Every business needs a website to compete in today’s competitive environment.
Without a business website, you are fighting a losing battle.
If it isn’t on Google, it doesn’t exist.Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia Co-founder
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of blog posts out there that makes it very confusing.
Here are the only things every website should have:
- Business contact information
- Ability to generate leads
- Analytics and performance tracking
- Communication or messaging capability
- Revenue generation (only if you’re selling online)
Did you notice something? There’s no mention of web design or anything else.
These are the absolute necessities. The rest are nice-to-have’s.
Don’t have time to read this post? Download this post as a checklist that you can read later.
Website Feature #1: Information About Your Business
The first thing your website should have is information about your business.
This includes basic contact information like the following:
- Email address
It also includes information about your products or services, your company/organization, and other necessities.
Of course, this is different for every business.
For a small business, it might be everything I listed above. But for a bigger brand, they might have these information in the form of case studies or other landing pages.
Stick with the basics.
Make sure you communicate your unique value proposition—what you offer and what sets you apart from others.
Website Feature #2: Ability to Generate Leads
The next website functionality you need on your website is the ability to generate leads from your website.
The most common way this is implemented is a contact us page. This page contains a contact form that visitors can fill out to get in touch with you.
As a business, this is a website must-have. Unfortunately, a lot of content out there misses this one.
Without the ability to generate leads for your business, how will you get potential customers?
Now, lead generation is not limited to a single contact us form.
I mentioned here that the more offer you put out or create, the higher the number of leads you get increase.
This is simple numbers game.
The average conversion rate of a landing page is 1%. By creating more of these, the higher chances of generating leads for your business.
One thing to note, though, is that lead generation isn’t limited to form on your site. There are newer ways to generate leads like live chats or chatbots.
Whatever you choose to have on your website, make sure you are not sacrificing functionality. Most of the lead generation types, apart from the forms, usually slow down your website a bit.
A little bit is okay. But if speed is affected greatly, I suggest re-evaluating that if you really need it. Remember, a slow website may be hurting your rankings.
Website Feature #3: Analytics and Performance Tracking
The greatest thing about digital marketing is it gives you the ability to track almost everything that happens online.
That’s why your website needs an analytics and performance tracking.
The most popular one out there is Google Analytics. It’s absolutely free and one of the three marketing tools you should be using. In that article, I described how you can create a free account.
The main reason why you absolutely need Google Analytics (or any other performance tracking software) on your website is you need to know your performance online.
What you cannot measure, you cannot manage.
If you don’t know what’s happening on your website—whether your content is performing well or if it’s helping you meet your business goals—you’re simply wasting resources.
That’s why an analytics tracking tool is an essential feature you need on your website.
Website Feature #4: Communication and Messaging Capability
The fourth functionality your website needs is an ability to communicate or message your leads and customers.
I’m talking about direct communication, not a shout-at-the-rooftops messaging like social media.
That means email marketing (or chatbots if that’s the way you generate leads for your business).
The reason is simple: you control everything with email marketing. Whereas in social media like Facebook and Instagram, you can only post something and cross your fingers that your followers will see and engage with your post.
But with email marketing, if you do it effectively, you will not have this issue.
I’m not saying that social media is evil. What I’m saying is it’s not enough and you should not rely on it.
Website Feature #5: Revenue Generation (BONUS)
This is an optional/bonus website feature.
If you sell something online, like an eCommerce website or a coaching business or something similar, then this is a must-have feature.
Depending on your business, this may differ.
For example, an eCommerce site may be hosted on Shopify. They already have this built-in. But if you are not using a specific software, you can easily add a way to generate revenue using PayPal or Stripe or Gumroad.
Regardless, if you sell online, this is an essential feature.
As you noticed, I didn’t mention anything about website design.
Why? Because oftentimes, when regular people talk about design, they look at animations and fancy graphics.
Most of the time, these just contribute to making you site speed terrible. And if you don’t already know, speed affects rankings.
There you have it.
The four (or five) website essential features. There are the online things you need on your website.
Everything else are nice-to-haves. If you are starting out or don’t have a proper marketing strategy, stick with the basics.
What do you think?
Does your website have all these essential functionalities?
Or maybe you have more than these?
I’d love to know.