The value of a website determines what features you place and how involved the site is. Most business owners want a website that speaks to their customers (existing and future). To do that, they place information on it that allows the customer to determine whether to purchase products or receive information on the website.
Your website needs at least the following to optimize your site and increase inbound traffic:
1. Navigation - Your customers need to know where to go and how to get there.
2. Information - Information is extremely important for potential customers. The more pertinent information, the better. Consumers look for accuracy in information, a business they can trust and a business that carries the right product.
3. FAQ's - Customers love it when there are FAQ's on the website. An FAQ page allows the customer to have their questions answer prior to calling the business. If every question is answered, the customer will purchase a product by calling or on the website.
4. Blog - Most businesses do not have blogs on their websites. In order to attract customers who want information, a blog is necessary. A blog needs to be informative and to the point. If your customers are not receiving the information they need from the blog, they will leave your website. Blogs also increase website traffic and rankings on search engines. It is a win-win situation!
5. Visible Contact Information - Is your contact information visible to your customers? Can your customers easily access it within 3 clicks? Visible contact information may seem obvious but it is something that needs to be addressed. If your contact information is not visible, you will automatically lose customers. Having a phone number, email or sometimes an address are appropriate forms of contact information for a website.
6. Social Media Integration - Does your website include social media integration? Social media integration allows users from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (and others) to visit your website from those outlets. You can also create business pages for Facebook and Twitter.
7. Offer Free Products - Most businesses who offer free products attract more customers than ones who do not. It may sound obvious but some businesses do not want to offer free products because it takes away from their overall profit(s). If more customers like the free products or offers, they are more likely to spend money on products that cost.
8. Multimedia - Integrating multimedia enhances web traffic and the ability to convert customers. Multimedia can consist of: Videos, Meta Sliders, Audio and Flash.
9. Ratings and Reviews - Partnering with ratings and review websites such as Yelp and integrating that capability on your website will increase web traffic. The more excellent ratings, the greater chance a visitor can convert into a customer.
10. Website Back-linking - Back-linking allows websites to link back to your website. In other words, the more websites yours back-links to, the better. Popularity is the key to back-linking because that will help your placement on the search engines.
The answer really depends on what you want on the website. For example, the more items from the list (above) you have, the better it is in the long run. Your business will have a better search engine placement and it will attract more customers. Business owners open a business for two main reasons: 1. To help consumers improve their quality of life with whatever product your business sells and 2. To make a profit.
Time and money go together when operating a business. The old cliche, "Time is money and money is time.", does play a factor into the quality of a website. If business owners do not have a lot of time to build and maintain their websites, then they hire a webmaster or company to do it. If they do not have the financial resources, they build the website themselves. In short, the overall quality, time and money a business spends on their website determines the outcome.