We’ve spoken about the web design trends you need to jump on this year, but those were more geared towards making your site look good. This blog is about things that will genuinely affect your site if you don’t implement them. So, without further ado, here are the must-have websites features for 2019!
A Google My Business page
We know this isn’t technically a website feature, but it is something that your website features on. Plus, it’s important. Why? Because Google My Business is what will show your business to people in the local area. Using location settings, people will be able to find your premises quickly and easily, and Google can direct them straight to your door.
Better yet, you might even be recommended to people using voice search. This is especially true if you have your business hours clearly labelled. How many people do you think ask Siri “Where’s open near me for [x]?” Exactly. Take advantage of that.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it’s through this encryption protocol that messages between your browser and the website you are accessing are transferred. If a website does not have an SSL certificate, then all communications through it are susceptible to hackers. Of course, this does not make for the most enjoyable customer experience.
Unfortunately, there are still quite a few websites nowadays that do not have an SSL certificate. This was fine years ago, but with all the new technology we have today, it’s just not good enough. So, how do you know if your site has an SSL certificate? Look at its URL. If it starts with an ‘http’, then you don’t have one. If it starts with ‘https’, then congrats, your site is secure.
This is possibly one of the most important website features. Instead of serving the exact same site on mobile and desktop, give mobile users a version of the site that works for them. You can do this in one of three ways:
- Build a mobile version of the existing site
- Utilise a mobile-friendly plugin on your CMS
- Build a responsive site
The majority of people going to your site will be on mobile. Make it easier for them to find what they need, and cater to the fact that mobile devices often have lower-quality processors than desktops due to their smaller size.
Gone are the days where people were comfortable with waiting around for a web page to load. Now, if your site takes more than 3 seconds to load up fully, you could lose up to 52% of your audience. That’s a lot of pressure!
One way to speed up your loading times is to serve smaller images. Image files can be quite bulky, and most of the time, you don’t really need to have HD pictures. Another way to speed up your page is to optimise your code. You can enable compression, minify, change the code’s position, or just write good, clean code. However, if you’re not tech-wise, then many CMS have plugins that you can download which will serve a similar function.
Google tracking code
If you’re not tracking your website’s analytics, then how do you know if what you’re doing is making a difference? Adding a tracking code to your website is quick and easy, and if you don’t feel confident doing it yourself, then your developer should find it a breeze.
With a Google tracking code properly installed, you will be able to access your site Google analytics. This is important because you can use these metrics to see where people are going on your site, how long they are staying there, plus a plethora of other insights. It’s completely free, so you might as well use it! And whilst you’re at it, connect your site to Google Search Console, too.
It’s a busy world out there and as sorry as we are to say this, your site pages are unlikely to rank on their own. A search for almost anything online will most likely bring up either a directory or a blog post. So, to increase the chances of being found online, it would be beneficial to start a blog.
If the idea of writing makes you sweat, don’t worry about it. You don’t have to be the best writer in town to start a blog. In fact, simply giving the reader some valuable information once a fortnight should be more than enough. We recommend writing at least 500 words per blog post.
A live chatbot
Having a live chatbot on your website allows you to reply to customers in real time. Why is this important? Because there is a direct correlation between the speed of your response and the conversion rate of leads.
The faster you respond, the better your chances of making a sale, as it seems. The reason for this is quite similar to other points we have made so far: people don’t want to wait. Live chat is instant, therefore many users prefer it to sending an email. So, make it easier for your potential customers to get a fast response from you and install a chatbot. Thank us later.
That’s all from us on must-have website features
Did you learn anything new from our blog? We certainly hope so. If you’re not sure whether your website is up to scratch for 2019, why not get in touch? The team would be glad to assist you.
Our fantastic web team has an immense amount of experience in all things tech related, and our digital team can help to write blogs that convert. We have over 25 years of marketing knowledge to share with you and we’d love to see your website reach its full potential.
Call us on 0 1244 347 545 or send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.