While every website has (and should have) something unique to offer, we can’t deny the fact the most efficient ones have core elements and features that they share in common with each other.
After all, it can be very easy for online visitors to get frustrated and leave the website if it’s missing the foundations needed to provide a good user experience. What’s more, is that they won’t even notice what you have to offer if they can’t even navigate through your site from the get-go. This applies to various types of websites and even includes all-in-one marketing platforms.
Hence, in this article, we are going to share with you the seven must-have features that every website needs. Let’s get started!
Descriptive About Us Page
One of the steps that are frequently advised in “how to start a business” articles is to create a website. Unfortunately, though, they usually don’t tell you where to start. For us, the best way to start a website is to write a descriptive About Us page.
Every website needs one. Online visitors will usually visit this page to gauge the credibility of your business after all, as well as get to know more about you, your team, and business history.
Anyway, here are some tips on how to go about writing your about page:
- Make it descriptive yet concise. It’s always a good idea to write your about page in a friendly and easy-to-read tone, depending on how you want to portray your brand. Other companies opt for a more professional about page. That’s okay as well. Don’t get too carried away, though, and write an entire novel. Keep it short and sweet.
- Tell a story. Speaking of novels, your “About Us” page should tell your business’ journey so far and what it hopes to achieve in the future.
- Don’t just stick with words. It’s ideal to add visual elements to your about page. Choose photos and videos that will further support your story and feature your business in the best way possible.
A Clear Call-to-Action
Another essential element in creating a website is having a clear call-to-action (or CTA). We often hear the term used in marketing, but what does it mean?
In essence, it is a short statement that tells someone what to do. It can be as simple as a clickable button that says “buy now”. However, we do recommend coming up with something more creative than that, especially one that encapsulates what you want your website to achieve.
Good Search Engine Key Phrases
We do recognize, though, that there are business websites out there, albeit rare, that only seeks to boost their online reputation. They don’t really intend to sell their products and services from their website, hence the absence of a proper CTA.
Regardless, every business website needs strategically placed key phrases that are relevant to their brand. These keywords are critical for two reasons:
- It gives the online visitor an idea of what your website is about, and whether or not he is in the right place.
- Aside from your readers, search engines like Google and Bing use these keywords to determine the content of your website and when to show them in search results.
Remember, though, that the days of keyword stuffing are long gone. While they are still mandatory, please refrain from overloading your page with keywords. You might even get your website penalized from doing so!
Instead, invest in high-quality content that mentions your keyword once or twice. You can certainly write your own articles. However, you can always seek the services of an actual writer if you’re not that confident.
There are numerous freelance writers in online job marketplaces like UpWork and Fiverr that you can hire as needed. Just be specific on what you want your article to say, the tone you want it written in, and of course, the keywords that you need to be included in the post.
Let’s be honest. There are only so many pages that you can add to a website before it gets too crowded. The solution? Adding a blog.
This is the perfect space where you can post relevant articles and information that still add value to your online visitors but don’t really need to be on the main website.
Here’s a pro tip: You can use your keyword phrase to determine related topics by doing a quick search. Answering the related question results also helps. This will send a message to search engines that your website has extensive information about this particular topic and boost your search result ranking.
Looking into the blog posts of your competitor’s website or blog also helps. What has your competitor written? And more importantly, what have they yet to write?
You might be wondering, though, how are your online visitors going to find your blog posts? There are two main ways. First, they can stumble upon it in search engine result pages thanks to the keywords included in the article. Or better yet, they can find it on your website through the search function.
Standalone landing pages don’t really need this feature, but regular websites with multiple pages do, especially those with blogs.
Place your search bar where it will get easily seen. Web developers usually put them on top of the main landing page beside (or as part of) the menu.
Since we’re already talking about the menu, another essential element is straightforward navigation. You don’t have to restrict yourself to a full navigation bar, especially with multiple pages that simply won’t fit into the width of the page.
Instead, we recommend a hamburger menu combined with dropdowns for better site mapping and organization.
It is the (now universally used) icon with three bars floating atop each other. These bars literally look like two buns and a patty in between, hence the name.
There are certainly other elements out there that you should consider incorporating into your web design, but those that we have mentioned above sets a strong foundation that you can just build on later on.