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Non-Negotiable Website Features in 2018

November 14, 2018 Chloe Coley

These days, it takes more than just having a website to see the benefit of a company’s online presence. In 2018, 220.6 million Americans have chosen to shop online, according to Statista. Additionally, 125 million U.S. consumers ownsmartphones, and 62% of smartphone users have made a purchase online in the last six months.

Is your digital presence modernized enough to keep up with these numbers, or have you been operating from the same digital platform for several years? Is your website mobile-friendly? Are you taking advantage of SEO? If your answer is no to any of these, then you may be inhibiting your business more than you realize.

Having an updated digital presence is more crucial now than ever, so here are five non-negotiable features for your website that are realistic and achievable by the end of this year:

1. Engage customers immediately.

This new instant accessibility (for which we have the internet to thank) has created a society based on immediacy. If we can’t have it right away, we don’t want it. In fact, most web surfers spend less than 15 seconds actively on a page. In other words, you have less than 15 seconds to capture the attention of a potential customer and make him want to explore further. Consider creating an engaging landing page that draws instantaneous attention and includes action items, like “Learn more” or “Shop now.” The goal is to incline the visitor to do just that: start shopping.

2. Quick loading time is a must.

Did I mention most of us are impatient? Studies show that 47% of visitors expect a website to load in less than two seconds. Yes, two seconds. If your site doesn’t load quickly on all devices, you’re not only losing business, but you’re also losing the chance at creating repeat customers. Pingdom is a great way to check the speed of your website. 

3. Make it mobile-ready.

This is a non-negotiable. 77% of the American population now owns a smartphone (up from only 35% in 2011), meaning more than three quarters of your company’s audience is searching the internet from a mobile device. If your website is not mobile-user-friendly, you are ultimately losing business. Even better, consider creating an app for optimal mobile functionality. 

4. Take advantage of SEO.

The more content you create, the more chances you’re allowing a browser to pick up one of your pages.

The human brain only knows so much, but fortunately for our marketing purposes, computers know more. It’s important that your website include readable content and several links that will appear in browser searches. Ultimately, the more content you create, the more chances you’re allowing a browser to pick up one of your pages. Consider adding a blog to your website for optimal SEO. Additionally, don’t pass by the SEO tags when you’re creating a new webpage. These target keywords that may appear in a user’s search and ultimately get your content in front of more viewers.

5. Create a clear connection between your social media and website.

Social media is an incredible tool for your business, as it’s another way to be seen by and engage with your audience. It’s a great way to show off company culture, thought leadership and company events, but if your social media pages don’t lead consumers to your website (and vice versa), they ultimately aren’t effective. Consider creating action items, such as posts containing links back to your website with a note to “read more,” for example. Additionally, ensure that your website is easily found in the “About” section of all your social media accounts. In the same way, confirm that your social media pages are quick to find on your website to allow your customers to connect with you across various platforms.

It’s time to step into 2018 and seriously consider whether or not your company’s website has these functions and performs them well. With these quick and easy steps, you’re guaranteed to see an ROI increase by the second quarter in 2019.

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