I deal with a lot of people and organizations who haven’t had a website before. They know they need one and look to me to help them design them a great one.
But I’m always upfront with these clients. A new website will not revolutionize your business. Of course, a website is a necessity for most companies and organizations. And since viewers of your website are people, and people have differing opinions and viewpoints – there isn’t a formula that can be implemented to define the ‘perfect website’ that will kickstart your business. That said, following the guidelines that I lay out with my clients will help you develop a well organized website that will draw in visitors and increase your conversion rate.
One of the most important aspects of your website is organization. You have anywhere between 4-10 seconds to impress your website visitor to stick around on your site. If your front page or landing page can’t grab their attention in that time – odds are, they’re gone. No matter how great your product is, how inexpensive it may be or how awesome your customer service is – they’re on someone else’s site by now. You have to hit the ground running. That includes a site that loads quickly. Optimized images, clean text and a clear message – all ‘above the fold’, to use a newspaper term.
You can’t just create a great site and let it sit anymore. You have to be constantly updating your old content and constantly adding new content. Whether that is through a blog, or just updating your informational pages every once in awhile. Google gives extra love to websites that update their content often. And your viewers don’t want to see that your last blog entry was titled “When Will They Ever Find Osama Bin Laden?”
Set a schedule to update your content. Period.
Your website should be just a little more than a tease. The idea of your website is to get the viewer to call or email you for MORE information. If you give them all of the information, why would they call? You can do a much better job of selling your products or services on the phone or in person – so your website should act as the warm introduction – not the sales pitch.
Let’s face it, people can be dumb. We need to be told what to do, where to go, when to go there. Having a clear message “Call me today”, “Email me now” or “Download my e-book” will let your viewers know what they need to do to get in touch with you.
Be cautious when writing your content, especially for your home page key items. The website viewer wants to hear what you can do for them, not about what you’ve done for other people. Present a problem to the viewer and show them your solution for it.
But you do want to do a little self-promotion. Instead of you talking about how great you are, allow your clients to do the talking for you. Show off testimonials in text or in video. Let your potential clients hear what good things you’ve done for others.