People often form their first impression of your business from your website. You want your website to be effective: something that inspires people to do business with you.
Your Website Can Be A Powerful Marketing Tool
Here are the essentials that every business website should have.
A Simple, Straightforward Domain Name
Your domain name should be easy for people to remember and type into a browser or email address. Your business name is almost always the best choice for your primary domain name. This helps build recognition and familiarity with your business. Keyword-based domain names are also a good idea. You can use them with your primary domain name to point to relevant pages of your site.
Good Visual Design and Layout
It’s a must that your site has a clean, professional design and that the layout is simple and consistent. Straightforward, intuitive navigation makes it easy for visitors. Your site’s look and feel should give an impression of your business. Does your website look outdated or amateurish? Ask yourself (either out loud or in your head): how does my website make my business look to prospective clients and customers?
Also, remember that visitors often scan through a web page first. If they feel like the page or site offers value to them, they will slow down to read it. When you organize the content for scanning, the following is helpful:
- Short paragraphs with headers, if necessary
- Bullet points
- Highlight important words or phrases
A Clear Description Of What You Do
You want to make it easy for your visitors. Your business name, products, and services should be on the home page. Let visitors know this is THE website and business they have searched for. They will stay on your site longer when there is a clear description of how your offer fulfills their needs.
A Call To Action
Make the next step obvious to visitors. You may want them to click through for more details about a special offer, sign up to receive your emails with exclusive email-only coupons, or contact you for a free quote. Ensure your call to action stands out on the page with highlighted text, a graphic, or a sign-up form.
An About Us Page
People want to learn more about the company or person they are considering doing business with. A straightforward, concise biography about you and/or your company helps potential customers connect with you while learning about your experience and credentials. While most of your site is about how your products and services will fulfill a need or solve a problem for your visitors, the About page lets you share what makes you fabulous. However, you want to keep things simple and not overwhelm them with too much information.
Easy To Find Contact Information
Include a Contact page with several ways for people to contact you. Include at least a phone number, email address, and contact form. One of the biggest mistakes is providing people with only one way to reach you. Remember, you want to make it easy for visitors to communicate with you in the easiest way for them. Including contact information on every page of the website is good practice. This can be in the footer, sidebar, or even the top right corner, which helps visitors find it more easily.
People like stories from real people about their experiences with a business. Other people’s words help make your products or services tangible to potential customers. Testimonials help potential customers build trust in you. They also help confirm whether your product or service will meet their needs.
Basic Search Engine Optimization
SEO starts with how your site is coded. Make sure the website is constructed in an SEO-friendly way. If you are working with a web designer, ask how they will build your website. Also, ask what they do to make it search engine optimized. See Finding and Working with a Web Designer for tips. If you are a do-it-yourself-er, you may use a website builder or a template. Be sure to research what SEO options are available to you. Check out these handy website content, graphics, and SEO resources too.
Next, be sure to include plenty of keywords throughout your website content. You also want to correctly name your page titles and URLs and add descriptive text to all images. Providing details about your products and services also helps with organic SEO.
Plenty Of Quality Content, And Keep It Fresh
For many businesses, the website is the first impression for a potential customer. If that’s the case for your business, you want to provide them with plenty of information. You also want to give them a reason to keep coming back. A blog or newsletter archive is a great way to add new content. Reviewing your site to ensure all the information is current is also helpful. Fresh content is also a massive help with SEO. It shows the search engines that your site is regularly updated. And this helps it rank higher in search results.
Remember to proofread! Content that is full of errors looks unprofessional and may deter potential customers. Always check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors before you update your site.
A Site Map
There are two types of site maps. Search engines index one. The other one is for the human visiting your website. You want to make sure your site’s navigation is clearly laid out. Although if you don’t have a search function, having a site map for human visitors is helpful. A good site map is a structured list of all the pages of your site that shows the primary pages and sub-pages.
Consider the following:
- 39% of visitors leave a website if images won’t load or take too long.
- 44% will leave a company’s website without contact information or phone number.
- 38% will stop engaging with a website if they find it unattractive.
- 70-80% research a small business online before purchasing or visiting in person.
- 51.3% of worldwide users access the web via mobile devices. Sources: Adobe, Blue Corona, KoMarketing, StatCounter
A mobile responsive website that loads quickly is no longer a “nice to have.” If your website isn’t easy for visitors to view and navigate on their mobile devices, they will leave. People will also click away from a slow website. They may return when they’re on a desktop or laptop. Or, they might find another business that offers similar products and services.
Are you ready to bring those customers back? Webb Weavers Consulting, based in Ventura, CA, can help! Learn more about Webb Weavers Consulting’s WordPress Website Packages, WordPress Website Maintenance Plans, and Search Engine Optimization Services.