No matter what type of website you have for your business; whether it is a blog or ecommerce site, the bottom line is that it is a “company” site. With that comes some specific items that should always be included for your visitors. These essential website items ensure that your visitors:
- Can find what they need quickly
- Convert to purchasing or recurring visitors
- Do not become frustrated while maneuvering your site
So, what are these important items? Let’s take a look!
- Easy Navigation. One thing you want from your visitors is for them to stay on your website as long as possible; whether they are reading, browsing, searching, buying, or becoming a fan – make it easy!
- Put your navigation in plain view. It is typical to have a top or side navigation; visitors to your site will be used to this, so use it. Breadcrumbs are also helpful because it shows your visitors a trail of where they went to get to their current location on your site.
- Do not nest too many menus. A drop-down navigational menu can list the different “subcategories” that apply. Those “subcategories” can have a further drill-down of more “subcategories”. Do not nest too many of these within each other or you run the risk of your users getting lost or never finding where they really want to go.
- Use a “Home” button or link. Always provide your visitors a way to get back to your main page. If they cannot find what they are looking for or want to simply start over, providing a way to go “Home” is important.
- Method of Contact. You should always include a way for your visitors to contact you. Whether you offer a contact page with a form for your visitors to use or display a simple email address or phone number, providing a way for your visitors to get in touch with you is crucial. This also shows that you are reputable. When visitors would like to contact you for questions, help, or just provide general feedback and cannot find a way to do so, it can come off as though you are hiding. Be proud of the website you have representing you and encourage visitor feedback.
- Social Media – “shares” and “follows”. There are so many social media networking sites now that it can be hard to keep up. But, the bottom line is that people love their social media and when they find something they like, they want to share it. Having buttons on your pages that allow your visitors to share that particular item, product, or article is key to spreading the good word. But remember, also providing a way for your visitors to follow you on the major social media sites is also important. Be sure to provide both and make them easily accessible.
- Consistent Branding. Keep your tagline or slogan, logo, banner, and name consistent across your site. This shows organization, care, and stability with your brand. You want your visitors to recognize and remember you!
- Offer a Newsletter or Subscribe Option. If you have a newsletter, offer your visitors an easy way to sign-up and carry that option to the different areas of the site within your wrapper or navigation. If you do not have a newsletter, then allowing visitors to subscribe to updates to your site works too. If your visitors are interested enough to visit your site, make sure that you offer them a way to keep updated or keep coming back!
When creating your site remember your visitors. Test out the different areas of your site as a user rather than an owner or ask a friend to check it out to see what may be missing or improved. You could be driving your visitors away without even knowing it!
Do you have some suggestions for what you feel is important on a website? Share your thoughts in the comments to help others!