Top 10 Features Your Website Needs in 2020
January 13 2020
Website design trends come and go, but there are some top website features that you need to embrace if you don’t want your online presence to seem hopelessly out of date.
The online world is constantly changing. Every day web designers and developers tweak their code in search of some new element that will capture viewers to encourage them to stay longer on your website. They even look for smaller elements that can simplify online navigation or improve page load times.
While you can’t be expected to jump on every new design trend, nor should you, we’ve assembled our list of what we consider the top website features you NEED to have in 2020 and beyond.
- Mobile friendly
This is not a new trend. Responsive websites have been around for years, but if you haven’t checked out your website on a mobile device or tablet lately, we can guarantee your customers have. Mobile website traffic is up 222% in the last 7 years and is only going to keep growing. Probably half of your traffic is coming from mobile devices, so make sure they are having the same great experience as your desktop viewers.
INFOGRAPHIC TO LINK TO (backlink)
2. A Blog
Yes, you need a blog. Content marketing is not a passing fad – it’s here to stay! You don’t need to post LONG blogs, but blogs are essential for your search ranking and for building trust with your audience. A blog with recent, regular posts shows that you care about your website and it’s visitors, while also updating your site regularly. It’s also a great place for you to share your unique vision and express your “why’s”. Why you have your site, what your unique selling proposition is and why visitors should do business with you.
Not a writer? Never fear! There are plenty of ghostwriters out there who can handle your content marketing. Find one who understands you and who can write in your voice to support your brand.
3. Sign Up Form
If you have a regularly maintained website, you’re sharing great content regularly and you’re getting good traffic, you need a way to pull people back again. The easiest way to do this is to have a sign-up form on your website so you can build an email list of your customers. This can be a form in your footer or a quick pop-up on your home page. You can also offer a small incentive for signing up like a discount, or free printable.
Have you been on enough eCommerce sites that you can tell at a glance which are hosted on Shopify and which are on WooCommerce? It’s probably because the people who built those sites didn’t put enough of themselves into their website! Take the time to put YOUR unique spin on your website, or work with a professional designer who will. You want your visitors to recognize your brand anywhere they go without having to guess. Keeping your website up to speed with your brand will ensure this always happens. This can be anything from the colours, your logo, or even just your catch phrases.
Your website doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it’s on the web! Each strand is connected to another, and your website visitors have followed various strands to arrive on your site. Having useful links to other websites improves your users experience. By linking to other sites you also improve your search engine ranking, ultimately bringing more visitors.
This feature will live on the backend of your website, but is very important. Having good analytics that capture your traffic, where they’re coming from, what pages they spend the most time on and at what point they move on will help you make improvements to your website to reach your goals. Google Analytics is still the number one tool out there, but other tools like HotJar and Facebook Pixel can also provide valuable customer data. You’ll want to make sure you are looking at your analytics at least once a month to find any areas for improvement or to celebrate some good wins.
7. Contact Information / Chat
You need to give your customers a way to contact you. Email is great, so are your facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts, but the latest top website feature for customer contact is live chat.There are free chat services like Facebook Messenger you can integrate into your website, and you can also set up auto-responders for your most frequently asked questions. The ability to reach you directly and QUICKLY will really set you apart from your competitors.
8. Social Media Links
Your business needs to be on social media. No question. BUT, if you feel overwhelmed by the options out there take a deep breath and relax – you don’t need to be on ALL of them! Tiktok is not going to be for everyone. Just choose two or three platforms that you enjoy and do those really well, rather than being on 5 platforms, getting overwhelmed and not posting regularly to any of them. We recommend you start with one that you really enjoy and then branch out to more as you get comfortable.
Images speak louder than words, so break up the informative text you want your visitors to read with lots of engaging images. Overlay text onto your images to help get your message across, and summarize blocks of text with infographics. Don’t forget to optimize your images for your website by making them the right size and compressing them down to take up less space.
Here are a few of our favourite sites to get FREE stock images:
10. Shareable or Downloadable content
Your website will get more hits, and more shares if you have a great useful file that people who want your product need. Other sites will link to it, visitors will bookmark it, or share your site on social media to let others know about your great content!
Bonus – Accessibility
Just as a brick and mortar store can increase their customer base by adding a ramp so people with mobility issues can enter, you can increase your potential visitors by ensuring that the visually impaired have the same experience on your site as anyone else. Ensure that your images have descriptive alt-text, and that any videos have subtitles and descriptions.
You can learn more about the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines for Canada here: https://hostingcanada.org/canadian-website-accessibility-guidelines/
If you are ready to level up your website, but are feeling overwhelmed by all the work – give us a call. We can get all of this done for you without the stress. All you have to do is say yes and tell us your goals!