When it comes to attracting new business in the age of technology, your company’s website is arguably at the epicenter. Not only do potential customers visit websites to learn more about products and services, but they also use websites to read what others are saying before they take the next step and make a purchase.
Today, it’s pretty easy to design and launch a website thanks to DIY website builders. But Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say, and your website shouldn’t be, either. It takes a little time to create a website that converts visitors into customers, and below, we explore the elements every website should have to do just that.
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In 2015, when it was clear that the smartphone had changed the way people search the web, Google began ranking websites that were mobile-friendly higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) than those that were not. That’s when web developers started scrambling to create mobile versions of websites, but at that time the desktop version was still the one that Google indexed.
That’s changed. In 2018, Google announced it’s mobile-first indexing, meaning they would use the mobile version of a website for indexing and ranking. This means that your website should be designed with your mobile user in mind.
Feature great content
While Google has begun indexing mobile sites solely, they’ve also made it clear that websites with flimsy, poor-quality content will be penalized. But that’s nothing new. You still need great content on your website for a myriad of reasons, including for keyword optimization that, in turn, helps search engine optimization (SEO).
Your landing pages should include well-crafted content that educates and motivates visitors to take the next step and contact you. A couple of solid paragraphs should do the trick. And don’t forget about images. Use high-resolution, compelling photography and great graphics, but avoid slideshows, which aren’t wise from a speed perspective.
Keep it simple
Have you ever visited a website, looking for simple information like store hours, only to not find what you’re looking for? If so, you understand how critical it is to have information like hours and location prominently displayed.
Keep your top navigation limited to the most important aspects of your business including products and services, contact information, testimonials and reviews, and perhaps a news/blog page for updated content. And use copy that’s easy to scan for the main points, especially on your home and main navigation pages.
Use clear calls to action
Your navigation should also feature very clear ways that visitors can engage with you. Make sure your phone number is prominent on every landing page (usually in the top right corner), and a contact page as well. Of course, calls-to-action (CTA) aren’t just important so people can get in touch with you, they are also critical for tracking conversions. Basically, each CTA can be set up as a goal in Google Analytics, so when someone calls from your website or sends a contact form, it can count as a completed goal.
Make it quick!
Your website’s overall speed, as well as the speed of each page (essentially the time it takes for your pages and website to load) is critical. Websites with lower page speeds rank lower on SERPs, and the slower your website is to load, the faster visitors will leave and visit another site. Visit Google’s PageSpeed Insights to see how fast your pages are loading.
Build trust to convert visitors to customers
Word of mouth advertising is a growing practice – and for good reason. People are inclined to believe peers who endorse a product over claims from the business itself. How many times have you visited Yelp! or another review platform before you decided to make a purchase? Chances are, quite often. And that’s a great reason to add client testimonials to your website.
Consider adding a review page that not only features positive feedback from your clients or customers, but also a way for people to write and post their own reviews. This shows you value feedback, and if you create your own review form that people can fill out, you can easily share their positive words.
Incorporate great SEO practices
The right meta and title tags, image and heading tags can go a long way in helping your website rank as high as possible in search engines. Not sure how to create metadata? Take a look at Moz.com’s Ultimate Guide to SEO Meta Tags. You might also find Friedrich Advertising’s article about creating on and off page SEO very helpful.
Even if you have a website you love, you can still use the points above to help it go the distance better. In fact, websites should be refreshed with an updated design and new content every three or four years. With just a little time, and by keeping up with the latest Google updates, you can be sure your website is working for you by helping you build your business.