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5 Crucial Features Customers Want on a Website

These days a web presence for your business is crucial, whether you are well-established or a fledgling newcomer. The task of setting up a website can make many owners anxious, let alone building something your customers love to visit. There are five features so critical to the success of a consumer website, even the most un-tech-savvy among us should know.

Five things every customer wants to see on a website:

1) Mobile Version

Customers live an increasingly mobile life and conduct more and more of it on their smartphones. Don't miss out on sales by neglecting to optimize your web-presence for mobile users. A graphics-heavy, clunky design will kill desire to visit your website on a mobile device. There's really no excuse for not having a mobile version of your website, but in all cases pages must load quickly and be easy to read.

2) Security & Encryption

Online customers are acutely aware of security concerns and don't take well to the thought of identity theft and scams. Feature security safeguards your business takes with your website in areas customers can see them. Make sure to use encryption systems for sensitive data, like credit cards. Having Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is crucial if you want to do any significant amount of commerce through your website.

3) Crystal-clear Navigation

Navigating a website should never be guesswork. There are some basics to make this simple, keep websites crisp with clear navigation buttons for home pages, contact pages, and product/service specific pages. Make them easy to understand and logical. If your website is more than a few pages, a site map or index is obligatory. A good site map makes an average website, great.

Shoddy website navigation will result in unsatisfactory bounce rates, so don't ignore this. In fact, continually tweak your website by tracking analytics and search data. Use the clues to figure out what customers are looking for, whether your website is addressing it and how to make it easier for people to find exactly what they want.

4) Validation

Do you offer the best products and/or services? Why should the customer take your word for it? Give them examples by featuring client lists, awards, case studies, and testimonials. This lets customers visualize for themselves, other people and businesses who trust what you offer/sell. Have you recently received some positive local press? Scan the relevant pages or link to the articles. A good website should speak to your reputation.

5) Contact Information

Adding relevant contact information lends a certain immediate legitimacy to your web presence that you are unlikely to achieve with only an email address. Pictures of your team or facilities with specific physical address, phone and fax numbers builds comfort and trust with customers. If including a phone number, an 800 number will do, but a specific number that matches with your location is even better. Another plus side to including detailed contact information? The ability to reach out and leave customer feedback. Find out what your customers are saying and use positive experiences to constantly refresh your featured customer testimonials. Consider devoting an area of your website to informing where customers can email, mail and call you, along with a simple web form.

10 Things Customers Want on a Website: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207300