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Are you weighing whether it’s worth it to pay up for responsive web design or SEO services for a new website? You aren’t alone, but there’s a problem with thinking of these design standards as added options — at this point, they’re foundational to having a good website.

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In a recent Forbes column, marketer Denis Pinsky makes a point of talking about how subpar websites continue to plague the web. He proposes nine business website must-have features that we think deserve a more detailed examination. That’s our subject today as we look at some of the best of the web designs 2016 standards have to offer.

Responsive Mobile Friendly Design

Pinsky addresses the mobile web usability question right off the bat. As we wrote last week, your site design must pay attention to Google’s mobile friendliness requirements and the responsive web design wave sweeping the industry. That is if you hope to up your mobile conversion rate.

Web Performance Optimization

A finished website in 2016 needs to be optimized for web performance. WPO performance tweaks and settings adjustments make sure your site loads quickly across the board and works well even for users with slower internet connections. In the competitive world of online business, WPO has to be one of your top priorities.

Analytics Tracking Integration

A website in 2016 isn’t complete without integrated analytics tracking capabilities. No matter your marketing framework, you need to be able to track and analyze your site’s performance — whether you’re interested in traffic numbers, conversions, closed sales, or user behavior. Without that site data, setting goals and choosing strategies to get to the next level gets that much harder.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO and web design go hand in hand in 2016. Just as they have for many years. With the expectation for the SEO industry to grow more than 20 percent over the next five years, it’s even more important that your site has basic on-page SEO tags and other elements.

Lead Magnet Integration

Business websites exist to further the growth of your business. If your site design doesn’t make it easy for you to put up new promotions, calls to action, landing pages, or other such lead magnets, how effective is it as a website? Integrating the capability for website owners to independently add new landing pages for different campaigns and market segments is especially important.

Content Management System

Static HTML websites haven’t been cool since the early 2000s. Websites today must be interactive and dynamic. A content management system (CMS), such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, .Net, Shopify, and others help organize your site content in a way that’s easy for you to manage and easy for users to consume. A CMS will let you publish new content and edit existing pages at will.

Web Forms Integration for Lead Generation

Like landing page lead magnets, web forms serve a crucial function for business websites. Web forms integration allows you to capture customer emails, either for lead nurturing campaigns via email or direct sales leads. For it to work, your website back-end design must be able to sync with your email marketing system or CRM system.

Website Security

You wouldn’t leave your office unsecured overnight. The same rule goes for a business website. Your design must include robust website security features that protect against attacks from afar and simple human mistakes inside your organization that could lead to data loss or vulnerabilities. Frequent backups of your site are also crucial.

Social Media Integration

Lastly, no website in 2016 is complete without social media integration. All your efforts and resources spent on content are worthless if your users can’t like, comment, share, and follow. Integration with the most relevant social forums will help your users further share your efforts, upping your conversion rate in the process.

Need help getting your web design up to 2016 standards? Call us at 313-338-9515 or email to learn how we can help.