Does Your Website Do These 6 Essential Things?
In this day and age it seems everybody is trying to build their own website. Anyone can do it, with a bit of time, effort and a steep-ish learning curve; it’s true (In fact, we have an entire click-by-click course available here). Especially with so many resources at our disposal.
So, if you are considering creating your own site, or even if you just want to know what you should be paying attention to and including in order for the website to actually work for you, here’s a list of my 6 essential “Attraction protocols” for ensuring it engages and converts your visitors and does the job that it should be doing (e.g. promoting your business and attracting new clients, day in, day out).
1) Aesthetics – Keep It Simple
We’ve all visited websites that blow your mind when you first drop onto them; they have the ‘wow’ factor. This is, of course, what you want.
However, many of these sites also create a fussy, fancy gloss made up of 3D objects, animations and clutter in order to achieve the ‘wow’.
While this is impressive on first glance, it can also create a confusing and faddish interface.
The problem this creates for you as a business is that in 1-2 years, the aesthetic design on your website will likely be ‘out of fashion’ and you’ll need to refresh the design again to keep up with latest trends.
For an example of this, just look at how Apple is redrafting their mobile User Interface (iOS) and icon design to avoid 3D styling – the “in thing” now is FLAT design.
Truth is, flat design has always been ‘in’. All this really means is that icons and backgrounds are simple, without sheen or 3D effects. Sure, you can maybe use the odd gradient to create some depth to the design, but that’s where it ends.
So my advice for you is this – when looking at the aesthetics of your website, try to create/use an aesthetic which is simple, clean and without clutter or fuss. Flat is in now, but always will be, because it’s classic.
For some examples of good, (fairly) flat designs, check out:
They might not all “blow your mind” but they get the job done, and really well.
2) Logical Layout
Here’s the key to any website – make sure your key product/service is within a single click for anyone arriving on your site. People have very little patience, so you need that link right there, in their face.
If people can’t find the information they’re looking for within seconds, it’s not going to end well. Nobody has any patience on the internet and your site is not an exception to this rule. People will not hang around or go to extended effort on your website to find what they are looking for unless:
- Your site is the only site that caters for their needs
- Your product or price is completely unique in the market
With this in mind, try to structure your site simply and intuitively – where do your visitors want to go? What information do they need to see quickly (e.g. latest offers, products, testimonials)? How can you best word this information and how do you get visitors to do what you want them to (e.g. call you, buy from you)?
By keeping these factors in mind you’ll find you will focus in on the important aspects of your site and create a more logical, helpful website in the process.
3) Strategic & Effective “Call to Action”
People have come to your site, it looks slick and is logical in its’ layout. Great, but… what action do you want the visitor to take next? Do you want them to click through and buy your product right now? Or would you prefer to get them to subscribe to your newsletter/blog?
You have to think about what action you would like them to take next when structuring your page. Once you have identified this core focus, it’s important to make that action an impulse for the visitor i.e. they “can’t help” but follow the action you desire them to take.
This is done in a number of cool ways… The language, colour and appearance of your call to action can make the difference between succeeding in securing the “click” and not. That could mean the difference between a sale and a never-to-be-seen again visitor, so think carefully about it and test out different options over time.
TIP – Recent studies have suggested that a nice bright orange is the highest-converting colour of call to action button.
Language is important too in your call to action.
The usual ones you see everywhere are: “Add to Cart”, “Click Here” and “Learn More”.
Other effective call to action words that you could try out on your website include:
“Get Instant Access”
“Secure the Deal”
“Watch the Video”
You can see that each has a positive overtone, but is also quite explicit in its’ instruction to the visitor, and it’s important to note that’s generally what works.
Your call to action should be bold and unavoidable also. Using bright colours tends to work – bright reds, greens, blues and oranges are all pretty effective (though, as above, orange seems to convert at a slightly higher rate than others); see below for some examples that we’ve used in the past, on our own sites as well as for clients:
4) Get Search Engine Optimised
It still blows me away how many business owners and website managers don’t value search engine optimisation in their marketing budget. It’s crazy and completely counter-intuitive because if you think of it logically, how do people find information in this day and age?
They don’t look it up in the Yellow Pages or phone book any more, they don’t magically have it appear in their lap; they almost always “Google It” (or “Yahoo it” or “Bing it”).
To simply not care where you are coming up in these search results is madness, because these are the most targeted individual visitors you will ever receive to your website (i.e. people looking for your product/service who actually need it RIGHT NOW).
Is your website optimised? Do you even know? If not, wake up and smell the algorithm. It’s important to you, and your business. It’s not easy though and it takes work and time to cultivate a high-performing website when it comes to SEO.
You can do it yourself however; it’s actually part of the training you get at Total Website Blueprint. Visit Now.
Or, if you’d like to know some of the basics of SEO, we have a free report where you can read about it here
5) Get Mobile
If you want to make sure your website is reaching as many people as possible, you must have it mobile-optimised, and this is more true now than ever before. In fact, it’s truly essential.
Here are some stats for you to prove the importance of this:
There are 5 Billion Mobile phones in the world.
Out of which, 1.08 Billion are Smartphones (e.g. iPhone, Samsung Galaxy etc.)
85%+ of smartphone users use their phones to browse the web.
The chances are, a lot of your current and future customers are smartphone users who use their device to browse the web for solutions to their problems (it’s easier than opening up a laptop or running to the office computer to do it, right?).
So, the next logical question? Is your website mobile compatible? As in, either responsive (the modern way) or at least it has a mobile version?
If you’re not sure, check your website on a mobile device. If the site is displayed exactly the same as it is on a laptop/desktop screen (e.g. all the icons, text and images are likely to appear very small on the mobile device) then your site is not mobile optimised.
Therefore, a “Mobile” website does not mean that your website is simply viewable, in its’ full form, on a mobile device. Most often “full” sites are too load-heavy (e.g. they take a long time to load on normal mobile connections) or are so information-full and fussy that they are virtually illegible on a mobile device. This won’t help your conversion rates, either.
6) Create Good Content
Your site looks beautiful. It attracts the right type of visitors. It even converts a chunk of them. However, without strong written and visual content (delivered consistently over time), it will never be as productive or visible in search engines as it should/could be.
It’s important you create content that is interesting to visitors so that they stay on your site, refer others to it and share your content on social networks.
How do you do this? The easiest way is simply to create content around your niche/area of expertise/product which cuts out the flowery jargon and technical terms and spells out valuable information and benefits of your product/expertise in easily digestible chunks that anyone visiting your site will understand.
Flowery, technical terms relevant to your industry will rarely impress or interest a visitor, so while you know all the fancy information about your product, always bear in mind what information your visitors are really seeking:
What Are You Selling?
What Are The Inherent Benefits?
Why is it Essential for ME?
How Much Does it Cost?
What Do I Do Now?
By creating your content around these snippets of information and getting to the point quickly, you’ll guarantee a far greater visitor retention and conversion rate, plus your visitors will be more inclined to share out this valuable resource they have found with their friends and colleagues using social media, as well as word of mouth.
Now, you may think some of these are less or more important than others, but the truth is this; these 6 factors are the essential pillars for website success.
Without one or more of these, and your website will not be as accessible, effective, productive or as visible as it should be. If you miss one, you’re therefore only doing your own business a disservice.
Of course, this is only a very brief overview designed to help you develop your thoughts around what your website should include in order that it will be the success it deserves to be.
Do you have any pillars you would add to this list?
Or any questions related to the above? Let us know by commenting in the box below and we’ll post our responses.
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