Your website is much more than an online brochure. It’s the front door to your business, the first place many potential customers go to find out about your product.
Make this powerful marketing tool work for you. Here are things to consider as you build a website that will be a cornerstone of your successful business.
Determine Your Goal
You’ll want a firm understanding of the primary goal of your website. Should it generate leads? Maybe all you need are the visitors’ names and email addresses. Or do you want them to do something: buy a product right away, request a quote or make an appointment?
As you develop the key components of your website, you will want all of them to support the goal you have established.
Build Your Sales Outline
Outline all the steps a visitor is likely to pass through on the way to your goal:
CUSTOMER AWARENESS: What will you do to build awareness and drive traffic to your site – SEO, marketing, email, social channels, advertising, directories, word of mouth, etc.
ENGAGE / CULTIVATE: What images, text, and or videos will you use to show how your product or service solves their problems. What opportunities will you provide to follow-up.
POSITIONING: You’ll want to demonstrate your prime differentiator. Consider using testimonials and expert positioning (blog content.)
CLOSING: Make your closing easy. The final transaction or call to action should be easy to get to and easy to perform. This could be an order form, a log in button, or a simple call to action.
All these components help move a potential customer to the end of your sales process.
Effective Sites Focus on These Key Design Elements
Clear – Visitors should know exactly what a navigation element is going to do. Icons used should be familiar (i.e. three stacked lines on mobile to activate a main menu.)
Mobile Friendly – Your navigation system must work well both on desktop browsers and on mobile. Make sure you test and check your mobile versions on a mobile device.
Consistent – Navigation menus should stay consistent from page to page.
Well ordered – If a menu is vertical the most commonly used items should be near the top. If it is horizontal the most commonly used items should be near the left.
Conventional – Your website menus have specific, expected navigation items present, including: a search box, a “Contact Us” link, and a logo that links to your home page.
Make it clean, with distinct elements – Avoid clutter. Have text that is to the point and well placed. Your text should contrast well with a background image or images.
Ensure your primary differentiator is big, bold and obvious – Display your differentiator through text and a primary image centered on the page.
Identify one or more problem and then solve them). These problems should be obvious on the home page. Lead with your product benefits rather than features.
Include A Call To Action and/or special deal – The Call To Action is designed to move someone down the sales process – Order today! Call now! Create an Account.
Explain and prove your primary differentiator.
Show what problems you solve for your customers. Always be promoting benefits of your product or service … not features.
Prove your competence and expertise in delivering on your promises.
Answer any questions that a visitor might have on the way to becoming a customer. (From substantial product details to parking directions at your location.)
Remember your website should be a virtual sales representative, guiding visitors toward a purchase.