Have you ever visited a website that looked super slick and pretty only to click away because you couldn’t see any point in staying there other than to briefly admire a fancy graphic or yell at the site for being completely confusing and useless? I know have!
But on the flip side, I’ve come across some websites that were so enticing that I bookmarked them after barely being there for a minute. And I’ve returned to these sites over and over again.
The thing that makes a business website great is not it’s ability to wow visitors with exciting special effects. What counts is the website’s ability to nurture and grow the business that it supports.
This means that your business website (once you get one) has 3 ultra important jobs to accomplish:
1. Attract the right people to your site (i.e. potential customers)
2. Keep those people on your site (i.e. keep them interested in what you’ve got to say and offer)
3. Convert those visitors into loyal fans and paying customers.
To achieve these 3 things, you need to have a few key features on your site.
These are 5 essential features for your business website:
1. Clear introduction to your business
Make sure it’s immediately obvious what kind of business you run. Include details about what you do, who you serve, what your mission is, and where you’re located (if you’re an offline business).
2. Easy-to-find contact details and simple contact form
Make it super obvious how and when people can reach you and make it clear how long it might take for you to return a call or email. And don’t forget to have a simple contact form (none of those “just answer these 20 questions before you can submit your message” forms, please!).
3. Photograph of you (yes, you!)
You need to establish a relationship with potential customers in order for them to become loyal customers and for you to build credibility. That means showing people who you are. Why? Because humans form relationships with other humans! But don’t start panicking and thinking you need to pay out hundreds of dollars for a professional photographer to snap your pic! You simpley need a photo that’s clear, taken in good lighting, and showing your entire happy face (no puckered up weird duck faces, okay!).
4. Photographs of your work
Show people what your business does and what you have to offer. If you sell products, you must have at least one photo of each product. If you provide services, include photographs or images that capture the essence of your work.
5. Clear and effective calls to action
If you want your website visitors to do things that will fulfill your business goals, you need to guide them. So tell people exactly what their next step should be, i.e., what you want them to do (e.g. book a free call, sign up for a webinar, download a free recipe).