audience quickly. An average website has a bounce rate of less than a minute, sometimes as little as six seconds.
Offering all the features you need to make customers happy while maintaining things like load time can be a tricky balance — but it can be done if you have solid strategies as a starting point.
Fast hosting. As stated above, the average user will bail on a website in as little as six seconds if it’s loading slowly or not at all. In particular, sites powered by CMS software like WordPress (which runs half the websites on the internet) can be slow to load because of the many features they offer — which is why you want the best WordPress hosting you can get your hands on.
Content clearly describing what you offer. This ties directly into having a clear purpose for your website (see below). Your website copy should be clean, direct, informative, and to the point. If your writing skills aren’t up to snuff, consider outsourcing to a professional.
Another thing about content: make sure to update it frequently! If someone comes to your site and it looks like it hasn’t been touched in years, that’s not exactly going to inspire confidence.
Several points of contact. Once upon a time, a phone number and maybe a physical address was enough for a business — but not so much anymore. Email, social media contact, and anything else you can provide will give customers more options and make them happier. And it should be very easy to find — preferably right on the front page in a highly visible spot.
Backup software. If you don’t have a horror story about data loss without backups, chances are you know someone who does. Invest in backup software and use it regularly.
Accessibility. Making your site as accessible as possible to a wide audience is just good business sense. This means not just responsive and mobile-friendly design (though that is hugely important) but attending to the colorblind, visually impaired, and so on.
A clear purpose. Having a clear purpose goes beyond just knowing what your website is for — it means knowing in precise detail what you do (or don’t) plan to offer. For example: are you going to sell products or services through your website? Will you provide an online help desk or other customer service options? Is it just a funnel toward contacting you directly? These are helpful questions to ask up front.
Good branding. Branding is of paramount importance when putting together a website, whether you do it yourself or use a website builder. Branding is also more than just a logo and a color scheme — it’s a way to set yourself apart and make your business memorable through every element of the site, from fonts to images to copy.
Intuitive navigation. When it comes to designing your site navigation, simpler is better. It doesn’t really matter which kind of navigation you choose — hamburger menu, drop-downs, scrolling menus, or whatever else. It just needs to be clear and uncomplicated, so users won’t get lost. Resist the urge to overdo it — in many ways, the fewer options a user has, the better. And definitely don’t nest your navigation elements so some of them end up hidden — make sure every major element is available from the front page.
Calls to action and a sales funnel. If you’re building a website for your business, then it stands to reason you want to sell people something. That means gently but firmly taking the customer’s hand and leading them down the road to that sale. Having a clear and concise sales funnel is key, and your content should include frequent (but not obnoxious) calls to action that tells potential customers what to do next, and what benefit they stand to gain from doing it. This will make all the difference in making your website work for you.Analytics. Even the best strategies are of limited usefulness if you don’t know how well they’re working, which is why thorough analytics is a vital part of your website strategy. Analytics aren’t just about traffic and page visits (although that’s a major backbone). You should also look at user habits, track hotspots, and gather data on conversion rate, bounce rate, ad results, and any other data you can get your hands on. It will all prove useful in revising and refining your strategy to get even more out of your website.