“Domain names and websites are Internet real estate” – Marc Ostrofsky
Unless you have been cryogenically frozen for the past 30 years and just thawed out, all of us have witnessed the speedy acceptance of the website as a trusted source of information when shopping for a product or service.
Statistically speaking, over 81% of consumers start their product/service research on the web, so it is safe to say that any future client you hope to gain will have likely spent some time there learning about yours and other companies.
Knowing that 8 out of 10 people will visit your website before contacting you, it becomes crystal clear that having a professional and targeted web presence is critical to your business's success.
With this in mind, I would like to take a moment to highlight the six key elements of a winning website that will grab attention and convert looky loo’s into loyal clients.
“Don’t think of your website as a self-promotion machine, think of it as a self-invention machine.” – Austin Kleon
Be Bold and Focused
Often websites are way too general; this is an attempt to appeal to anyone and everyone that happens to visit. Unfortunately, this approach can water down your marketing message. It is widely accepted we have approximately 15 seconds to grab and hold a prospective client's attention so your website needs to be targeted to clearly demonstrate you are tapped into the current and future needs of your clients.
Invest in Great Images
A picture is worth 1000 words and great images can be incredibly inviting. When possible, less text and more images can be extremely effective in creating a high-impact and emotional message. On the flip side, poorly chosen images can have an immediate negative effect on a website visitor. So choose your images wisely.
Simple and High Impact Content
Less is more when it comes to content. Publishing too much content runs the risk of overwhelming your visitors, or even worse boring them so they quickly move on. With content, we walk a fine line of just enough to demonstrate that you are a subject matter expert and, at the same time have a profound understanding of the needs of a potential client. You have a small amount of time to get your message across, choose your high-impact keywords that have impact and meaning.
Ridiculously Easy to Navigate
Make it easy for anyone landing on your site to get the information they came for. Put all key information on your landing page, DO NOT hide it many clicks away in the deep dark reaches. Keeping your site fresh, clear and timely will keep it relevant and in turn intuitive to a potential client. Do not be afraid to get rid of old information that might muddy your key message and make it hard to navigate.
Every business has a brand. It might be a brand of high-value products, caring customer support, great selection, and low prices to name a few. Whatever your brand, all your marketing, including your website should demonstrate an aligned brand story. Your website is your digital storefront, so take a moment to imagine it as if it was a bricks and mortars building.
What would your sign look like?
How would you decorate?
How do you want your visitor to feel?
Would they tell their friends?
Clear and Comfortable Call to action
What do you want next from a visitor? Call us? Schedule an appointment? Make a purchase? Subscribe to a newsletter?
Whatever the next step you are looking to motivate a potential client to do, make it easy and personal. Some people still like the option to phone in, or send an email, and some people still want to meet in person! For some, contact forms are impersonal and will have them exiting on your site when they get to that point. Keep your potential client and their demographics in mind when setting up your call to action. Resist a cookie-cutter approach; pick one that works best for ideal clients.
This is often overlooked when building a website. So many sites are not formatted to be mobile-friendly. And with over 61% of web visits originating from a mobile device, you will often frustrate and even run the risk of losing a potential client as they move on to other sites that are easy to navigate with their handheld. Mobile devices are so powerful now that many people rarely use their computers, and in some cases do not even have one. Mobile-friendly sites are a must in today’s digital marketplace.
"A website is a window through which your business says hello to the world.” – Amit Kalantri