features-of-a-startup-website

5 Must Have Features of a Startup Website

features-of-a-startup-website

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In today’s digital age, having an online presence is essential for any business, especially a startup. Your website is where consumers will go to research your products/services, learn more about your company, and, most importantly, make a purchase. In order to convert visitors to your site into leads, there are certain essential things to include on your website. Ensure your site has these five must-have features, and you are sure to see conversions skyrocket.

Easily Accessible Contact Information

An easy route for customers to contact your business is key. If applicable, include your business phone number/email in the header, showcase detailed contact information in the footer, and have a contact page for visitors. Link to your social profiles aside the contact information.

It should be explicitly clear to all visitors how they should contact you. If a visitor has a question, you don’t want them to be searching around trying to find your phone number or email. Additionally, if you give users the option of contacting you through a form, make sure that you only require that they fill out the minimum number of necessary fields. If a user needs to fill out ten fields in order to contact you, they may be less inclined to do so, at which point you’ve lost a potential lead.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of startups and young businesses that have structured their sites the right way. Community Tax, an accounting startup in Chicago, makes sure to provide multiple ways of contacting the company throughout the site. Let’s look specifically at the homepage. The phone number is in the top nav along with a CTA that takes the user to the Contact page. There are also multiple contact forms throughout the homepage, so the user is never left wondering where or how they contact the company.

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Blog

Maintaining a blog is essential for any startup business to stay relevant in its respective industry. Creating blog posts is beneficial for your customers and your site’s search engine optimization. Companies that published 16 or more blog posts a month received approximately 4.5 times more leads than companies that published 0-4 blog posts a month, according to a Hubspot study. Thus, it is essential to publish fresh content frequently.

Cater your startup’s business blog to your brand, company goals, and your target audience. The company blog is an opportunity to educate and develop lasting relationships with customers. A blog adds value to your audience and gives your startup business a voice. Leverage high-quality original videos and photos about your business within your posts. Research, plan, and create content for your blog often; it could prove to be your top performing marketing channel.

Our next example comes from BioClarity, a startup skincare company. BioClarity focuses their blog posts on the topics that their target market is most interested in – anything related to acne and acne treatment. By posting regularly and writing on topics that their audience cares about, they are building a connection with potential customers and most likely converting more visitors through their blog.

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Clear Call-to-Action

A visitor has landed on the page, now keep them on your site. Use a call-to-action to direct customers down the conversion path. The call-to-action should be clearly identified and should be in multiple areas throughout the website. Ensure your website visitors understand what your startup has to offer and how to obtain it as soon as possible.

Entice customers with variations of your call-to-action with different colors and fonts that stand out from the rest of the homepage. Always be testing call-to-action buttons to see what works best for driving conversions.

Optimize your call-to-action buttons for mobile visitors. Create a large contrasting button that is easy to tap and click. Online e-commerce and subscription based sites like BarkBox often do a great job of having concise call-to-action buttons included their respective homepages.

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User-Friendly and Mobile-Friendly

A clean design and functionality are important for a startup website. Develop a succinct path to the different pages of your site. Site architecture and structure maintains the integrity of your site. Utilize a hamburger menu for responsive design; this will help mobile users (who will most likely make up the majority of your website visitors) locate website sections.

In addition to your site navigation, include a search box feature so customers can quickly locate the information they may need. Use visitor search box queries to improve site navigation, inspire blog post ideas, and create necessary pages on your site.

Your website must load quickly. For a speedy load time, enable compression to reduce the size of your CSS, HTML, optimize images, leverage browser caching, and reduce redirects. Page speed affects your search engine optimization and conversions on site.

Your website might look great, but does it guide visitors and help them fully understand the value of your startup business? In addition to a stellar layout and design, be sure to include the imperative “so what” information about your business. Show the value of your startup product or service and lure your audience into conversions.

Social Proof & Testimonials

Include this on your homepage to establish validity and credibility with visitors. Reviews and partnerships are trust signals for visitors. ChowNow has a dedicated section for testimonials and reviews about their product and services. Small local businesses can also benefit from showcasing client reviews. Although, it might not always make sense to have a whole page dedicate to testimonials like ChowNow, many companies like Source Capital, display their reviews in sliders.

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Does your company have any awards or certifications in your industry? Add the recognition to the homepage; it supports the quality of your startup’s work and the image as an expert. Include the reviewer’s name, title, location, and from where the review came if applicable.

Conclusion

These five must-haves will set up your startup for success. Use your site as a 24/7 marketer. A site that stands out in your industry will ease customers into conversions. A well-written and clever copy will keep visitors converting.


brandon-mBrandon is an SEO Specialist born and raised in Southern California that enjoys developing compelling online user experiences and marketing campaigns that search engines love.

