Unlock success with the right website features for your business

Today a website is more than just an online presence; it’s a powerful tool for businesses to connect with their audience, showcase their offerings, and drive conversions. It’s an extra member of your team to help engage and convert leads to customers. As such it’s key to understand which website features to include can be crucial to the success of your online presence. In this blog, we’ll explore different website features and provide insights on how to choose the right ones for your business, depending on your website’s role and the needs of your customer personas.

Understanding your website’s role is key to choosing the right features

Step 1 – Defining your website’s purpose

Before diving into specific features, it’s essential to define the purpose of your website. Is it primarily a sales tool, aimed at driving conversions and generating revenue? Or is it more of an information hub, focused on educating visitors about your products or services? Perhaps it’s a 24×7 shop front purely to sell your products? Maybe your site performs multiple roles and needs multiple key features. Whatever you decide, understanding your website’s role will help guide feature selection.

Step 2 – Identifying Target Audience

Knowing your customer personas is key to designing a website that resonates with your audience. Once identified, either through industry and competitor research or your own customer data you can start to build a picture of your ideal customer.

Consider factors such as demographics, interests, and pain points to tailor your website features to their needs and preferences.

Step 3 – Mapping User Journeys

Now you know what your website is doing and who you want visiting? Have you thought about what they will do when they get there? It’s good to take a step back and analyse how visitors navigate through your site. Are they looking for specific information? Are they following a linear path towards making a purchase? By mapping out user journeys, you can identify key touchpoints and prioritise features that enhance the user experience.

Essential Website Features for SMBs

Whether you’re launching a new website or updating an existing one, it’s crucial to prioritise the right features to meet your business objectives. In this section, we’ll explore essential website features tailored for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), helping you create a compelling online presence that resonates with your audience and drives results.

Let’s take a look at the different types of website features and how they can be used;

Core features for your website

Core features are essential components of a website that serve fundamental functions and are critical for achieving its primary objectives.

Responsive DesignWith an increasing number of users accessing websites from mobile devices, responsive design is non-negotiable. Ensure that your website adapts seamlessly to different screen sizes and devices.
Intuitive NavigationMake it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for by implementing clear and logical navigation menus.
Compelling ContentEngage your audience with high-quality, relevant content that addresses their needs and pain points.
Clear Call-To-ActionEssential for guiding visitors towards desired actions, such as making a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter, ultimately driving conversions and engagement on a website.
Contact informationProvides visitors with a direct means to reach out to your business, fostering trust and facilitating communication. It ensures accessibility and encourages potential customers to connect with you easily
About us pageOffers an opportunity to introduce your business, its values, mission, and team to visitors. It builds credibility, establishes rapport, and provides insight into your company’s story and culture.

Additional features for your website

Additional features are supplementary elements that enhance the functionality and user experience of a website. These will go beyond the basic core features to provide added value and versatility.

Contact FormsAllow visitors to get in touch with you easily by including contact forms on relevant pages of your website.
Social Media IntegrationExtend your reach and foster engagement by integrating social media sharing buttons and feeds into your website.
Search FunctionalityEnables visitors to quickly find specific information or products on your website, enhancing user experience and saving time. It’s especially valuable for websites with large amounts of content or e-commerce platforms with extensive product catalogs.
Blog or News SectionA blog or news section provides fresh, relevant content to engage visitors and demonstrate your industry expertise. It’s an effective way to share updates, insights, and valuable information with your audience while also improving your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO) and driving organic traffic.
Testimonies or ReviewsShowcase positive feedback from satisfied customers, building trust and credibility with potential clients. They offer social proof of your products or services’ quality and effectiveness, helping to persuade visitors to take action and make a purchase or inquiry.
Advanced AnalyticsOffer detailed insights into your website’s performance and user behaviour, aiding in informed decision-making and optimisation efforts.
ReportingProvides valuable data on website metrics and performance, facilitating informed decision-making and continuous improvement of your online presence.

Specific features for your website

Specific features are unique functionalities tailored to meet the specific needs and objectives of a particular website or business niche. These will provide specialised solutions to address specific requirements or challenges.

E-commerce FunctionalityIf you’re selling products or services online, consider incorporating e-commerce functionality to facilitate seamless transactions.
Lead Generation FormsCapture crucial information from website visitors, enabling businesses to nurture leads and convert them into customers.
Customer Support ChatProvides real-time assistance to website visitors, addressing their queries and concerns promptly, enhancing customer satisfaction and fostering engagement.
Video IntegrationAllows businesses to enrich their website content with engaging multimedia, providing visitors with dynamic and interactive experiences that effectively convey information and enhance user engagement.
Image GalleriesShowcase products, services, events, or portfolios visually, enhancing user experience and engagement.
PortfoliosExhibit your best work, projects, or achievements, serving as a compelling showcase for potential clients or customers to explore your expertise and capabilities.
Events Calendar/IntegrationShowcase upcoming events, workshops, or promotions, enhancing engagement and encouraging visitors to participate in your activities or attend your events.
Interactive Maps Provide visitors with a visual representation of your location, events or the areas you serve, making it easier for them to find you or navigate to your physical storefront.
Newsletter SignupAllow visitors to subscribe to your email list, enabling you to keep them updated about your latest products, services, promotions, and industry news.
Multi-language SupportMulti-language support enables you to cater to a diverse audience by offering your website in multiple languages, thereby enhancing accessibility and inclusivity for users who speak different languages.
Membership or Login AreaA membership or login area provides exclusive access to certain content or features on your website, allowing users to create accounts, log in, and access personalised content, member-only resources, or restricted areas based on their membership status.
Integration with Third-party Tools (CRM, Email Marketing, etc.)Integration with third-party tools allows seamless connectivity between your website and external services such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, email marketing platforms, payment gateways, and more. This integration streamlines various business processes, enhances efficiency, and provides a cohesive experience for users across different platforms.

See our multi-featured website in action for Hastings United

Gold Pebble’s solution for Hastings United went beyond a mere website redesign. It was a holistic transformation, introducing a comprehensive set of functions and features. This not only met the diverse needs of the football club and its community but set the stage for continued growth and success.

Read our Success Story to discover how we went about understanding the features needed for Hastings United’s new website.


6 ways to decide what website features to include

With all those possible website features and many more available it can be difficult to choose what focus on. To help, here are 6 simple steps in deciding which to include. Lets take a quick look at how you can decide;

  1. Assess your industry and market trends
  2. Bench our site against competitors
  3. Prioritise features based on budget and resources
  4. Collaborate with key stakeholders, external resources and users
  5. Conduct user testing and feedback analysis
  6. Iterative development

In summary, deciding on the right website features involves assessing industry trends, benchmarking against competitors, and prioritising based on budget and resources. Collaboration with stakeholders, user testing, and iterative development are essential components that ensure alignment with business objectives and continuous improvement. By incorporating these six methods into your decision-making process, you can create a website that meets the needs of your target audience. Furthermore, it will drive success for your business in a dynamic digital landscape.

What’s your next step to harnessing strategic website features?

In conclusion, choosing the right website features for your SMB is a strategic decision that requires careful consideration of your business objectives, target audience, and available resources. By understanding your website’s role, identifying essential features, and prioritising based on your specific needs, you can create a powerful online presence that drives results. If you’re unsure where to start or need assistance in optimising your website, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help you navigate the complexities of website development and make informed decisions that propel your business forward.

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