November 29, 2016
This blog examines the components of a successful website.
Great business websites aren’t necessarily those that include all the latest motion graphics, bells and whistles, and great websites aren’t necessarily expensive to build. The measure of great website is simple. Does it help your business improve sales?
The design and imagery on your website creates your visitor’s first impression. It sets the tone for your website and helps you connect with your target audience. If you are a product retailer, you will need professional images of your products to establish yourself as a trusted retailer. Service-based businesses will want to focus on images of happy customers.
If you do not have access to a professional photographer there are many online resources to find high-quality images. Websites like Shutterstock and Getty Images have an amazing selection of stock photography in just about every pose or activity you can think of.
Simple Copy, Simple Message
According to a recent study, the average attention span has gone from 12 seconds down to eight, one second shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. Readers are not going to hang on your every word, so you need to make your words count. Great website copy refines your message and evokes an emotion or action that readers should take.
Keep your website copy short and simple. Remember that most of your website visitors have no prior knowledge of your business or the topic at hand. Take the information down to a child’s level to ensure that the message is easy to understand.
Also, try to include keywords that will be used to search for your content. If you work in the service industry, be sure to incorporate customer testimonials in your website copy.
Clear CTAs and Navigation
First, you must ask yourself what you would like your website visitors to do. What action do you want them to take? Should they call you? Email? Sign up for your email list? Each individual page on your website should have a purpose, whether that is to contact your company, purchase a product, or click a link for more information.
Play with images, buttons, and wording to see what your readers/customers respond to the best. Buttons should capture attention with a bold color or text. Use your website analytics to determine what links and buttons are working well to convert customers.
Google ranks websites optimized for mobile devices higher than sites that are not. Higher search rankings mean more website traffic, and more website traffic means more business. However, according to McKinsey & Company, “Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing, and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead.” Devoting time and energy to a mobile-ready website will pay higher dividends in the end.
Concentrate on simplifying your content and design so that it is easy to view on a mobile screen. To dive deeper read our previous blog post, “Mobile is the new normal – Why a responsive website is key.”
Having an easy-to-find FAQ (frequently asked questions) page not only saves time but also improves customer service. Do you keep getting the same email questions from your customers? Instead of answering all the questions one by one, share a response on your FAQ page that you can link to. This will encourage website visits and save time for you and your customer service team.
You can also incorporate these answers into your website copy to communicate better with your customers. By answering their doubts up front about a product or service you can build trust and authority.
Most likely you are using 2-3 social media channels to promote yourself and your business. Take advantage of your online audience by including clear links at the top and bottom of your web pages. Make sure those links go the correct page. You can also embed a live feed from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to name a few. However, only include these updated feeds if you want to attract them to your social media pages. If you would like your viewer to stay on your website and browse your blog, for example, you may want to use simple social media buttons instead. If you need help choosing the right social media platform, read this blog post.
Perhaps the most important aspect to an effective website is perfecting the user experience. The user refers to your reader or customer. A fancy website that breaks the bank may not be effective if the messaging is too complicated.
Have someone who does not know anything about you or your business take a look at your website. After they are done reviewing your site, ask the reviewer to tell you what you do, what you sell, and what he or she felt compelled to do. You can gain valuable insight from this process, and their answers may surprise you.
By applying these tips for a great website, you will be able to communicate more effectively with your customers, which will lead to better results for your business. If you need help applying these ideas to your website, contact us. Our team can help you create a roadmap to design a more effective website and a better user experience.