Before we talk about the essential elements of a website, it’s worth discussing what goals it can achieve first. Check the list below and verify that this is the case for your site. If not, it will probably be worth refining it in this respect. Make a note of what to change on it to support your business even more.
Goals of the company website:
Building trust – this is by far the most important of the goals of every website for a micro, small and medium company. The small business website is proof that it exists and operates on the market. But just having a company website is not enough. Users visiting it should get the impression that they are dealing with professionals and that it is worth considering using their services. Trust will allow you to attract new customers without getting involved in advertising. When you build them – you will also be able to achieve higher margins than your competitors and efficiently implement projects – when the client feels that he has entrusted the work in good hands, he will not interfere in your projects.
Be found -thanks to the company’s website users will learn about the existence of your business. For example, you can reach a new group of clients or acquire business partners.
Providing information – the website must state what you do and what problems you solve, who you are, how to get to you, how to contact you or place an order. Basic information is necessary because for someone to use your offer they must understand what you do. Communicate it clearly, presenting your company, offer, and experience, as well as implementations. Providing you with all the information you need also gives you the benefit of saving time – when a customer learns everything they need to know, you won’t have to spend time answering his questions.
Education – your website should allow you to learn more about your products/services and their applications. You can publish valuable content on your blog, organize webinars, offer e-books for download – think what form of communication will be appropriate for your target group.
Converting – a website should be built so that as many people as possible decide to send a request for an offer, fill out the contact form on the website, generate valuable sales leads, or book a visit.
A website can also perform other, additional functions, e.g. help in finding employees.
Your website must be user-friendly
You want your customers to feel good about using your services. Let them feel they have chosen the right person and that you will do what they pay for well. Similarly, you should care that everyone who visits your website feels confident about it. So that he can use it comfortably and find what he was looking for there without problems. Your task is to make it as easy as possible for him. To do this, make sure that your company website has 4 features.
4 features of the user-friendly website:
1) FEATURE 1: Adaptation to different devices
The days when we browsed websites only on computers are long over, so you need a page that users can conveniently use from a mobile phone or tablet. The pace of life is getting faster and we are looking for services when we are at work, at home, but also on the bus or train, so you need a website that can be viewed in various circumstances.
What is a responsive website?
Responsiveness means “relevance”, however when we define a website as such, it means that it is suitable for all devices on which it can be opened. In other words, all of its content will display correctly on screens of all sizes, desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.
The responsive website is automatically adjusted to the device resolution and thanks to this all the website content is visible. The user can freely and conveniently browse such a page e.g. on a mobile phone and does not have to move the content of each subpage sideways, enlarge a small font, photos, etc.
Why do you need a responsive website?
You can still find many websites that look good only when displayed on a computer screen. However, if you open the page on your mobile phone, there is a problem. It takes a lot of effort to find the content we are looking for, or even switch between subpages. This is because the width and structure of the website are not adapted to the resolution of mobile devices (and yet the smartphone has a screen much higher than the wider, and the laptop the opposite). This is a big mistake because at present over 50% of website traffic comes from mobile devices (mainly mobile phones).
This is a very large group of potential customers, and you can’t afford to lose them. If your site will not display well on mobile phones, you will probably lose half of your website visitors’ attention and the chance to become your customers. Decide on a responsive website to give them a good experience of using your website, and they will stay there much longer. However, if it will not match the resolution of their device, they will probably leave it very soon – customers today are very comfortable.
Importantly, the time spent on the site is one of Google’s ranking factors. So, if the bounce rate (the percentage of users who visit only the main page and do not go to any other subpage) is high, your site will be perceived by the search engine algorithm as useless, not corresponding to the needs of its visitors, and therefore its position in Google will be lower and will go down. Remember that the competition is not sleeping. If it has responsive pages, then users interested in services like yours will reach them, not you.
Responsive or mobile website?
Two solutions allow you to get a website tailored to display on your mobile phone: responsive and mobile. What is the difference?
The mobile website is the second version of the website, created specifically for the requirements of mobile devices. However, in the case of a responsive page, the contractor creates only one page that automatically adapts to the devices on which it is displayed.
A much more popular solution is responsive websites in RWD technology because they are cheaper – both in terms of their creation and maintenance. We pay only for one page, and mobile pages – for two versions of the site. A responsive page has one URL, and the mobile page must have a different URL than the desktop. In the case of RWD pages, there is also no phenomenon of content duplication and there is no need to update the content twice on each of the mobile and regular pages, so this process can be carried out faster. As of today, we can say that responsive websites are becoming the standard.
Check if the contractor creates responsive pages
To adapt the website to mobile devices, web designers create responsive websites or a separate mobile version of the website. Before you choose a person who will create a page for you, check their portfolio and open individual pages on your mobile phone. Check if they look good. Be sure to ask if the page created for you will be responsive.
2) FEATURE 2: Intuitive navigation
You already know that your website should be comfortable to use. Well-designed and well-thought-out navigation should also serve this purpose. Its pillar is the menu visible on the page, but the navigation should also be placed in the footer. The use of tile navigation and the so-called hamburger.
What subpages should the small business website contain?
Typical subpages for small businesses are Home, Offer (Products, Services), About us (About us, Team), Portfolio (Realizations), Price list and Contact. This does not mean, however, that exactly such tabs are to be included in your menu.
View competition pages and think about the subpages that are specific to your industry. For example, in the case of restaurants it will be Menu, and in the case of hotel facilities – Rooms. Think about what your customers can get and what your competition rarely has. If you run a guest house, the Tourist attractions subpage will certainly be very encouraging.
Before you start designing navigation, be sure to think about what content your site should contain to effectively convince you to take advantage of your company’s offer. The content should form a coherent story leading the potential customer from the first hearing about your company, by getting to know its offer, the value you offer, how you deliver it until the purchase, i.e. the transformation of the potential customer into a real customer!
Why is the menu on the company website important?
The purpose of the menu is to show the content of the page or at least its most important elements. It is to enable quick access to the most important information on your site and ensure easy navigation and return to the main page. Usually, a clickable company logo is placed on the menu that takes users to the home page. Small business pages usually use horizontal menus, but you can also find sites that have a vertical menu.
If you design a website’s navigation well, users will spend a lot of time on your site, and you care about it. You want users to visit various tabs on your website, and to become familiar with your offer, price list, and become convinced to use your services. The more time spent on the website means also better positions in search results.
Not only your potential customers move on your side, but also Google robots. The better the structure of the menu and links on your site, the better it will evaluate and will be rewarded with a better position in search results. To sum up: good navigation effectively supports positioning.
Website menu – how to plan it?
Take a pen and paper and try to plan the menu scheme. You can also ask for the opinion of the developer of your website, but it is much better to go to him with an outline of what you plan. Use clear names of subpages in the menu so that users know what kind of content they will find in a given tab.
The order of items on the menu matters. In the beginning, there should always be a homepage (you don’t have to put it as a menu item if your company logo will be linked to it). Usually, there is a subpage About the company, then subpages related to the Offer, and then Portfolio, Blog, and Contact, which is always at the end.
Don’t put too many items on the menu. When you use more than 7, the menu may not be readable. Do you have many materials that you want to put on your website? Calmly. Not all of them need to be included in the menu. A popular practice is e.g. using a submenu, e.g. placing subpages with individual services in the Offer tab. You can also publish sitelinks as a list on the related subpage.
It’s also a good idea to put your business phone number and business email address above the menu. This way you will make it easier for users to contact you.