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Key Elements in Improving UX

Designing websites for SEO and designing websites for user experience are often two very different processes. At times the priorities are at odds with each other – what is good for SEO may be difficult for the user, and vice versa. But designing a website with the needs of your visitors in mind can drastically increase your conversions.

While the population as a whole is gradually becoming more comfortable with navigating less-than-friendly websites, some groups – such as senior citizens and the visually-impaired – still struggle with accessing information from difficult or disorienting websites. Not factoring in the needs of these groups can result in a huge loss in sales. One study from the Nielsen Norman Group found that sales could increase by 35% when a website was designed to create the same experience for senior citizens as for other demographics.

Three key elements – appearance, navigation, and action – are crucial in considering how to create the best user experience on your site. Let’s take a look at some real-life examples of websites that incorporate some of the important elements of an accessible user experience.

Appearance

Readable Fonts

Using a font that is easy to read is the only way to guarantee that people gather the information you are presenting on your site. It’s also an important element of making sure your website is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which has guidelines for creating accessible web pages.

Default font size is generally 12-pixels, and using responsive web design can help maintain your layout if a user magnifies text through their browser or accesses your site from a tablet or mobile device. Some sites incorporate a magnifier right on the webpage, which is much more convenient than altering browser settings. Even if your font is a perfect size, it must also be a readable style.

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Further reading: Use Legible Font Sizes from Varvy, Choosing Web Fonts from Vieo Design

Small Chunks of Text

Website visitors are often looking for information quickly, so make it easy to skim by breaking up your content into easily absorbed sections. Separate the sections using bolded headings and subheadings, and incorporate images throughout your pages. This makes your information seem more accessible and less intimidating and makes it more likely that your visitors will stay on your site.

Further reading: Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content from Copyblogger

Vibrant and High-Contrast Colors

First impressions are always influential, but perhaps never more so than on a website. Color is the biggest factor in website first impressions, with one study finding that up to 90% of initial website judgments can be based exclusively on color choice.

Catch visitors’ attention and make navigation easier by using vibrant and/or high contrast colors throughout your site. Bold and vibrant colors are simply attractive, like this example from El Burro.

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Further reading: Vibrant Colors in Web Design from UX Planet

Navigation

Simple Navigation Bar

When visitors arrive at your site, they want to easily know where to go and how to find the information they are looking for. They also need it to be easy to jump between sections of your site. Few things are worse than coming across a website that seems impossible to navigate. Failing to optimize your site for easy navigation can have disastrous consequences that will plague your business. The navigation bar at the top of the page is the most important element of navigation: it is your opportunity to direct your visitors to the most important parts of your site. For the most user-friendly experience, lock the navigation bar, so it is always visible, no matter how far a visitor scrolls down.

TransUnion’s ShareAble for Hires does just that. Their navigation bar remains at the top of every page as an easy reference, and it has only five categories for users to choose from. These categories have specific labels that anticipate what the user might be looking for.

 

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Minimal Moving Parts

For the best user experience, visitors should be able to focus on the task at hand without getting distracted by pop-ups, chat bars, or other elements that intervene with the user’s view. Too many of these can cause a visitor to leave your website out of frustration, especially if they are persistent and have no clear exit. While these elements can be used to great effect for capturing leads, they should be used with caution and always with the user’s experience and intentions in mind.

Further reading: 10 Guidelines for Navigation from Usability Geek

Action

Guide your visitors to precisely the action you want them to take with specific and highly visible call-to-action buttons. Renovate America does this by explaining briefly about the possible tasks, and then having clearly marked buttons like ‘Find a Contractor’ and ‘Get Financing.’

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It’s important to not overuse call-to-action buttons. Place them at strategic points throughout your site, so they show up when it makes sense for a user to click it. For example, a ‘start here’ button makes sense at the top of the homepage, but a ‘try now’ button might have more success farther down on the page after the visitor has had a chance to learn about your product or services. Of course, these buttons need to follow the guidelines for color and font outlined above.

Further reading: How to Create the Perfect Call-to-Action from Optinmonster

Making it easy for your visitors to navigate your site is essential to increasing conversions. Improving your user experience will have the greatest effect among older demographics, but even younger and more tech-savvy consumers will leave your site if it is difficult to use or unattractive to them. Make your website work best for your visitors by considering all of these factors and how they can work together to create the best user experience for your customers.


Cat Nilsson is a Managing Editor at 365 Business Tips. She is an expert in content marketing and non-branded growth. She enjoys writing on a plethora of topics, from SEO to social media.