Most businesses considering new websites focus on the design of the website. But the features of the website are what attract the most customers. Five important features that add value to any business website are multimedia presentations, blogs written for the target customers, integration with social media, real-time customer support options and email sign-up forms.
Multimedia presentations have replaced long narratives on business websites. Customers find multimedia presentations more engaging than text, and typically, multimedia presentations provide information in a way that is more easily absorbed by customers. Three types of multimedia presentations are videos, infographics and audio. Videos allow businesses to present a degree of information in less time than a customer needs to read text. Videos that are SEO-friendly rank well with search engines. Infographics present data or other graphical information in a way that is easily interpreted by the customer. Typically, within seconds the customer understands the meaning of the infographic, versus the minutes spent reading the information. Audio is a great way to present customer testimonials. People relate easier to someone’s voice and the emotion in the testimonial can be a powerful marketing tool.
Blogs have grown in popularity and are great ways to provide more information that what is available on a website. Blogs have become the entry point for many websites. The stories and insight provided through blogs is typically more information than what can be presented on the website without sacrificing the organization of the website. Blogs also provide another SEO-friendly source for search engines. Blogs should be written with the target customer in mind and should include ways for the customer to receive notices, such as email, when the blog is updated.
The marketing power of social media is widely recognized in business. The advent of smart phones has brought the world of social media to a level of easy access and real-time updates. The mini-news feeds provided through social media give customers a type of “insider information” about a business. Social media and regular updates also keep a business at the forefront of the customer’s attention, especially when social media is used to distribute exclusive offers, such as coupons. Adding quick links on the website to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter allow customers to quickly follow the business. Facebook and Twitter provide additional entry points to the website and increase search engine listings for businesses.
Real-time customer support is pivotal to excellent customer service in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world. Many customers will not wait for an email response or spend even a few minutes on the phone. Real-time customer support gives customers immediate access to a knowledgeable person who can answer their questions and assist with any sales or product issues.
Email sign-up forms on a website gives customers the opportunity to quickly opt-in to emails and receive periodic updates on business information. Customers are not likely to frequently visit the website to see what is new with a business. Receiving regular email updates keeps the customer’s attention. Providing links in the emails brings the customers back to the website.
Integrating these five features into a business website helps keep the company at the forefront of the customer’s attention and provides a user-friendly, customer-oriented experience to keep visitors coming back to the website.