8 Things Your Website Must Include

Building and maintaining a website that functions well for your business can be a tall task.  There are tons of factors to consider for it to be successful.  For your brand’s website to really excel, you’ll want to start by making sure you have all of the below items.

1. Operating hours

Unless you operate a completely online retail store, chances are some sort of hours of operation will be relevant to your customers.  These hours could be the hours your physical location is open or even the hours someone is available to assist with customer service.  If operating hours are relevant to your customers in any way, be sure they are prominently displayed on your website.  And not only that, but they should be shared in multiple locations across your site.

2. Menu or offerings

Another pretty straightforward item you’ll want to have accessible for potential customers is your menu or list of offerings.  Whether you are selling goods or services, customers will want to know the details about what they can purchase from you. Don’t make them search or send a call/email to find out what you sell, because that extra effort could cause you to lose potential sales. 

3. Online ordering

Going hand in hand with the above, if you are able, you should definitely offer online ordering.  It offers ease to potential customers who want to browse and purchase at their own pace from the comfort of home.  Some businesses may argue that in-person sales give them the chance to upsell and cross-sell, resulting in larger purchases.  But the gains you will see by offering customers the convenience of shopping online will outweigh this downside.

4. Easy navigation buttons

Not only does your website need to include all the right information.  It also needs to be easy for users to find and access that information.  If your navigation buttons aren’t clear or people have to click through 5 different pages just to find the one answer they’re looking for, you’re probably in need of a redesign.  Make sure all buttons and tabs are clearly labeled, and commonly requested information is clear and easy to find.

5. Answers to FAQs

Many businesses can benefit from having an FAQ section on their site.  Even if you don’t have a dedicated page for this, you should still compile a list of the most commonly asked questions your company gets, and make sure they are all answered somewhere on your site.  A visit to your website should provide customers with all of the answers to the most commonly asked questions. 

6. Location and contact information

No matter how much information your website provides, there will always be some cases in which a customer needs or wants to speak with someone directly.  Make sure your website provides all the necessary information to help customers get in touch with the appropriate parties to answer their questions or address their concerns.  Don’t make yourself hard to find: This will just result in frustration for everyone.  Provide an address and directions to any of your physical locations, along with relevant phone numbers or email addresses for customers to contact.

7. Consistent branding

When people visit your website, it should be abundantly clear to them what brand the site is for. Your colors, logos, fonts, and other branding need to be consistent across your website. Every page, every heading, every section should be in line with your brand guidelines. Not only will this help to keep your site visually appealing, but it will also help to tell a cohesive story of who your brand is.

8. Easy to read text

Another visual design element of your site that is very important is the text.  Pictures and visuals capture visitors’ attention, but text is what really provides them with the information they need.  With that in mind, you want to make sure your text is easy to read and understand.  The font and colors should be chosen so they stand out against the background, and the copy should be written in a way that is simple enough for users to easily understand. 

If you can check all 8 of the above items off for your website, then you’re probably in pretty good shape.  This list is by no means all encompassing, but it is a great starting point to make sure your site has all of the basics it needs.

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