To reach more customers, provide a better customer experience and crush your competition, your business needs a website. We’re not talking about just any website. We’re talking about a website that can (dare we say should) be the hub of your entire marketing strategy. It’s so much more than just a pretty face operating in a silo.
Does your site have what it takes? Check out these tips and features to ensure you’re building a website that is both powerful and engaging.
Think of Your Website as an Investment (Because It Is!)
Many businesses have the “do it cheap” mentality. This is sometimes referred to as “Our Really Smart 14-year-old Niece With a Computer Syndrome.” Just because your niece knows how to use a computer does NOT make her qualified to build your website. Are you suffering from this syndrome? Side effects include trying to use the cheapest resources available, resulting in a site that doesn’t do as much as you need it to do.
Instead of asking, “Should we try to do this cheaply or should we try to be effective?” try asking, “What do we need to spend in order to ensure we have a positive ROI?” In other words, what will you get back for what you put into the investment?
Remember that 70-80% of people research a business online before visiting it or making a purchase (Blue Corona). That’s why it’s so important to make a good impression with your website. Your site could make or break a sales opportunity.
Essential Website Features
Some features simply can’t be ignored when building your site. The below elements are vital to your business’s success. It’s time to put your best foot forward!
1. A Logical Structure
When people come to your website, they expect to be able to efficiently navigate to find what they are looking for. Navigation is one of the most important parts of your structure. We recommend you have 3-7 hierarchical options in the top navigation bar.
It’s also vital to have a search tool. Different people like to navigate multiple ways—some prefer search while others want to use your hierarchical structure. You’ll also want to add navigational elements to the footer so your visitors can see everything in one place.
The bottom line is this: When someone comes to your website, they should be able to get anywhere they want to be in three clicks or less.
2. A Clean, Professional Design
Design is so much more than pretty colors and pleasing imagery. Your website design should help tell the story of your business. You can do this by using words, videos and images. You’ll want to use headlines, subheads and buttons to help draw the end-users’ eyes seamlessly down your page. Nearly 39% of users judge a business by how their website looks at first glance. (GoodFirms) First impressions are everything, so put the effort into a pleasing design!
3. Contextual Content for All Types of End Users
Use content to provide context. How is the content informing and engaging your visitors in a deeper way?
Be sure to answer the following questions on your website:
- Who is your business?
- What does your business provide?
- How can your business help me (a prospective customer)?
Consider getting outside feedback from somebody who doesn’t know your business to see if your website is checking all of their boxes.
Did you know that businesses that blog get 67% more leads per month? (Demand Metric) Vitality will dramatically impact your repeat visitor count, meaning you need to keep content on your site and keep it fresh! We recommend dated content on your homepage that’s never more than 7 days apart, showing 3 occurrences (e.g., a list of 3 blog articles on the home page). This helps show your potential customers that you’re active and also encourages those repeat customers to keep coming back.
Investing in a quality website with the elements above will help you build a solid foundation for your online presence. With that, you’ll be on the right track to building awareness, reaching new target markets, improving communication with your customers and growing your sales.
Ready to get started? Learn more about Firespring’s web development services. Together we can build the website of your marketing dreams.