3 Website "Must-Haves" in 2023

January 25, 2023

4 min

In 2022, it's fair to say that any business worth their salt has a website and likely a few social media profiles. Many companies funnel traffic to their website and create online sales they likely never would've received without a proper online presence. Other "stuck in the mud" businesses ultimately ignore their website, leaving it to simply act as a business card on the off-chance a visitor stops in to take a look.

So what is it exactly that differentiates the winners and losers when it comes to converting, purpose-based websites. Well, there's a lot to it, and we look forward to sharing as many winning solutions as possible every week!

For every winning concepts, there are the losers as well. For quick answers on what NOT to do, check out 6 Quick Reasons Your Website's Conversion Sucks.

Though there are many quick changes you can make to increase conversion and add value to your website, here are 3 super easy and free must-haves to get you started:

#1 Customer Reviews, Ratings & Testimonials

One of the major contributing factors to a website that converts sales versus a site that melts away into the shadowy depths of the internet is testimonials. People want to do business with people they trust. If they don't know you personally, one of the only surefire ways to convince people of your validity is to showcase what your previous customers have thought about their experience working with your business.

You'll see a lot of big companies that display the logos of the companies that use their product. This is one way to do it. A more personal approach is to write out some of your ideal reviews and highlight them in a creative way so that your visitors can read exactly what they've said.

A simple, fast and dynamic way to do this is by embedding your Google reviews directly on your site. In doing this, Google will automatically display your newest testimonials as soon as they come in - saving you time and effort from copy and pasting them manually.

#2 Website Security With An SSL Certificate

An SSL certificate is a digital shield for your website, protecting your site from a variety of potential threats caused by hackers, virtual bugs and so on. Before you dismiss this and assume that your site is too small to be affected, that’s not exactly how it works. Bots that can intercept important information about your website, your business and your customers information tend to more commonly target small businesses and areas that they can detect a lack of security.

Along with the digital vulnerability, websites without an SSL have a nice little "Not Secure" badge right at the top of the site for all of your visitors to see.

Even worse than that, when a potential customer starts typing into any input field on your site (ie. contact form, message box, etc.) that "Not Secure" badge (on some browsers) will even glow red to further remind your customers that their information is not safe.

If all of that isn't enough, Google in recent years has began penalizing websites without an SSL from ranking well on Google, which again, you can imagine is bad for business.

Luckily, installing an SSL isn't incredibly complicated and there are actually several cheap or even free outlets to install one on your site. Our go-to is Cloudflare. Along with many website speed improvements and security features, redirecting your domain through Cloudflare gives you a free SSL certificate and the setup takes about 5 minutes.

Our web design team installs SSL certificates by default (as all web design companies should), and we even help you install one for your own website regardless of whether you're our customer or not. Just a thought 🤷.

#3 A Conversion-Centric Website Form

Websites in this day and age need to flow seamlessly. People have been hopping around websites for decades now. Sites that are easy to use with clear intent tend to win far more than their complicated counterparts. One of the biggest assets your website can include to boost your website's conversion is to embed a lead form directly onto your site.

This can be a contact form where customers can simply reach out to ask questions. This can also be a service quote form, where visitors type in their project needs and you provide them with an estimate. Or this could be a registration form where you sign your customers up for your service/product right then and there.

Having an end goal to your website is critical to convert your visitors into customers. A properly built, responsive website form that lets customers easily reach out to you or register for your service can be the difference between website traffic that comes and goes, versus traffic that leads to business.

There are many ways to install a form onto your website. You can attempt to design it yourself through whatever website builder you may use. Alternatively, if you have a trusted web designer that can put one together for you, that may work also.

Depending on your form's needs, you may require a third-party service to handle some of the advanced features like form validation, that ensures that your customers are typing in the right information and not leaving important fields blank before they submit. Some forms may even require the ability to take payment in order to automatically sell your services upon submission of your form.

Plugins like Google Forms or JotForm can provide an easy form building experience, though they require a bit more advanced tweaking for bigger features.

To sum up

Building a website that funnels traffic effectively requires a lot of "jumping through hoops". Luckily, some of those hoops are quite large and easy to fit through. If your site doesn't offer either of these 3 must-haves, you're missing out on a ton of opportunity.

If this article was helpful to you, we'd love to hear your feedback. Send us a message through our site at Fairway.

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