Don’t shoot the messenger, but if you’re a business that relies on having some sort of online presence (which is basically every business now), you’ll probably need to get your website up to speed at some point.
It’s your digital mothership, after all, responsible for enticing visitors, informing prospects, and generating some sweet enquiries. But unlike a mothership, a website doesn’t require any sort of rocket science. It just needs a good sorting!
Here are some essential features your business website should have.
The ‘Hero Section’ refers to the big area that shows up on the home screen under your logo and menu. It’s there to give your visitor immediate access to key information about your business, without them even having to scroll. Ideally, the Hero Section will include information about:
- What you do
- Why it’s awesome
- What actions they should take
If you can combine a captivating hero image or video with a compelling headline, subheading and call to action, you’re onto not just a hero section, but a LEGEND section.
On a scale of Batman to Green Lantern, how cool is your Hero Section?
Call to actions (CTAs)
You could have the prettiest, fastest, fanciest website in the world, but it wouldn’t be worth a darn thing if it didn’t convert visitors into customers. That’s what call to actions are for.
In addition to the call to action in your hero section, your website should be chock full of clear, compelling CTAs across most of your pages. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for the visitor to make a purchase, submit a contact form, subscribe to a newsletter, or do whatever else it is you want them to do.
You may have heard on the grapevine that crafting CTAs is a delicate artform, requiring careful and clever wordplay. But in most cases, there’s really no need to overthink it. You can’t go wrong with a simple ‘Book a free meeting’.
Fast load speeds
The reasons you need fast load speeds on your website are twofold. The first is because slow load speeds are annoying as hell, and will deter most visitors before they even get the chance to see your website.
The second is for SEO purposes. The Google Search Console takes load speed into account, so if your website is running slower than a sedated tortoise, it’s going to seriously affect your rankings.
How to improve your load speeds? That question needs a whole blog for itself. For starters though, make sure you’re using a good server provider. Have a look around at options – we use SiteGround and have no complaints.
Mobiles went and got themselves very powerful, such that people use them for pretty much everything, including browsing the web. You can safely assume that at least half the people visiting your website will be doing so on their mobile. It’s imperative, therefore, that your site is mobile friendly.
Sadly, mobile friendliness doesn’t happen automatically. You have to manually ensure that your site will display nicely on smaller screens. If your site hasn’t been optimised for mobile, it will be immediately obvious, and will repel your visitors before you have the chance to woo them.
As a general rule, the longer a visitor stays on your website, the higher the likelihood they will make an enquiry. A big, BIG factor determining the amount of time people stay on your site is the ease of navigation, or lack thereof.
For starters, you’ll want clear tabs at the top of each page. The goal is to make it as easy and fast as possible for visitors to get certain information.
You’ll also want to make sure all your links go where they say they go, and that they are not broken. Broken and misleading links are more common than you might think. Feel free to use tools like Screamingfrog to help you find broken links.
This is perhaps going to sound a bit wishy-washy, because good SEO isn’t just a button you can press; it’s a complex, extensive web of numerous strands which combine to rank your website higher. But the fact remains: SEO foundations are mega important.
No one’s expecting you to become an SEO savant overnight, but there are a few foundational steps you can take to improve your website’s base SEO. In addition to adding the above features (they all contribute!), you should:
- Use the correct title tags to structure your webpages (H1 at the top of the page, H2 for headings, and H3 for subheadings)
- Optimise your title tags to include relevant keywords and a clear, compelling message
- Create high-quality, keyword-rich content that’s easy to read and provides value to your visitors
- Submit your website to relevant directories and search engines (i.e Google Search Console).
Help is at hand
While this list is far from exhaustive, it should point you in the direction of getting an all-rocking, all-rolling website that can attract visitors and convert them into customers.