Do you already have a corporate website for your business or you are looking to build a new one for your next project and ventures? Clueless on what are the features and functionalities you would like on your website? With an endless list of features and functionalites that you can implement for your website, it’s really overwhelming to know what are the things that you should focus on.
Know what are your requirements and you would be in a better position to describe what you stand for. Here are our top 5 affordable website design features and functionalies you should have for your small businesses. It’s time to ensure your audience have a postive experience on your site, enhance your business digital presence and get them to start talking about you.
Security and Reduce Spam
There are primarily 2 ways to allow your audience to reach out to you via email. One way would be to display the email address directly on the website, another way would be to integrate it to a contact form which you can set a designated email address to receive the inquiries made from it.
Email addresses that are visibly available on the website are a potential disaster move as spammers and harvesters can get them easily. Imagine having to spend both the time and effort to go through each email instead of focusing on the most important tasks on hand.
With a contact form, the email addresses are hidden from public view and only you would know the exact email address to receive all inquiries. This, in turn, reduces spam and also further improves the quality of the inquiries as clients that spend time filling up a contact form are normally better than those that would send a few sentences inquiries.
Control of Received Information
Contact form allows you to specify and then capture the exact information that you would require from your customers. This is not possible to control and manage on your end if your customers choose to email you directly as there’s no way you can know what they are typing in their inquiries.
You should also pair up with an FAQ page on your website so that all frequently asked questions are addressed directly on the page itself, this reduces the manpower required to answer repetitive questions such as “Do you deliver to?”, “What are the prices for your services?”, etc.
Internal Email Notifications
Do you require a specific email address to capture different types of inquiries?
In a contact form, you can provide drop-down options in which you can allow your audience to set on the type of inquiries be it a sales or technical questions. It also allows you to set-up multiple email notifications which can then be sent to relevant departments like sales, customer and technical support.
If you are listing your email addresses directly on the website, the chances of emails sending to the correct department would be high. Having a contact form ensures that all inquiries are addressed and accounted for. For example, the sales department might have forgotten to forward the email to the customer support department when they received an inquiry on customer support.
Convenience And Time-Saving
You would always want to keep your customers on your website, without directing them elsewhere. If you are allowing them to send inquiries via their email software, this turns always the attention and focus and it’s really hard to get them coming back.
For example, clicking on this link firstname.lastname@example.org will open up their default mail client and takes them away from your website. A contact form forces them to stay on your website, which will improve both your bounce rate and session duration of each visit.
Choosing And Prioritising Social Media Platforms
Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. LinkedIn. Pinterest. YouTube. SnapChat. Social media can either be your main marketing strategy or it an extension of your marketing channel which you can leverage to reach out to your audience. There are a lot of social media platforms out there and which should I focus on?
Focus on where your customers are and where they hang out. Are they looking on Facebook posts for your services or are they searching for videos to find out more about you? Are they looking for professional advice on LinkedIn?
Knowing where your customers are, allow you to come up with a strategic plan to cater for each individual platform. Start small first and when you can see results, it’s easier to move on to other social media platforms.
Connecting To Your Audience
Your customers have their own preferences and preferred way of communication. Some might want to send you a direct message on Facebook or tweet at you instead of sending inquiries through your contact page. , It’s very important to cater and address for each of their preferences to avoid any leaks in your marketing funnel and it shows that you are paying attention to them.
By leveraging on these social media platforms, you are integrating your business to the digital world, improving your brand awareness, and opening up to a market of young audiences. Make yourself more relatable and available, and in turn, you got yourself a new customer.
Easy Sharing And Referring
All social media platforms have tools which you can easily share your content easily and is normally carried out through a click of a button.
Provide your customers incentives to share your content instead of just sharing “Please like and share my business!”. For example, if you are in the plumbing industry, you can share a step by step video with instructions on how to unclog a choked basin. Be an authority in your field and shows that you care about your customers, and let them know that you are always there for them when they need help.
Improved User Experience On Site
How many mobile devices do you own and what’s the amount of time you spend each day on them versus on your laptop and desktop? Having a responsive website design is not an option, it’s a must!
Here in Singapore, 8 out 10 people owns a smartphone or any other smaller devices and mobile usage has already overtaken desktop use since the year 2015. With the rollout of advanced smartphones and 5G network, the adoption of smaller devices is here to stay. Based on just these reasons alone, it’s important to make sure your website looks and presents well across all devices, be it from your work computer to your iPhone. Ensuring a consistent and viewing experience on all devices improves the user experiences on your website. No one likes to pinch and zoom on a website that they can barely read.
“I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.” — Georg C. Lichtenberg.
Increase Search Traffic And Visibility
On April 21, 2015, Google rolls out the Mobile-Friendly update. One keynote to take away from would be that website that is mobile-friendly would be ranked higher on mobile search results compared to websites that are not mobile-friendly.
To check if your website is mobile-friendly, you can use the free Mobile-Friendly Test Tool provided by Google. Enter the URL, click on the “Test URL” button, and wait for the results. If the website is not mobile-friendly, there will be a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search.
Designing your website with responsive website design in mind ensures your website performs well on all devices and ranks higher compared to your competitors’ website that is not mobile-friendly.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and imagine that you are looking for a service or a product. Would you prefer a website that is designed with you in mind or just a website that only cares about what they are selling?
When your customer first set foot on your website, it will form the very first impression of your business. Within the first few seconds, they will start to conceive ideas and further actions that they will take. Having the correct website design features and functionalities will stand out between you and your competitors. Good web design keeps them on your website and a bad design turns them into your competitors’ customers.
Think of good web design as an employee in one of your physical stores. Would you want your customers to see someone with a friendly and smiling face, or would you want someone with a frown?
What are some of your favorite web design features or functionalities?