Your website is your home-base on the internet. The design, structure, and content of your site all determine its success. When potential clients or customers visit your site, they are generally asking four questions:
1. Is this what I’m looking for?
2. Who is this company?
3. Can they help me?
4. Can I trust them?
In order to answer your visitors questions in the affirmative, your website design needs to be attractive and interesting, it must be structured so its easily navigable for both humans and search engines, and the content must be informative and relevant to your visitors needs.
How to Build a Better Website
Here are five steps to a better website that will help meet these criteria, and in turn, increase your rate of conversion from website visitor to in-store customer.
Easily Identifiable Company Brand
Your logo or business name needs to be on every page of your website so that visitors know exactly who you are. Consistency is extremely important throughout your site. Another element of this is a well written ‘about’ page so your visitors can learn more about you and your business.
Photos and videos of you, your employees, office, business location, etc. are extremely important, since the attention span of internet users is very short, the visual appeal of a website can make a huge difference between visitors reading through your content, or surfing to the next shiny website.
Don’t try to make your business sound like something its not. Be you. Be real. Let your personality and voice shine through. If you’re funny, interject humor throughout your site’s content. Your customers come to you because of who you are and what you do, not because you sound like a large publicly traded corporation.
People do business with those they know, like, and trust. The best way to help establish this is to show other customers who are already doing business with you. Written & video testimonials are a great way to display this. Your Facebook fan page with many likes, or Twitter feed with multiple followers is another great way to build credibility with your visitors.
Create a Clear Call to Action
If you want your website to convert visitors into customers, they need to be able to contact you. The best way to get them to do this is to ask! Have a clear and concise call to action throughout your website. If you want them to call you, put “call today for a free consultation, 555-555-5555” or something similar, on every page. Short and sweet, but clearly defined is key.
Build Your Platform Correctly
When it comes to future-proofing your site, the first step is to find a platform that will be effective for you and your goals. We prefer WordPress and Genesis with a Child Theme, because it’s incredibly search engine friendly, secure, and well coded.
HTML5 is vital to include because it’s the new standard. It’s mobile friendly, boosts your SEO, and brings CSS3 with it!
Responsive design is another must-have. Chances are, a good portion of your readers are readings your blog on their phones or iPads. You want to make sure that your design caters to them as well, and that your site remains visually pleasing no matter how it’s being viewed.
Security is another big issue, because no one likes hackers. Make sure you give limited access, have long, complicated passwords, safe plugins, and security plugins in place.
Of course, you’ll also want to back up your site just in case anything ever happens. Check out the slideshow to see all the various ways you can do this!
Don’t be plugin-crazy. Don’t use your site as a testing ground for all different kinds of plugins. Stick to the ones that are trusted and necessary.
At the end of the day, don’t be a tinkerer. If you don’t know what you’re doing, that’s ok! Stick to what you do best, and don’t be afraid to hire someone to do all the techie-work. It is SO worth it in the long run to be confident that your site is safe, secure, future-proofed, and optimally set up.
This isn’t an all-inclusive list, but a great start to improve your website presence.
What additional steps & suggestions would you add to this list?