7 Tips for the Perfect Website
If you’ve just launched a business and you’re looking for someone to help you create a website, bear these tips in mind, as they will help your site hold its own against your competitors’ and ensure sales are smooth and sustainable.
If, however, you’ve been in business for years and you already have a working website, these tips are still worth going over, as sites can soon become unresponsive, outdated and confusing for customers. Worse still, they can be rejected by Google if they’re not in tip-top condition.
Have an idea about what your site should look like
Don’t get me wrong, website designers are great at, well, designing websites. That doesn’t mean they should be the sole person in charge of creating your site, though. Designers don’t know your business nor your industry as well as you do, they won’t have as clear an idea of why customers will visit your site and what they may expect to see when they land on it. If you’re planning a brand-new website, take some time to think about what your site needs to do and what it needs to include before you even look for a designer to help you. Designers can produce wonderful things from a brief, they’re just not that good (unsurprisingly) at producing a masterpiece out of thin air.
Your site needs to look more than ‘pretty’
Following on from the last point, website design encompasses more than how the site looks visually. It includes plug-ins, databases and interactive features; menus and navigation; imagery and load speed…the list goes on. A pretty site doesn’t necessarily equal a functional, effective site. Concentrate on the latter before looking at how you can ‘jazz it up’
Include a call to action
You’ve spent time and most probably money getting people to visit your website. Once there, what do you want them to do? Is landing on your site enough to have them buy from you? Is it an e-commerce site or do they have to pick the phone up to order? Does it include a way to capture the contact details of those not yet committed to buying? Figure out where your website fits in your customer’s journey and the overall sales process and ensure it moves them along in the right way.
Make sure it talks to them, not at them
One of the worst things you can do on your site is simply talk about yourself and your products. ‘Buy this, buy this, buy this!’ is an outdated, ineffective way to sell anything. Use your site to talk to your customers, explain the benefits they’ll see if they were to buy your product/service. Describe the problem they are looking to solve and make it clear you understand the position they’re in. Engage them, entice them, encourage them, educate them…but don’t simply post your product and expect them to do all the work. They’ll just click away to one of your competitors who does do the above.
Explain what you do better, your USPs
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be the only company providing what you offer. If potential customers can get what you sell elsewhere, why would they bother coming to you? What do you do better? Maybe you provide more in-depth after-care. Perhaps your prices are lower. Your shipping times may be quicker. Your brand may have a solid reputation. Perhaps your USP is a mix of all of these and more. Whatever your USP(s), make sure they’re clear to people as they click on your site.
Websites have been around since the early 1990s, and some businesses haven’t changed their site since then. If your site’s content hasn’t been updated for years or your blog has gone the way of the dodo, it will give visitors the impression that you’re either out of business or you simply don’t care enough to keep things up to date. A site that’s regularly frequented by the owner and/or their team not only shows it’s current, it also reassures the customer that there is a human on the other side of the screen who will appreciate and take care of their order. Outdated design is bad enough, but a site that resembles the Marie Celeste is even worse…add to it, refresh it, be present on it often.
Meet today’s attention spans
Websites created twenty years ago could perhaps afford to be text-heavy; however, nowadays, in our 24/7, fast-paced world, our attention spans are much shorter than they were. Content needs to be persuasive, but also, to the point…and there’s no better way to do this than including video on your site. Video allows you to demonstrate your product, highlight the satisfaction of your customers, get across your personality to those who don’t know you. Videos can convert leads into sales much faster than other forms of content, and the most visited sites will include numerous videos across their pages.
We hope these tips have proved useful. Whereas the internet, at the outset of its incarnation, featured only a handful of websites, it’s now overrun with them. Getting potential customers to click onto your site is an art in itself, and a much more complicated subject than it used to be. It also must be said that a well-designed, effective, video-including site will make search engines happy, particularly Google. Your site has the potential to lift your brand and your products way above the heads of your rivals, but only if it meets the expectations of consumers today.
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