Building a website is a lot of work. You have to start with defining the goals for your website – and the layout and design that will help accomplish those goals.
Now the site is built and you’ve figured out ways to get people to your site. The next step is now to get visitors to stay and accomplish those goals. Whatever your goals are, there are essential elements your website should have that will help reach your goals and provide a useful and easy user experience.
Navigation is the gateway into your website. If it’s hard to find or confusing to use visitors will not hang around. You should make navigating your website a thoughtless process. Place the navigation in a space where people would expect to find it. And avoid using new or trendy navigation designs, like the hamburger navigation, unless it makes sense for your website.
If the goal of your website is to capture sales leads, you’re probably doing this by capturing names and email addresses from your website visitors. To do this you should offer a lead magnet – a free e-book, checklist, cheat sheet, etc. – in exchange for their name and email address. Once they’ve signed up, you now have a lead that you can sell to at a later time. You can collect email addresses – along with much more information – using email marketing tools like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, GetResponse or AWeber – just to name a few. You can send these leads weekly or monthly newsletters, company updates, product or service updates or announcements, and sales invitations. This is one of the best ways to keep in touch with current and potential customers. Send them useful information to keep your business top-of-mind so that they are primed and think of you when they are ready to buy. This is also a good way to get referrals. Your customer or potential customer may not yet be ready to buy, but they may know someone looking for what you have to offer. Your newsletter or other communications can be forwarded to a friend who is actively looking to purchase right away…and thus generating more sales leads for you.
One of the most, if not the most important, things you should have somewhere on your website is your contact information. It would really suck if a potential customer came across your site ready to buy and needing additional information and they couldn’t find a way to contact you. You can put your contact information in several different places – on a contact page, in a sidebar, in a static navigation bar across the top of your website, and in the footer. Also, have a contact form so that people can contact you for more information or send comments.
It should be no surprise that having a mobile responsive design for your website is very important. Think about it! How often do you search for and access websites or apps on your tablet or mobile phone? Probably more than on a desktop. In fact, this article states that Google reports that mobile searches have surpassed desktop in 10 countries. And The Mobile Playbook on Google states that 94% of smartphone users search for location info for local businesses. So, you can see why having a mobile-ready website or app is important. If your site is not mobile-friendly users are likely to abandon your site and look for a competitor’s site that is easier to use on their device.
Social proof is a must in building trust with potential clients or customers. Many of them come to your website looking for information and some evidence that they can trust your product or service. Provide testimonials, case studies, reviews or other info that builds trust, describes what it’s like to do business with you and makes them want to purchase with you as opposed to one of your competitors.
These five things can improve the effectiveness of your website, helping to meet your website goals. Make sure you have these necessary and essential components on your site and you can be well on your way to converting visitors into customers.
What else do you feel is essential for your website in regards to your business? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.
Until next time…TTYL!