Whether you’re building from scratch or curious about how your current website stacks up, you’ll want to know about these seven essentials for optimal website functionality.
Your site’s content should serve two masters. The first is your site visitor. The text and images they see will either grab them and keep them engaged or be so meh, they don’t stay and abandon their search with you. The second master is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and its army of bots that crawl the “interwebs” looking for specific keywords.
Keeping content fresh is important. Weekly is a good cadence for publishing new content, but if you can publish more frequently, all the better. When optimized for search engines, your content provides fuel. Higher SEO rankings make it more likely that you’ll attract new visitors while providing current customers, members, and donors information that shows your thought leadership and expertise. Of course, the other big benefit of new content is that you can share it through relevant websites, email campaigns, and your social media accounts.
You want your visitors to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. For that reason, use familiar terms and avoid getting too clever with navigation names. Another tip is to know what content is important on your website, then make sure you account for it in your navigation. Be sure to track your website’s analytics to determine your site’s most popular pages and visitor behavior.
Multiple Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
What do you want your website visitor to do? Buy a product? Leave a review? Schedule a demo? Make a donation? These are all examples of CTAs, and they can generally be positioned at the top or the bottom of your homepage, as well as on appropriate subpages. A button is a popular device, but not the only one. A CTA can also be a link in a line of text. Strong CTAs are important website features that boost your website’s functionality and lead visitors to their next steps.
Mobile-friendly sites are a must as consumers have turned to their mobile devices for … well, everything. If your site doesn’t play well with a smartphone or tablet, you might not be connecting with your target audience. By prioritizing mobile responsiveness, you’re sending customers and website visitors a clear message that you value them and their time. It doesn’t hurt that responsive design favorably affects your rankings in search engines.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization – should result in more traffic to your website. Whether you want more sales, more leads, or more donations, you should be taking steps to improve your SEO. Our first tip is to provide fresh content on a regular cadence. That’s what your site visitors will see. And so will search engine crawlers.
Those crawlers can also “see” content that’s part of your page but isn’t visible to your visitors. A meta description is a good example. This description is an element that summarizes a web page. The tag is included as a snippet in a SERP (search engine results page) and gives the searcher a quick understanding of a page. Image tags are also bot-friendly. Tagging means you’re describing the content of an image. For example, your visitors will see an image of a car, but the bot will see “affordable used car.” Want more about SEO? Read this post.
A quality contact form is one of the features of a good website you’ll want to make sure is on yours. The contact form allows your visitor to request additional information while giving you a new lead. For maximum effectiveness, request the visitor provide clear, concise information. Also, make sure you give thorough step-by-step instructions for completing the form. Secondarily, the form should be eye-pleasing.
This last item is less a specific feature and more of a web design basic tenet: Your authentic brand should shine through! Every site element should reflect your brand through images and copy crafted in your voice. Your About Us page should tell your story. Whether you put these items on that page or elsewhere, your mission, vision, and values should be part of your website to help visitors quickly understand whether your organization is a good fit for them.
At Higher Information Group, we have a WordPress website design and creative team ready to help ensure your website has every item on this website features list. Our experts can build your site from scratch or modify your current site so it has optimal website functionality and engaging content. Contact us today!