Key features of a successful website

It does not matter what the latest trends of websites are, there are a number of must-have features that any website should have to be successful.

However, before we go any further on the features, there are 3 elements that you must consider when approaching a new website project:

  • Your website must be relevant to your target audience  – it must answer their queries, provide the solution they are looking for and in the format that works for them.
  • Your website has to deliver superior user experience, both on desktop and on mobile. Navigation must be clear and intuitive, the user journey as to be easy and straight to what they are looking for.
  • Your website must support the business goals. Don’t invest on a new website just because, make sure that your investment is design to create and support business development opportunities.

Once these elements are covered, the features you can’t miss are:

  1. Business Information

Firstly, one of the most important information that must be included in a successful website are the very basic business details. The website must be clear in what it offers and what a viewer should expect from the company e.g. the services that are being provided or what a viewer will gain from visiting the website. This needs to be clear from the very first interaction with the website, provided by the homepage, while more details can be included in the “About Us” page; this section can also provide a more personal interaction by introducing yourself and a background story of the company. 

  • Contact Information

Another feature that must be included is a Contact Information page. This should include: a telephone number, an email, a map and a contact form. Contact information is vital as it increases the chance that search engines will pull the site up and too many business forget to optimise it for SEO purposes. It is important to have a company’s contact information on a website in order to build trust and allow the company to gain credibility. This page could also include different social media options such as: Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, so that all users can choose their preferred way of contact. Importantly, Social media encourages sharing of information, and recommendations from friends and family are considered by users one of the most credible sources of information.

  • Visual Images/content

It is important to include visual information where possible in order to grab the attention of users. Many people prefer to skim over contents on a page rather than to read everything and heavy clusters of information may prevent everyone from reading what is on the website. Not only are visual aids such as icons vital in keeping users engaged, but can sometimes also explain clearer than words. Previous studies have shown that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, so pictures are imperative. Furthermore, visual content makes it easier and quicker for users to navigate the website and find what they are looking for. If people are confused and require time to find the information they are looking for, they are more likely to leave your website in favour of a different website.

  • New Content

It is essential for a website to provide new content on a regular basis. A company with a schedule and plan will have information ready in advance therefore deadlines are not missed, and users will know when to expect new content. Updating a website frequently allows more visitors to interact with the website because it gains recognition from the search engines. If a website is old and outdated, users will be less likely to trust the company and will believe that the company has nothing new to offer. The newer and relevant content there is on a website, the higher the opportunities for the site to contain more audience-specific keywords which are important for search engine indexing and rankings.

  • Credibility

In order to convince users that your site is trustworthy, it is imperative to include proof of authenticity and experience. These include: business accreditation badges, secure transaction badges, customer testimonials and reviews/case studies. This type of information helps you build a reputable brand for your business, to highlight capability and credibility, and to build trust between you and your visitors.

Trust is one of the main challenges brands face nowadays, so start from the website to help customers  make informed decisions.

  • On the go

Accessibility of your site is also another must-have. You must ensure that anyone who visits the website can view it, regardless of the browser or application they are using.

Additionally, studies show that over half of all web traffic takes place on a mobile device so successful websites must be responsive and mobile-friendly. Furthermore, Google strongly favours mobile friendliness in its SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) rakings.

About The author

Fatma Al-Ameri is a second year Accounting and Finance student at Kingston University. Prior to this degree, she completed a-levels in Maths, Psychology and Film Studies. In her free time, Fatma enjoys watching football, playing the piano, and eating burgers. Currently, Fatma is completing a Consultancy in Practice module and in this role she has started blogging about branding and marketing.

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