In 1999, you were ahead of the curve if you had a website. Even a simple home page and contact form would have helped you get found by your customers.
In 2014, it’s a little more competitive.
100,000 new sites a day are published.
You don’t need to be a math genius to know you’ve got your work cut out for you if you’re going to stand out from the crowd.
Even a small business website with 8-12 pages of content needs to have certain elements to have a hope of attracting prospects and turning them into customers.
If you’re considering a website refresh or a whole new site, here are some essential elements in today’s noisy world.
The person helping you with your web design/development may understand this and they may not.
Don’t assume they do because frankly, it’s a different skill set than design or coding. Ask. If they don’t know, here’s a Slideshare that you may find helpful.
- Who is your target market?
- How will you show you solve their problems?
- How will you weave good keyword terms into your copy?
- – Often this is most overlooked element in websites but don’t let this fall by the wayside!
If you don’t know the answers to any of these, find out.
This means your website will show up nicely on smartphones and tablets.
Without it, your pictures and text will go off the screen and readers will need to scroll back and forth to read your message. 70% of online searches start “on the go”. If your website doesn’t automatically resize for the phone so it’s easy to read, you’re going to lose customers.
Keep your design simple. Don’t clutter up your home page with a ton of graphics and confusing tabs. You need a nice, simple header, a clean layout, a benefit-focused headline and good copy that solves your prospects problems.
5—Build a List
90% of people who land on your site will disappear, never to be seen again. You’ve worked hard to get them to you so don’t let them leave without connecting with you. Email gives you the chance to develop a relationship and make more sales. In fact, marketers report, the majority of sales still happen through email.
6—Develop a Sales Funnel
Taken from the sales world, the idea of a “sales funnel” is that you have a lot of people at the top of your funnel and they “self-select” as they get to know you. Ultimately, a certain percentage does business with you. Your goal? Make it easy for them.
7—Make it Easy
Ideally, you have clear offers on your site. Buy this, do that…you don’t want your prospects to be confused. Using the sales funnel as an example, let’s say you offer a “lead magnet” or special report to your audience. If you sell marketing automation software to small business owners you might call it, The Small Business Guide to Marketing Automation: 10 Tips to Make it Work for You.
Your business owners will sign up on your opt in form to receive this report. Now, they have valuable information and you have their email address. That’s your first step in the sales funnel.
8—Calls to Action
Lead your prospect by the hand through your copy and ask them to do something. That “ask” could be making an appointment with you or signing up for your special report. Each page should have a call to action that makes sense.
9—Integrate Your Social
Make sure your social media icons are easy to find and link to your social media pages. Review your social media plan and make sure you have a nice balance of social shares, information, fun and offers that link back to your website (this latter can be a teaser with a link to a blog post).
10—Separate Landing Pages
If you’re selling a book or a seminar or a special service, it helps to have a specific page dedicated to that product or service. It focuses on one thing and you can drive traffic with blogging, ads and social media posts to that one page.
Keep it simple, don’t include tabs to your other pages and have the call to action obvious.
11—Include meta data
This is a “behind the scenes” title and description that go into your code and help your prospects find you. Uncover more about about meta data here.
I see a lot of clients either ignore it completely or use the same description for every page. Neither will help you. Like the keyword strategy, don’t assume your web person will handle it for you. They may not know how. If not, either learn to do it yourself or hire someone. I’ve even offered coaching services to coach people through how to do this. It’s important.
What about you? What am I leaving out? Love to hear in the comments below.