If you’re looking to develop a new business website, then you’ll be carefully considering the layout, structure, design, navigation and features. This planning phase is critical and often takes some time to get right. It is also well worth carrying out research into other sites, particularly when you have competitors with an excellent online presence. Take the time to establish what exactly is making their digital assets so strong. One of the biggest things to consider is your image and if you get this wrong it can be a catastrophe. If you use a Branding Agency through sites like Branding Agency Really Helpful Marketing
Excellent Features for ‘Stickability’
All websites want to be ‘sticky’ for customers, meaning that they will stay on the site rather than immediately moving away elsewhere. Ideally, they will stay around long enough to carry out the intended action. This may be to sign up, register or even purchase. http://mashable.com/2012/02/09/website-must-haves/
Make sure you have clear and legible business information and a visible security accreditation that shows your website is safe. Excellent navigation is a must, as is a mobile-friendly and responsive website that can adjust to different digital devices. Customer self-service is an excellent feature, especially where the online account area is feature-rich and simple to use, and integration with social media and payment platforms are also welcomed.
If you’re looking for web designers some companies provide you with an expert team of developers who can give you specific advice about the features most valued by customers in your target market.
Hosting is also very important, as customers are rapidly turned off by a slow and unresponsive website, so invest in a good solution and consider disaster recovery too in case your digital assets are threatened in any way.
Thinking About Content
Consider content carefully as well, as most websites are ultimately content-driven, and the quality of content can be considered as a feature in itself. What will encourage your customers to come back for more? Do they want to read the latest news, opinion pieces from thought leaders, provocative copy or product updates? Do your research and invest in content production and updating, which you can share across your integrated social media channels for greater reach. Some sites go a step further and ask their customers, members or panellists to contribute content themselves. This can create a community feel and really encourage users to keep coming back for more. Remember that the key is to create genuine and sustained value via your website for the target audience.
Which Features Don’t You Need?
As any web developer will tell you, gimmicks such as music and Flash animations are unnecessary. A designer will tell you that stock images are also a no-no wherever possible. Today’s websites are largely clean and simple to use, with a lot of thought put into the navigation, structure and ease of a seamless customer journey. Keep the aesthetic pure, and use a template system wherever possible such as WordPress, as these are familiar to customers and easy to use. A good rule of thumb when considering features is to ask yourself whether or not they are essential, useful or nice to have, and then consider their usage accordingly.
What features do you value most in your favourite business websites?