Websites that work have…….
A good professional design layout with clear logical navigation
When a prospect lands on your website you literally only have a few seconds to create an impression, or the prospect and opportunity will be lost for good! It is therefore crucial to have a website which looks professional, with a good layout and clear logical navigation. The choice of colour is also important as is the choice of font, font size, and font colour. Prospects visit your site for information on your products/services, don’t make the mistake of expecting them to be mind readers regarding your curious unusual choice of navigation, or needing them to zoom in because your choice of font is so small, or in a colour that is difficult to read against your background colour scheme. Your choice of wording on your Home page is also critical to keeping your prospects attention, and interesting them enough to want to find out more about your products/services. It is also vital to explain to prospects clearly what you do in easy understandable language, and do not be tempted to use technical jargon.Remember you only get one chance to make a first impression!
Include prominent ‘Calls to Action’on every page
Every page on your website should have an objective and an appropriate ‘call to action’ otherwise there is no point to having the page! Think carefully about your objectives, and use the most appropriate ‘call to action’ applicable. This could be to contact you, request a call back, fill in a form, download a brochure, enter a competition, or subscribe to a newsletter, and so on. It is vital to provide your audience with a clear message and sign posting of what you would like them to do.
Incorporates professional video
Video engages and connects with your audience like no other medium and therefore you are missing a big opportunity if you do not have any video on your website. It also helps hugely with your search engine optimisation and your online visibility. This is no coincidence as Google owns YouTube so it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that you will be given a higher search engine recognition for using video on YouTube. Having said that it can also be a distraction if a prospect is re-directed to YouTube to watch your Home page video and wanders off at a tangent viewing other YouTube video which follow on after yours! We therefore do not promote placing a link off your Home page to a YouTube channel but rather mount them in a way that will not redirect your prospect. There’s a neat little tip for you! You can of course still mount the video on YouTube separately with a link back to your website and have the ‘best of both worlds’.
Responsive design across all devices
Nowadays this is an absolute ‘must have’. Any websites which are not responsive across all devices are without a doubt getting penalised in the search engines, and will be losing you prospects at an alarming rate!For example, as of February 2017 mobile devices accounted for 49.74% of web page views worldwide (Source: www.statista.com).If you do not have a responsive website you need to get one urgently!
Search engine optimised with relevant keywords
Without getting bogged down in the detail as this is a huge topic in its own right it is vital to have your website search engine optimised. If your site is not optimised it simply will not perform to its full potential. You need to have relevant keywords inserted on to every page, and every image on your website should have relevant ALT and TEXT tags. Failure to have a search engine friendly website means you have pretty much wasted your time and money!
Are customer focused
Focus on the benefits of your products/services to your prospects, don’t fall into the trap of having a ‘pretty’ website that’s just all about how wonderful you are! Ensure you highlight your ‘Unique Selling Point’ (USP) what makes you different from all your competitors, tell your prospects why they should do business with you.
Have a comprehensive FAQ list
Your prospects will undoubtedly have many questions about your products/services so it is really an opportunity to be engaging and helpful to have a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions section. You don’t need to go into chapter and verse just keep it brief and to the point, and include a strong ‘call to action’ on the page encouraging your prospects to contact you for more information. Alternatively, you could have a contact form requesting you to call them back.
Display full contact information
Always display your full contact information on your website in a prominent position, preferably on a separate page with a map and location directions. Failure to display all your contact information may send a warning signal to your prospects that you may have ‘something to hide’. Details should include:
- A contact name (optional)
- Telephone number (minimum main landline with mobile as optional)
- Full office address and directions (preferably with a map)
- Email address
Have a strong social media presence
This is your opportunity to engage with your audience, promote your products/services, share information, showcase to your prospects that you are a great company to work with. The added benefit here is that you can use the platforms for marketing your products/services to targeted audiences for relatively low costs.Using social media channels also significantly improves your online visibility and raises your search engine profile. Good social media platforms which are regularly populated will also give your prospects ‘peace of mind ’ and generate trust in your company. As a minimum we suggest you have Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, YouTube, and Pinterest, although these can be variable according to your specific business requirements.
Have a regularly maintained Blog
Blogging is a great way to connect with your audience, spread your online visibility, and to encourage prospects to visit your website. It also helps to build customer relationships and trust. As your audience connects with your blog so you will develop more industry credibility as your articles will start to get more shares across other users social media channels. In time, if you post regularly with new interesting and informative content you may even go viral!It’s all ‘free marketing’ and a great way to get more traffic to your website and for new prospects to hear about you and your products/services.
Monthly updates with fresh new content
Google loves fresh new content and to have a website with the same content for many years is not going to help your search engine optimisation (SEO). To keep your site featuring at the front end of a Google search you need to keep adding fresh new content to your website on a monthly basis. Always ensure you research and use appropriate keywords in your text and also on any images you add.
Show some customer testimonials
What better way to give your prospects ‘peace of mind’ about working with you than to show some satisfied happy customer comments. Be selective and just choose a few, don’t be tempted to display too many it is better to edit and swop them around than overdo it with too many. One or two video testimonials are also a nice touch.