Website Features That Make a Measurable Impact

Author: Jacqueline Sinex, WEBii

While every modern business wants a nice website, there are certain website features that make more impact than others. If you want your website to attract new customers, inform current customers, provide efficiency to your team, and represent your brand well, consider the following four points.

Website Security Features

Perhaps you didn’t expect this to be the first “feature” on the list, but in fact website security continues to grow as one of the most valuable areas you can invest in.

Recent studies show that cyber security issues resulting in hacked websites have increased by about 67% in the last five years (Accenture).

Website security can actually involve many puzzle pieces. Here are some examples:

SSL Certificate:

An SSL Certificate is a security layer that is installed on the web hosting server, to provide support for encrypting information. While SSL was once an option only encouraged for e-commerce sites, it is now the standard in web browsing. You can work with your web host to acquire and install a proper SSL certificate on the server.

Secure URL Configuration:

For your website to truly be served as “secure” to a web browser, it should be configured with https:// in the URL structure. Installing an SSL certificate is the first step, and then the proper redirects should be put in place.

Regular Software and Plugin Upgrades:

Just as pro-actively maintaining upgrades to your network and computer systems is critical, so is maintaining upgrades for your website software. All website platforms require maintenance, as technologies and security standards can change quickly. Web developers and administrators can apply regular version patches to the website software to prevent embarrassing and crippling issues.

Website Monitoring and Scanning:

Some website platforms also integrate with website security monitoring services, such as Wordfence (for WordPress sites) or Sucuri. These handy plugins provide scanning, notifications and firewall options.

Just remember, when you are implementing security features on your website, make sure the choices align with the security policies recommended by your Managed IT Professional.

 

Caching and Optimization Features

The speed and performance of a website is another essential factor in the modern Internet. If a web page loads slowly, visitors are more likely to “bounce” away from the site, and conversion rates will suffer. Thankfully, there are tools that help with website performance optimization.

Website Caching Option:

Some web hosts offer a caching feature on the server level. You can access this option via your control panel or customer account interface. Alternatively, some website platforms have plugin modules available to support cache. By installing the cache plugin and configuring the recommended settings, your site is able to serve content faster to visitors.

Image Optimizer:

The most common culprits of slow web page content loading are large, under-optimized images. Plugins that provide image optimizing will compress images to a more reasonable file size, while maintaining a good display quality.

 

Audience-Focused Landing Pages

While your website may depict your product beautifully, it won’t make much impact if your ideal customers aren’t feeling heard. Take some time to tackle the effectiveness of your web page content by creating audience-focused landing pages.

A web page that is audience-focused will speak more directly to the customer, describing their challenges. This type of landing page should connect the true benefits of your product to the customer’s needs.

The web design will be even stronger if you can use visuals that represent the audience. A great way to incorporate this is to insert testimonials from existing customers and show photos of them using your product.

 

Call-to-Action Links and Buttons

Including a lot of keyword-rich text in your web page copy is important, but you also need something to lead the visitor to the right action. We refer to these as call-to-action links (sometimes styled as buttons).

You can pepper your site with a multitude of CTA links, and it is recommended to keep at least one of them highly visible toward the top of your web page. The link should be worded in a way that grabs the visitor’s attention and gives them a sense of what direction they are going.

Examples of well-worded CTA links are: “Download now”, “Make an appointment”, and “Show me how to signup”.

When you are planning out your call-to-action links, remember to think about your audience again. What is this ideal customer most interested in? How can you best entice them?

There are a variety of ways you can design a website today, and an even wider variety of features you can incorporate. Collaborate with your internal sales and marketing teams along with your IT and web development experts to identify your short list of impactful options.

 

About the Author

Jacqueline Sinex manages WEBii, a local Austin web development and SEO company. For more information on WEBii’s decades of experience maintaining reliable websites, visit www.webii.net.

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