A website is the foundation of a good, solid online strategy and in today’s digital environment, having an online presence is almost necessary to reach buyers. But having a website and having an effective, quality website are two totally different things. As online marketing experts at HubSpot say, “a website needs to not just exist, it needs to perform.”
Whether you are considering a new website or evaluating your existing website, there are some key elements every website should have that will attract viewers, inform, educate or entertain them, and eventually convert them into customers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The most appealing and useful website is worthless if no one can find it on the internet. Similarly, a poorly designed, unattractive website might draw scads of viewers just because people can easily find it. Why is this? It is typically because one website has absolutely no SEO and the other one is working hard at constantly improving their SEO.
Good search engine optimization takes effort and work; an SEO overhaul is a good first step, but you need to keep building on your website to create a quality experience, this includes EARNING inbound links, updating content, blogging, and having a social media presence.
Great Design and Usability
While SEO may get a visitor to your website, you’re not going to keep them there for long if your website is off-putting, spammy, confusing and hard to navigate. You’re also not going to convert them to customers if they can’t figure out how to make a purchase or schedule a service. Many times your website is someone’s first impression of your business. Make sure that your website appears credible, trustworthy, professional and welcoming; appearances do matter.
*A note about flash animation. Flash animation can be fun, exciting and grab someone’s attention, but many mobile devices can’t view flash and a lot of people simply don’t want to have unexpected noises and animations confront them when they open a website. Use flash wisely.
Quality content is the soul of your website. Content is what keeps people on your website, it’s what attracts inbound links, it tells the search engines what you’re all about, it drives people to your site and it’s what converts visitors into customers or potential customers.
When creating content for your website your first consideration should be conveying information to human visitors, your second target is search engine bots or spiders that crawl the page to determine how to rank you. It’s best to write the content with the customer in mind and then either review it yourself or hire a professional to optimize the content for the search engines.
*A note about blogging. Blogging is more important to your website than you realize; it’s great for SEO, it establishes you as a leader and expert, it drives traffic and leads, it opens a channel of communication and it can earn you inbound links if someone decides to share your blog.
So you’ve done everything right and have an amazing website packed with useful information, it’s eye-catching and easy to navigate. Now you want to convert visitors into customers. Hopefully, your website has already sold the visitor on your business and they’ll be looking for that call to action; make sure they can easily find it.
At Tingalls Graphic Design we want our clients to have a successful online presence. We will work with you to either design a new website or revamp an old one with the most important basic elements and the little extras that turn a good website into a great one.