Every business needs a website. It allows customers to find you when searching for services in their area, and even if they already know your name, it allows them to research your offerings, compare you against your competitors, and make contact with you when they’re ready.
Some website designs are based on a template, while others are entirely customized. Every website is going to be a little different depending on its industry, unique brand, and target audience, but there are some key elements you should consider to get the best marketing results from your website.
Is It Well Designed?
First impressions are everything. Your website will need to appear interesting, helpful, and easy to use so visitors stay on your site and don’t hit the back button! A good website will make you money, so don’t be afraid to invest in its design.
Your website will be the foundation of all your marketing, so don’t skip important branding steps. If you already have a logo and brand identity, you will use this to plan the look and feel of your website. If you have not fully established a brand, take the time to discover your target personas and create a thoughtful branding guide that can be used in all of your marketing (including your website). Your brand will convey through your images and content what makes you unique and connect with your target audience.
Looks are important and the creative process can be fun, but be careful not to overly focus on design and neglect the functionality of your site. You need to understand your users and the actions you want them to take on your site so that you can create the best user experience.
Plan a mobile-first responsive design to accommodate all screen sizes. Optimize images and keep extra widgets at a minimum for fast load times. Organize your navigation and page layout in a way that is clearly named and easy to follow. Provide interesting and helpful information about your services and how you can help with visitors’ needs.
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Is It Generating Leads?
The main goal of any business website is to generate leads. With that in mind, having several different contact options will increase your conversion rate.
Having your phone number in the header of your website allows it to be prominent on the top of every page. Your customers will be able to call when they’re ready, no matter what page they’re on. By including a click-to-call link on the phone number, you can make this action even easier for your mobile visitors who are already on their phones! People who choose to call have immediate needs or prefer to communicate directly with a person.
Your contact page should have your main contact form along with your business address, Google Map, phone number, and office hours. Adding a mini version of your form on every page gives you more opportunity to capture the lead. People who choose to fill out a form are ready to contact, but are willing to wait for a response. They may not have the time at that moment for a discussion.
Having chat on your website is a great way to engage with a visitor in real time. This person will have immediate needs, but may not be prepared or have privacy to take a call. The chat allows them to get answers to their questions and decide if they want to take the next step, such as talking to someone by phone or scheduling an appointment.
What are other ways you can connect with and nurture a visitor until they’re ready to become a lead? Consider what resources you can offer in exchange for their contact information. This could be a newsletter signup or downloadable premium content with information not available on your website that can be used to help them with their research. Build a lead funnel email campaign that continues to reach out with additional resources, helping you stay top of mind until they convert.
Is It Showing Up in Search?
A great looking and lead-generating website is useless if no one can find it! Search engine optimization (SEO) helps search engines understand the information on your website so they can index and recommend relevant pages to users in related search results.
At the most basic level, you will optimize your pages with meta titles and descriptions. This is the text that shows on the search engine result pages (SERPs). Additional schema markup gives search engines detailed microdata about your business, services, and products, such as your reviews and ratings, specials, or product availability.
SEO best practices are constantly changing to keep up with search algorithm updates. Because of this, know that SEO is an ongoing effort and not a one-time setup.
Blogging is the best way to add new content to your website on a regular basis. It is an opportunity to show your expertise on different topics and create great content you can share through your social media channels and newsletters. Blog posts address your customers’ questions (and search queries), help you rank for more keywords, increase your exposure, and drive more traffic to your website.
Are You Tracking Performance?
At the end of the day, how will you know whether your website is performing well? In order to gauge success, you need to set goals and measure your results. Only then can you analyze your data and make informed decisions on changes to optimize performance.
How many visits did you have last month? What are the most popular blog topics? Has your organic traffic increased since you started SEO services? These are great questions and, if you have an analytics tool like Google Analytics on your site, you will be able to see these stats and better understand how visitors are engaging with your site.
Call Tracking Number
Phone calls are the top contact method for many local businesses. If you want to know how many call leads are coming specifically from your website in addition to your forms and chats, you can set up a unique call tracking number. Call data and recording options allow you to also use this information to review your intake process and provide training opportunities to staff.
I hope this information was helpful to you as you prepare for your first website or next website redesign. A website is a vital extension of your business online and the destination for most of your online marketing. Before you spend another dollar on marketing, I encourage you to step back and take the time to review your website and determine if it is optimized to turn that traffic into leads for your business.