Essential features for a business website

There was once a time when nobody had a website… actually, not even that long ago. Hard to believe really with the internet being the powerful tool that it is in today’s globally connected world. A multidisciplinary instrument for people to create content, communicate with one and other and even escape reality.  These days we have the power to create our own virtual shop window. A place for our consumer to find out everything they need to know before they even pick up the phone and we can do this because these days almost every business has a website…or they should.  

We have put together a list of the essential features of a business website. 

 

Domain name 

Your domain name is an important piece of branding. It is how your customer will navigate to your website and should contain the name they will associate you with from here on out. 

 As you will already know .com is the run of the mill domain extension and these days, doesn’t really stand out from the crowd. This is because many of the .com domains are already taken so the opportunity to be unique is difficult, and why more companies are using .co and .io instead. Make no mistake though .com is still king, so if your domain name is available with the .com extension…grab it! 

Some businesses are going a step further and being much more creative; using extensions specifically for their niche, such as .pizza, .london and .shop, just as examples. While it is good to stand out, it is also important not to over complicate too! Make sure your domain is memorable, simple and snappy. 

Remember that your website isn't only trying to beat the competition; it's actually fighting to be seen among millions of other registered domain names! 

 

Choose a good hosting solution 

If your website is your shop your hosting is the foundations the shop is built on, therefore it’s important that it’s both reliable and able to cope under pressure.  A good hosting set-up will be scalable – so that it’s able to deal with spikes in website traffic, cloud-based or virtualised – so that there is no “single point of failure” from a physical data centre, and managed appropriately – for example by a specialist IT company with 24/7 proactive monitoring. 

 

Make it responsive! 

It’s amazing to see even in this day and age how many websites have been built and do not consider the huge variety of browsers and devices used to view them.  Mobile devices are gaining more and more of a share in our browsing behaviours and consumers are more confident than ever when it comes to purchasing goods and services via their smartphones.  Your website should respond accordingly regardless of the device used to view it on! 

 

 

Have a content plan 

It is a well known saying in the world of marketing that “content is king” – and this is absolutely the case when it comes to building and maintaining a high quality business website.  The content you place on your site can be made to work for you when it comes to generating interest in your business.  SEO (search engine optimisation) is heavily influenced by the type of content you have on your site, where search engines such as Google lookout for the titles of your webpages and content contained within when deciding how to rank your website against certain keywords.  Make sure you consider the types of keywords that people may search for when you write content for your website as this could have positive impact on your business later on in the case of “organic” traffic driven to your site via SEO.  Not sure where to start?  Google’s keyword planner can help you decide. 

 

Keep it speedy 

One factor that is well documented as a positive SEO factor is the speed in which your website loads for a user.  Make sure that whatever content or code you place on your website is optimised for to facilitate short loading times.  Some common tactics include image optimisation, JavaScript minification, and prioritised loading order of site assets.  Nobody likes waiting for things to load – that includes your prospective customers and even Google! 

 

Design to impress 

You want your website to portray your brand in a way that excites and engages your users.  Try to imagine your site as the digital extension of your business – your online storefront if you will.  Make sure you take inspiration from other sites and design aspects you’ve seen in your day to day life, carry your brand guidelines into the digital world and don’t be afraid to be a little different to stand out from the crowd.  Many websites for example now use compressed video content to showcase their services on their homepages and landing pages to create that “wow” factor for new and existing customers. 

 

Not sure where to start?  Dynamic Edge have decades of experience in building websites that deliver results for clients.  Contact us today to find out how we can give your website a facelift!