“My website is working! Why change it?”
We hear this all the time, whether we’re networking with a Chicago business owner or just talking shop at the bar at the end of the day (yep, we really do talk about digital marketing in our free time, too… it’s what we do).
We understand being resistant to change, and we get it – not everyone is a technical wonk. But if your website isn’t optimized for today’s digital landscape, then it’s not working; in fact, it may well be doing more harm than good.
But where to start updating and refining your website? Start by making sure that your site includes all five of these essential elements. If you’re missing one, it may be high time to start the conversation about getting your website back on track!
It’s hugely important for your website to immediately convey to your visitors exactly what they need to know about your brand. Who are you? What services or products do you provide? What sets you apart from – or ahead of – any competitors in your field?
Why does it matter so much? Statistics show that about half of all users spend just 15 seconds on a webpage, and only 20% scroll down to the bottom of a page. Users won’t follow through on a purchase or click through to other parts of your site unless you hook them immediately with a clear, compelling narrative.
And remember that, while words matter, they aren’t the end-all and be-all! Every element of your page’s design, from color scheme to font choice, should also be carefully considered: These choices should all serve to reinforce your branding and messaging in an intuitive, easy-to-grasp way.
Why were business cards and calling cards so important for so many years? Because they create an immediate sense of loyalty and trust. This person or brand isn’t a mystery; instead, they are eminently available and well within reach. This is even more true in the digital era, where it can be much more difficult to trust the veracity of a site or claim online.
On your website, a contact section is a must for bolstering your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of viewers – and it’s necessary for facilitating follow-up calls and sales! As a bare minimum, be sure that your site includes your post address, email address, and a phone number. You may also want to include links to your social media pages or any other listing services (professional sites, LinkedIn, or the like).
Call to Action/Lead Capture
In our experience, the best way to encourage follow-through and secure a conversion? Include an easy-to-use “lead capture” form on your site itself. Users don’t like having to switch between multiple platforms to accomplish their goal; give them the option to reach out on your site itself!
Your lead capture can take many forms. A contact form for questions or comments, an email newsletter sign-up, a free download offer: All of these create value for your visitors, inspiring engagement, curiosity, and loyalty.
The best way to ensure that your lead capture doesn’t go dormant for months at a time? Include a compelling call to action (CTA) on your site! Whether it’s a button, a pop-up, or the copy on your landing page, your CTA should be concise, compelling, and clickable. We’ve written about our most vital CTA best practices before; be sure to give the post a look!
The bad news? Users are looking for any and every excuse to click away from your site. The good news? It’s easy to keep them present and engaged. The easiest way to retain your visitors – and convert them into satisfied customers – is to make sure your site works. Ditching code bloat, cutting down on load times, and focusing on mobile responsiveness will get users to land on your page; include easy-to-follow navigation options, search functionality, and a responsive, active interface, will make your users eager to click around.
High Quality Content
But just where are users clicking through to? Your high quality multimedia and blog content, of course! Content is vital for your site; it creates a ton of value for your brand in the eyes of visitors, positioning you as a dependable thought leader and, thus, encouraging loyalty and retention.
And not only does content encourage your visitors to engage with your site and warm up into leads, it also drives new visitors to your site in the first place, all thanks to the science of SEO, or search engine optimization.
We’ve written about the overwhelming importance of content before, but here’s the quick gist: Cultivating a robust, frequently updating blog improves your standing in the eyes of Google and other search engines; the more content you post, the more these engines and their ranking algorithms trust your site, the higher your site appears to new searchers. A diverse blog will also allow you to reach and retain searchers eager to find a quick solution to their problem, through the practice of “long-tail” search targeting.
Has reading these points made you reconsider your own website? Whenever you want to talk shop, Geek is here to help! Our team’s portfolio includes web development and content marketing strategies for a wide array of clients. Ready to put the power of the Geeks to work for you? Drop us a line today!