It doesn’t matter what business, market, or industry you’re in. Your business needs a website. But not just any website will do. After all, your business website is often your customer’s first point of contact with your brand and is the central hub for all your digital marketing activities. It’s also a controlled and owned piece of digital real estate which makes it extra special in today’s sea of rented and borrowed attention that comes along with using social media.
So why then are so many websites just so bad? And how can you make sure you’re not making the same mistakes?
There’s no place like home. Your website’s homepage that is. Because as great as social media is, it’s no place to build a business on. Sure it can, and absolutely should contribute to your businesses marketing strategy, but relying on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or LinkedIn as your primary marketing tools is much like handing over the keys to the kingdom, as the social networks are free to do what they want, when they want, with who they want, as they’ve shown us over and over again in the last few years. And then there’s the money and profit side of the equation – and I’m convinced that if business owners and entrepreneurs truly knew just how much money their websites were losing them every single week we’d have a lot more, and a lot nicer websites out there.
But the sad reality is that like many other pieces of the marketing puzzle, websites seem to get pushed to the bottom of the priority list, and are only ever invested in when something breaks, or the information on them is so outdated and useless that something simply must be done. So to help you avoid this here are 8 elements to an effective website so your site can get back to doing what it was meant to do all along – make you money.
There’s no impression quite like the first impression. This is why your website’s first impression on your customers needs to be a good one. The best way to do this is to keep it clean, keep it simple, and ensure it positively reflects your brand. Nothing screams amateur hour like an ugly site that’s hard to use, hard to navigate, and hard to enjoy. Less is always more and design matters, so don’t be afraid to spend a little extra time or a little extra money ensuring you’re putting your best digital foot forward.
Keep It Simple
One of the key principles in effective web design is in always remembering that the “back” button is only a click away. This is why you want to ensure you immediately answer your visitor’s question of “am I in the right place” by placing a clear and compelling tagline in a prominent place ideally front and center when someone first visits your site. Keep it clean, and keep it simple, and above all don’t confuse your visitors with fancy talk or jargon. Your tagline is not the place to be overly creative.
One Call To Action
Your website should have one primary goal and have everything designed to support that key objective. Overloading visitors with too many options is never a good thing and results in less action being taken, not more. So decide what your best sales conversion mechanism is and then build from there. Want more phone calls? Then make it easy and obvious to call. Want people to watch a video? Then put it front and center above the fold. Want email signups? Then offer a compelling lead magnet and ensure your signup box has an easy to see call-to-action button that stands out and commands attention.
Simplify Your Services
You know what you do, and you know it inside and out. Your visitor on the other hand likely only has a fraction of the knowledge about your product or service and so are teetering on the edge of overwhelm every step of the way. For this reason, you want to ensure your product or service pages are short, simple, and easy to understand. If you pretend you’re explaining them to a 12-year-old you normally won’t go too far wrong. Also, if you have a massive variety of products or services be sure to combine them into relevant categories, rather than listing the 99 different ways you can help someone.
Make It Responsive
Over half of all web browsing is done from a device other than a desktop computer. For this reason you need to be sure that your site looks just as good on a tablet, a smartphone, or a TV. These tips pretty simple, but incredibly important. If your website isn’t responsive to different screen sizes, it needs to be, and it needs to be now. Otherwise you’re losing money and losing customers.
Don’t Make Visitors Think
Your website should make things as easy as possible for your visitors. The less they have to search, decipher, and think, the better. Not because they’re not smart, but because they’re busy and it’s your job to simplify things for them. You are the expert after all. This is why the best websites are often the cleanest, most simple, and easy to understand. So take a minute to do the thinking for your visitor. What information would they want? What would be the best way to deliver it to them? And how can you deliver the best, fastest, and easiest solution for them?
One of the most powerful forces in the world of marketing is that of social proof. Essentially, social proof involves showing your potential customers or clients how other people just like them have acted, and provides them with guidance and context for how they should act as well. This can be done through the use of things like testimonials, reviews, endorsements, case studies, and even building up a large social media following which shows – at least on the surface – that your business is something worth paying attention to.
Text is great. And it’s important, not only for those of your visitors who prefer reading, but also for search engines who still like seeing relevant keywords and themes in your websites text. But too much text is likely hurting your user experience, and therefore, your conversions and sales. This is why whenever possible be sure to include a video to replace at least some of your websites text. Videos are beneficial in a multitude of ways including humanizing your brand, building unprecedented levels of trust, convincing and converting on the fence or undecided customers, and creating authority in your market. Videos can also be dual purposed and placed on video sharing sites like YouTube for extra coverage and brand awareness.
At the end of the day the key to designing a successful website is remembering that it’s not about you, it’s about your customers. When you put their needs, their experience and their desires first, and ensure you’re following the tips and guidelines we just talked about you really can’t go too far wrong. If you’re looking for help implementing these tips and strategies then I highly recommend getting in touch with us https://versysmedia.com/ who specialize in everything we just talked about.