New year, new you: that’s how the old saying goes, anyway. But what about your business? Just like individuals trying to get healthier, build better habits, and become their best selves, businesses should focus on their New Year’s resolutions, too.
One resolution that’s simple — but highly effective — is revamping your business website. The trend of web-based business that has defined business in the 21st century is only continuing, and your website is truly the face of your business.
That means, as we roll into 2021, it’s essential that you have cutting-edge, state-of-the-art features on your website that keeps customers and clients coming back. Not sure where to start the business site overhaul? Check out these five simple but high-impact features you can add to your site this year for bigger and better business.
Informative, engaging content
Content is king — this is the refrain you’ll hear from SEO (that’s search engine optimization) and CRO (conversion rate optimization) professionals. Never heard of SEO and CRO? Time for your crash course:
- SEO helps your page appear higher on search results. You know that number one link you always click on whenever you Google anything? That’s what you’re aiming for when optimizing your page.
- CRO helps page visitors convert into customers once they’re already browsing your website. It increases the number of visitors who actually follow through with a purchase.
What does that have to do with content? Well, the way that Google works means that pages that have informative content — think blogs, videos, how-to’s and FAQs — appear higher up on search results. They also often have better conversion rates, too, as users are more likely to purchase goods from a site they feel comfortable on and interested in.
Having good web strategy is essential to building your business’s revenue throughout 2021. So, while you’re building up your site’s content, here’s something else to consider including.
Tools and resources
In addition to engaging written and AV content, it’s smart to build useful industry-related tools to embed on your web pages, whether in the articles, or as their own stand-alone pages. What sorts of tools and resources are users most interested in? That depends on the nature of your business.
For instance, if you sell wellness supplements, users might appreciate a quiz that helps them pick the right set of vitamins for their lifestyle. If you’re a trendy, web-based clothing brand, you could implement a tool that allows users to style different looks on a model before buying. Financial-product-based businesses often include calculators as part of their suite of online tools — like a calculator that allows users to project their earnings with investments, or helps them build a budget. For instance, Trust & Will has a learn center page that allows the user to find different articles and resources around trusts, estate planning, etc.
Tools work similarly to content when it comes to your overarching strategy. They allow users to engage meaningfully with your site, build trust and confidence, and often help you appear higher on search results. Then, all that translates into higher sales and revenue.
Customer-centric customer service
Isn’t that a little redundant? Nope. Customer service should be focused on customer satisfaction — you’d be surprised how few businesses take this simple but effective message to heart. Many businesses run their customer service wing primarily as damage control, hoping to prevent 1-star reviews while faily to truly help customers with their problem.
Instead, the smart thing to do is to actually invest in customer service. It might be difficult to build up a team of reps ready to tackle challenges, but you can start by including an automated chat client on your web page. Often, customers have problems that can be quickly and simply resolved by scrolling through a few options, or chatting with an automated customer service agent.
There are plenty of sites already implementing automated help chats, and often with great results. Be sure to look into the different businesses offering automated chat services so you can find the one that suits your business model best.
Intuitive site architecture
Nobody likes clicking around a website, frustrated, failing to find the information they need. That’s why intuitive information architecture is essential to building a website that users actually feel comfortable on (pro tip: it actually helps with your SEO, too!).
For instance, having a clearly designed interface with a menu that users can click through to find the categories they need is a great way to make your website user-friendly. Popular products or services, customer service, FAQs, and blog content should all be easy to find within a couple of seconds. Longer than that, and you may start using frustrated users who can turn to a better-organized competitor.
Hand-in-hand with intuitive site architecture is beautiful design. It’s a simple point, but it’s one that’s worked for millennia: people like buying pretty things, and they like when stores are comfortable and beautiful — even online stores. A clunky, outdated site is likely to turn away users looking for a fresh and fun experience.
Hiring a graphic designer may seem expensive, but the returns on investment will speak for themselves. After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression; don’t waste it by having an unappealing site. If you’re not sure what to look for in contemporary web design, here are a few pointers:
- Beautiful imagery: With so many gorgeous 4K HD stock photos available online, there’s no reason not to have large, engaging, well-lit photographs all over your site.
- Clean font: No, Arial doesn’t count — whether they realize it or not, customers will immediately think of government documents if you use a common font like Arial or Times on your site. Opt for a fun-and-fresh typeface that draws users in and keeps them reading.
- Consistent color scheme: Does your brand have some signature colors? If you do, it’s a good idea to use them consistently across the site. Good graphic design doesn’t just draw users in — it helps them remember you when they need something from you later. Consistent colors will help to keep you at the forefront of their minds. For an example of this, check out Undergrads website.
There’s no one-size-fits-all way to design a site from content to graphics, but with the right strategy, and some serious time and effort put in, you’ll find the set of website features that will have your site booming all through 2021.
Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys the San Diego life, traveling and music.