13 Things Every Website Should Have
Posted on 08/10/2022 at 10:00 AM
No matter what industry you’re in or the format of your web design, every website should have these thirteen elements. Having all of these elements on your website helps set your website up for success and provide the foundation for further growth. These website features are necessary for both a strong SEO foundation and a positive user experience.
Not only is it important to have these features, but it’s also important that they meet best practices for SEO and website design. Is your website missing one of these thirteen staple elements?
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1. Clear Navigation
There is a variety of different types of website navigation menus that your website can have, from vertical navigation to dropdown menus to hamburger navigation menus. However, no matter what style of website navigation menu you choose, it should have a simple and intuitive layout. Having too many navigation options and vague wording can make it harder for users to quickly and easily find what they are looking for. This not only increases the odds that a user will exit your site, but it can also make website maintenance and management unnecessarily complex.
2. Strong & Consistent Content
Quality and consistency are key when it comes to the content on your website. Strong content means a lot of things. From good keywords to the right tone to images/graphics to making the content engaging and so on, good content includes a lot but also does a lot. Consistent content can sometimes be trickier. Some key points to keep in mind when it comes to consistency:
Branding: From color scheme to font and graphics, your branding should be consistent throughout your website. Having core pages use different fonts, a wide variety of text colors, and inconsistent graphic styles creates a messy and disjointed aesthetic throughout your website.
Writing Style: The tone and reading level throughout your website should be fairly similar. Having one page that is written very informally and one that is written like a textbook breaks the consistency between your content. This is not to say that every person writing content on your website and that every type of content should be an exact match, but that they should be within the range that is best suited to your audience.
Layout: A consistent layout not only helps users better navigate your content, but it can also be important for SEO. Proper heading hierarchy, evenly spaced content, etc., all help users and crawlers experience your website better.
3. Responsive Design
It’s vital that every page on your website is responsive. Responsive web design ensures that your website looks just as great on a smartphone as it does on a laptop or desktop. Many users will leave, not spend as much time, or not interact as much on your website if your design is not mobile-friendly.
4. Contact Us Page & Confirmation Page
Having a contact us page seems obvious, but having a great contact us page is not as simple. Important features to include on your contact us page include:
Easy to Find: It’s important to make your contact information easy to find no matter where a user is on your website. A navigation tab, footer content, and internal linking throughout the website are great ways to do this.
Multiple Methods of Contact: It’s important to give people options of how they can contact you to encourage as much engagement as possible. Include your address (if you have one), phone number, email, and a submission form so that users can easily contact you by their preferred method of communication.
Contact Confirmation Page: If you have a submission form on your contact page, it’s essential to also have a confirmation page after visitors hit submit. This not only lets them know that you’ve successfully received their submission but is also helpful for tracking completed submissions.
5. About Page(s)
The about page is another feature that seems like a no-brainer, but a great about page/section on your website should include most of the following features:
Brief History & Mission: Letting your potential and current customers know a little bit more about where your company came from and what drives your company can help build trust and understanding amongst users.
Images: Your about section is a great place to include images of your office, core products/brands/team members, etc. This helps keep your content engaging and gives users a better view into your business.
Link Building & Keywords: An about page is a great spot to work in all of your core keywords on one page and to boost your internal linking structure. Touching on and linking to your core services/product lines is a simple and easy way to achieve this.
Team/Staff: Having a section under your about page that includes your team members helps put a face behind your name. Potential customers like to see who they will be working with and learn more about the staff that makes your business possible.
Job Listings: On the staff page or on its own page, the about section is a great place to post any open positions that you are currently hiring for.
Location and Hours: If you have a physical location that customers can visit, the about section of your website is a great place to include location information. Ideally, this section would include your address, a photo of your location, and your hours of operation.
6. FAQ Page
An FAQ page provides plenty of SEO opportunities and can also help users quickly and easily find answers to common questions.
SEO Value: An FAQ page provides plenty of valuable opportunities for search engine optimization. Keywords, internal linking, additional content, etc., are all great ways to improve your SEO while also creating a more user-friendly website experience.
User Value: An FAQ page can help potential customers find answers to their questions, which can have an impact on their decision to purchase your products or services. The FAQs you include will naturally vary by your industry. For e-commerce, common FAQs include; return/exchange policy, shipping information, rewards/loyalty programs, etc. For services, common FAQs include how to set up an appointment, what to expect/bring, insurance coverage information, and more.
