As the fiscal year ends for many organizations and before we gear up for fall, summer is a great time to review your marketing materials, specifically your website. I recently finished styling an ebook for OverGo Studio on the “25 website ‘Must Haves’ for driving traffic, leads and sales”. I collaborate with OverGo regularly, designing inbound marketing materials for them and some of their clients. I agree with them that your website has to function on many levels, it can’t just look good and you have to add quality content to it regularly. Below are a few tips on how to do just that from the ebook and if your up for more, download the whole thing here.
Get Found Online: A great website isn’t so great if no one visits it. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an absolute must-have to any website strategy, but it takes hard work and consistency when aiming for the top spot. On-page SEO is critical. Pick a primary keyword for each page and focus on optimizing that page for that word. If you oversaturate a page with too many keywords on one page, the page will lose its importance and authority because search engines won’t have a clear idea of what the page is about. This is very common on home pages in particular, where too many keywords are used.
Design and Usability: Perhaps one of the biggest factors to keep visitors on your website is having a good, solid navigation system that supports all search preferences. In fact, more than three-quarters of survey respondents from a recent HubSpot study say that the most important element in website design is ease in finding information. It’s best to keep elements on your site fairly consistent from page-to-page. Elements include colors, sizes, layout and placement of those elements. Your site needs to have a good flow from page to page. This means colors are primarily the same as well as fonts and layout structure. Navigation should remain in the same location of your layout throughout your website. Make sure that anyone visiting your website can view it no matter what browser or application they are using by having a responsive site.
Content: It is what search engines and people are looking for. It’s what drives visitors to your site and turns prospects into leads. Quality content is a definite must-have for any website.
- Offer unique content. People love this and so do search engines.
- Write for humans, not search engines. People don’t read like robots.
- Provide value and educational content that helps others. Do your research when paying for content that is written by third-party services. Some work well, others do not.
- Keep content fresh. Having news that’s two years old still sitting on your homepage will probably give your visitors a bad feeling.
- Know your audience. Providing content that is specific to your buyers makes it more relevant for them, and in turn, higher quality.
- Include evidence when needed. If stating facts, numbers, awards, testimonials and etc., try to back it up with a source and give credit when credit is due.
- Know your subject well. You probably don’t want an auto mechanic writing about brain surgery. Accurate content equals quality.
Conversion: The effect of a successful Call to Action (CTA) is to drive a visitor to take a desired action. CTAs are typically kept above the fold or in clear sight on a page so visitors know where to take the next step. CTAs are the key to lead generation but they need to be done right to convert traffic into leads. Make them bigger and bolder than most other elements on the page, but don’t overdo it. Consider colors of the CTA, whether it is a link, button or image. Make them look so good people will want to click on them. Offer CTAs that provide value, like guides, whitepapers, estimates, etc. “Contact Us” is the worst form of a CTA. Don’t rely on that as your only option for conversion. Make the CTA look clickable. You can do this by making a button or adding a hover effect to an element. Less is more. Keep it simple and clear what is being offered. Test when possible. Try testing different colors (e.g. red verses green buttons), language, and placement to see which CTAs get more clicks and drive more leads (refer to the “Messaging” section above for A/B testing tools).
These are some of the many factors to consider when reviewing and designing a website. Schedule a call if you’d like to review yours and have a great summer!