When it comes to designing your website, it’s important to draw inspiration from the best in the business. After all, the companies that continually manage to dominate the leaderboards of top websites have invested extensive resources to find out what works (and what doesn’t). Especially when it comes to creating a high-quality user interface that is also viewed favorably by the search engines.
In many ways, the practices that these websites utilize should be considered the gold standard across the industry, which means that modeling your own practices to emulate their strategies is simply smart business sense.
Fortunately, rather than needing to hire an extensive team of web developers to write and implement bespoke code for your website, there are tons of handy WordPress plugins out there that will do the heavy lifting for you. On that note, here are three common features of the top websites in the world that you can replicate with WordPress plugins.
According to Clutch, a whopping 94% of users believe that easy navigation is the most useful website feature. It’s no surprise, then, that most of today’s top companies in the world prioritize navigation as one of the most critical factors when designing their websites.
The goal is to make it as effortless as possible for users to engage with your website and discover the page they are looking for. This not only benefits the user, but it also means that users will spend a long time on your site (dwell time). Lowering the bounce rate and helping to increase your SEO. Furthermore, if you run an eCommerce business, developing a website with simple navigation is a great way to enhance sales and conversions. Since customers are less likely to become lost in the buying journey and abandon their carts.
So, how can you achieve this with your website? Fortunately, there are plenty of plugins that help you design a simple and intuitive website layout, such as UberMenu, which enables you to build advanced navigational menus, and Ivory Search, which enhances the default WordPress search and allows you to create new custom search forms for your users.
Looking back at the list of top websites, it’s clear that just about every website utilizes these types of plugins to enrich the user experience. If you want to see a standout example, take a look at Amazon, which has one of the cleanest UIs on the web, as well as a highly functional search bar and easy-to-use menu. You could even argue that this ease of navigation is one of the primary reasons why customers keep returning to the eCommerce giant time and time again.
With mobile traffic accounting for more than half of all global website traffic, failing to make your website optimized for these users is SEO suicide. Not only that, but as soon as a mobile user arrives at your site and is greeted with poorly formatted content and improperly constructed pages. They will almost certainly hit the back button within a matter of seconds.
With this in mind, you must prioritize mobile optimization to ensure that all of your visitors will have a positive experience when interacting with your website. This will lead to better customer satisfaction, improved SEO rankings. This can even lead to a better conversion rate for eCommerce stores.
You would be hard-pressed to find one example of a website that does not optimize its content for mobile users in the top rankings charts. However, if you want to check out a good example of mobile optimization, then look no further than eBay. A few years ago, the massively popular marketplace completely revamped its experience for mobile users, optimizing all content, including user-generated listings for mobile.
Of course, it’s important to note that many of these companies have the funds to develop their own mobile applications. This is a luxury that isn’t afforded to most independent website owners. With that said, there are a few standout WordPress plugins that will optimize your website for mobile users with relative ease. Such as WP touch. If you want to maintain your website speed on mobile, consider using Smush for image optimization.
Social media links and counters
For many companies on the top list, their social media pages serve as more than just a second “About Us” page. Instead, they offer a platform where they can engage directly with consumers. This is more easily develop relationships with them and establish more credibility within the industry.
One of the best ways to replicate with WordPress plugins these strategies is by linking your website to your social media pages. This will help keep your brand consistent across all customer touchpoints. It will help you build a strong identity due to creating a unified experience for both existing and potential customers. Offering shareable links to your content. This also provides a great opportunity for you to land yourself some “free” marketing. As users will be more inclined to share your content with their followers if there is an easy link to do so.
A good example of companies that utilize this would be MSN and Yahoo News (ranked 36th and 37th, respectively). These content-heavy publications include social media links on their posts to make sharing their content easier. You can also find reactions and comment threads from their Facebook pages directly integrated into each blog post.
If blending shared media and owned media sounds like something you want to implement for your brand, then Smash Balloon is the WordPress plug-in for you. Using their service, you can effortlessly display multiple social media feeds in WordPress. Such as timeline feeds; photo feeds, video feeds, events feeds, hashtag feeds, and so on, without any limitations. Feeds from numerous social accounts and Facebook groups can also be displayed.
Keep it relevant
While the above three features would benefit just about any website regardless of industry. It’s important to remember that each website is different. Suppose you run a small business, for example. In that case, you are likely operating with a limited number of resources. It means that you should focus on only adding the features that are likely to yield the best results and improve the user experience the most. With that said, the good news is that most of these WordPress plugins are relatively inexpensive. Thus allowing you to replicate with WordPress plugins many of the best features of the top-performing websites with ease.
Please make suggestions on Features of the World’s Top Websites That You Can Replicate with WordPress Plugins in the comment box.