Without These Essentials, Your Website Is Sort of Useless
What is your website doing for your business?
Is it capturing valuable leads? Is it generating sales? Is it effectively driving your business?
Or is just sitting around acting a little, well, useless?
Your website should be working for you like a silent but stealth salesmen, bringing in clients and growing your business day and night.
But it can’t do that unless you have these website essentials to bring it up to its full, result-oriented potential.
Vital Homepage Components
Your home page is where you make your first impression. It’s where you introduce your business and set the tone for your web presence.
Your homepage should explain who you are, what you do, and what visitors can do on your website.
Convey those messages above the fold (so that visitors can see all of the vital information without scrolling) using the following elements.
Attention Grabbing Headline (that tells the visitor what you do)
Call to Action (that tells the visitor what they should do)
Colorful Button (that makes it easy for the visitor to know how to take the next step)
This doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. Most of the time, a simple design will win over a busy homepage with too many elements.
Take a look at eWedding’s homepage. It uses a simple headline, call to action, and colorful buttons to say who they are, what they do, and what visitor’s should do next.
Lead Generation Opt-ins
For most business models, getting visitors to your site doesn’t mean anything if the visitors leave without giving you anything in return.
So, businesses should have a variety of unique conversion points based on their unique offerings and services on their website. And all businesses should have one vital, conversion point — that captures email addresses.
Capturing email addresses will help you begin to convert your visitors into targeted leads and later, paying customers. So make sure you are generating leads, by capturing email addresses through the following.
Opt-in Pop Ups — Offer visitors an opportunity to sign up for your newsletter through a pop up.
Opt-in Sidebars — Make it easy for visitors to sign up if they close out of the pop up by adding forms to sidebar or at the end of a page or post.
Offer Exchanges — In addition to newsletters, you can display other offers that require an email address in exchange for eligibility.
Ideas for opt-in exchanges include a:
Seat at a Webinar
Copy of Free Ebook, White Paper, Guide or Case Study
Chance to Win a Contest or Giveaway
Special Offer, Coupon, or Discount
Free Worksheet or Training
The volume of traffic to your website doesn’t determine its value. The volume of leads that your website pulls in will determine its true value. So, set it up for success with these three lead capture opt-ins.
A Call-to-Action Per Page
Because creating conversions is the goal of your website, make sure that you have clear call-to-actions that lead visitors through your site and into your sales funnel.
List two or three things that you would like visitors to do while on your website, then sprinkle those call-to-actions throughout your site.
There should be at least one clear call-to-action on each page of your website.
You never want your audience to be unsure of what to do and leave your site. Add a call-to-action at every end point to keep them on the page and heading toward your conversion point using phrases like:
Tell Your Friends
Get Started (or even better, “Get Started for Free”)
Don’t get boxed when it comes to call-to-actions. Don’t stick to general phrasing, and try out unique phrasing through a mixture of text and buttons.
See how Evernote used three buttons with different text to say the same thing. Test out different language and button colors to see what gets the most clicks.
Personal, Yet Sales-Oriented About Page
An About Page is usually one of the most visited pages on a website, so don’t treat it like an afterthought. Make sure you are introducing yourself and telling a compelling story through the content on your About Page.
A effective way to do that is to explain how and why you decided to start your business. Accomplish this by:
Introducing Yourself (Hi my name is Raubi…)
Presenting a Problem You Had (When I wanted to create my first website, I had no idea where to start…)
Identifying With Your Customer (We have all been there, and it’s extremely frustrating…)
Describing Your Ah-ha Moment (Then I realized it didn’t need to be difficult. I found out that I could create websites by…. )
Explaining Your Unique Value Proposition (…using simple methods that make website creation affordable and easy.)
Introducing Your Business and Current Situation (Now, we have a team of 25 and we work with dozens of businesses a week helping them create beautiful, results-drive websites.)
Your story doesn’t have to fit this exact formula, but it is good to hit on all of the major points as this turns your About Page into a version of a sales page.
But don’t focus so much on sales that you forget to make it personal.
Visitors go to your About Page to learn more about your business and what you stand for. So, share your values, mission statement, and photo of you or your team to make a personal connection that exists outside of your sales pitch.
According to a survey by BrightLocal, 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendation
We know customers rely on and trust reviews, and this is especially true for local businesses.
The same survey found that “almost 9 out of 10 consumers have looked at reviews in the last 12 months to help them make a decision on a local business.”
Customer testimonials and reviews will attract business so make sure you are putting effort into sharing and collecting as many reviews as possible.
Here at Big Mouth, we have made sharing our customer reviews a pillar of our website presence and, it has been an integral element in our ability to connect with new customers.
Online marketing is all about seeing what works and what doesn’t. And the only way to test that on your website is by having proper analytic integration.
Using Google Analytics on your website will help you answer some of the most important questions about your website, such as
How many people visited my site?
How long did they stay on my site?
How many visitors were new?
How did they find my site?
What pages did they visit while on the site?
What was the last page they viewed before leaving?
How many more visitors did I have this month than last month?
The answers to these questions will help you develop further iterations of your website, direct future content creation, and eliminate elements that aren’t working.
Even With These Elements, Your Work Isn’t Over….
These are the most important elements of a website that will generate leads and drive business.
But this isn’t where it ends.
Take your website to the next level by adding:
Clear Features and Benefits of Your Offerings
Responsive and Mobile Friendly Design
Links to Your Social Media Accounts
Links for Sharing Content on Social Media
Contact Information and Simple Contact Forms
High Quality Graphics
Fresh Content Published through a Blog
And don’t stop there either.
Websites, like businesses, are evolving properties. And your work on your website will never be complete.
Don’t set it, forget it, and leave your website to be a useless landing page that shares only the most basic information about your business.
Turn your website into your business’s best salesmen by continuing to update, mold, and cultivate it so it can bring in leads, generate sales, and work for your business day and night.