If your business doesn’t have a website, does it actually exist? That is the modern-day equivalent to the tree falling in the forest theory I was taught at school. Indeed, if your company does have a website, is it fully functional, SEO-optimised, mobile friendly and simple to navigate? In other words, are your customers going to enjoy the experience enough to trust you, use your services and recommend you to friends and family? That is what is at stake.
So, if 2018 is the year you’ve decided to prioritise your company website, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to discover the 5 essential tips to building a site that drives new leads and repeat business.
Design for your customers
When designing your company’s website and writing the accompanying copy, don’t lose sight of the objective. While your “digital business card” is there to promote what you do, it needs to do so in a way that offers a solution to your customers.
To ensure you convey your value effectively, picture your ideal customer before designing (or redesigning) your website. This is more specific than your target market. Build a persona: what is their name, age, profession, and back-story – the more detailed the better. Then ask yourself the question: what is my customer’s problem and how can I answer that as quickly and easily as possible. Once you have a clear picture in your mind, writing copy and building a website that meets your customers’ expectations and answers their needs will be much simpler.
The fact is, attention spans are minimal online. So, if your contact information, services and a trusted review or two aren’t easily found, then it will be uphill struggle convincing someone your offering is worth their time/money.
Show off your capabilities
It’s all very well describing your skills and services clearly in your distinct tone of voice – but what customers want to see when they visit your website is evidence of said abilities. Beautiful imagery and case studies are extremely powerful, and will persuade customers in much the same way as a restaurant review will influence a potential patron.
If using your own imagery isn’t an option, make sure to be selective with your stock imagery choices as many have become a little clichéd. A good place to start is a free site such as Pixabay, however the variety and quality is lacking. Shutterstock and Flickr.com offer images at prices affordable to small businesses and use a royalty free license to enable businesses to legally use them on their website. Never use Google images unless there is a creative commons license.
Create a call to action
If you’re thinking of your website as your digital business card or salesman, its sole purpose is to generate leads for your business. Therefore, it needs a short and sweet sales pitch – a call to action (CTA). The best CTAs are those that give the potential lead a reason to take action, for example:
- “Contact us for a free consultation”
- “Get £50 off the first three months of your subscription”
If money-off isn’t an option you can offer, you can still make an enticing CTA that leads to a contact form, phone number, or email address. Make sure this CTA is distinct in design and colour, and is highly visible: highlighted in the menu bar, within a floating sidebar or in the centre of the page when it first loads. With smartphone usage edging desktop and the gap only widening, having the ability to call or email without leaving the website to write down a number or address is key.
Ensuring your website is search-engine optimised is essential to improve its Google ranking. The way keywords are used in menus, links, titles and image descriptions will significantly affect whether or not search engines find your company website when a customer types in their query for your product or service.
If you are building your website from scratch, it will save you a lot of time and money if you integrate SEO into the architecture from the beginning – incorporating it into the site map, wireframes and overall structure. This will require specific technical knowledge to address things such as open graphs, metadata errors and page speed. So, in the meantime, make sure you have the basics covered.
Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
Last, but not least, don’t forget to make your website mobile-friendly. With Google reporting that 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing – turning 40% to a competitor’s instead – and smartphone conversion rates up 64% (compared to desktop), it’s essential that your website is mobile ready.
To close the gap between your company and your customers and give them a seamless user experience they will love, set up your mobile friendly web design and gain an upper hand over the competition.
Sebastian was one of the first entrepreneurs in the UK to online crowdfund his business and continues to be a pioneer in the industry. The business idea was born when his Dad who is a tiler asked him to build him a website. Prior to founding Mettrr Technologies in 2012, he was an equity derivatives trader in London.