7. Social Icons
There are three different types of social icons that are useful to have on your website. The most important is clickable social media icons that direct website traffic to your social media channels. For pages such as blog posts, recipes, news, etc., clickable icons that allow users to share that content to their own social media can also help boost your social and website traffic.
The third type of social icon you may consider adding to your website is for your staff members. For industries such as consulting, law, investing, etc., it can be beneficial to link to your staff members' personal LinkedIn accounts on their staff profiles. This allows potential clients to learn more about the work, experience, and accomplishments of the individual they will be working with.
Every page of your website (including your website homepage) should include a call(s) to action. This can be anything from contact us, subscribe, follow us on social media, schedule an appointment, get a free quote, and so much more. Make sure to switch up your CTAs and/or include multiple different CTAs throughout your website.
No matter your industry, a testimonials page is a great page to include on your website. Seeing plenty of other satisfied customers can help influence the consumer decision-making process. Adding this page also includes the inherent benefit of more content and keywords for search engine bots to crawl. Additionally, it provides a centralized, easy spot for you/your social media marketing team to pull testimonials from to use on social.
Another major benefit of a testimonials page is its potential to generate more engagement and leads on your website. Having a submission form where past customers can submit their testimonials not only helps build out your testimonials page and gather contact information but can also help turn one-time customers into repeat customers. If you know that a customer is happy with your product/service based on the testimonial they submitted, it provides a great opportunity to build a relationship. Thank them for submitting their testimonial and offer them a deal/promo on their next order/appointment to encourage them to keep patronizing your business.
Additionally, a thank you email also provides you the opportunity to ask for a Google My Business review, subscribe to emails, follow you on social media, etc. Conversely, offering a promo/discount to encourage past customers to submit a testimonial can also help generate these benefits. Having an offer on your testimonial page (or even social media) that offers some form of promo for leaving a review (10% off your next order/service, free shipping, etc.) can encourage more testimonial submissions.
10. Tracking Capabilities
A strong digital marketing strategy, web design strategy, and content strategy all rely on the ability to track and analyze performance. Setting up Google Analytics on your website is an absolute must for tracking and analyzing performance. Adding Google Tags to pages can also be extremely beneficial. Tracking tags can tell you if one type of button is being clicked more than the other, what pages users interact with or scroll more on, etc., which can all yield extremely valuable insights.
11. Strong Internal Linking Structure
Having links on one page of your website that lead to another helps both users and search engines find important pages on your website easier. From a user experience standpoint, internal links can help direct users to related content that they may be interested in. This helps keep users on your website longer, while also increasing the potential for a conversion.
From a search engine optimization (SEO) standpoint, a strong internal linking structure helps crawlers better and more easily understand, crawl, index, and rank your website. Standard SEO best practice includes having at least two incoming internal links to important pages on your website. Diversify your internal linking by making sure to link to more pages than just contact us and/or your website's homepage. Note: Make sure your links include anchor text!
12. Subscription Options
Giving users an option to subscribe to receive email and/or text updates is a great way to grow your email marketing, customer retention, and more. Common types of website content that benefit from offering a subscription feature include:
Newsletters & Promotional Emails
News & Press Releases
Job Opening Alerts
Subscriptions encourage repeat visitors to your website, expand off-site marketing opportunities, and keep your business in the minds (and inboxes) of subscribers.
13. Footer Content
Your website footer is almost as important as your main navigation. Since your footer content displays no matter what page a user is on, it is a great (and easy) way to direct traffic and promote engagement. You don’t want your website footer to be overflowing with information and links, but you do want to include important core content. Some examples of staple content to incorporate into your website footer:
Clickable Icons to Your Social Media
Link to main pages and content on your website so that it can be easily found regardless of what page a user is on. Good pages to include in your quick links often include news/blog, about page, contact us, FAQs, and your primary services/shop page.
Get The Most Out of Your Website
These thirteen features are all important to incorporate into your website to provide a great experience for users and improve your website traffic and search engine rankings. These topics merely scratch the surface of what makes a great website.
If you’re missing any of these features, it’s time to start adding them. If your website already includes all of these features and you’re looking for other ways to improve your website, check out these articles!
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