Take a moment and assess your current website. Pretend a prospect pulls it up and has 5 seconds to get some key information about you and your company. Are they able to answer the 3 W’s?
- Who you are
- What you do
- Where to find you
Why only 5 seconds? This is roughly the amount of time you have to grab the attention and engage visitors to your website.
A strategically-crafted, unique, and accessible site is essential for any business. The value of your online presence cannot be overstated.
Your website is an extension of your brand, speaking to current and potential clients when you are not there. What does it say about your business? Does it represent your unique value proposition? Is it driving quality leads? Does it help you stand out? Is it accessible through a variety of platforms and devices?
Keep the following three points in mind when creating or updating a website for your business to help ensure you are well-positioned for success online.
3 Key Components to Any Successful Website:
1. Accessibility – mobile responsive design and why it matters
With Google’s new algorithm for mobile search results having gone into effect this past Spring (2015), the need for a mobile friendly website has never been more important. Not just to create a more seamless user experience but also because those without a mobile friendly site will see their SEO suffer as well.
(You can check to see if your website is mobile friendly HERE)
As the number of users accessing your website via mobile will only continue to increase each year, it’s highly recommended that your website is mobile-responsive. A responsive website responds automatically to the user’s screen size, device and orientation without the need for managing separate websites or worrying about legibility at smaller screen sizes. As a user switches from their laptop to their iPad for example, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. Your website should have the technology to automatically respond to the user’s preferences and behaviors.
2. Establishing an effective call-to-action
Let me pose this question to you: If you could survey all the visitors who left your site, what key message would they leave with? What’s the next clear action for those who have found you online? If you don’t know or think there would be all types of different answers, you may want to reconsider the objective for your website.
The addition of a call-to-action (or CTA, which is a specific request for a prospect to do something as a result of engaging with your website), is essential to convert visitors to quality leads.
Here are some tips to help you establish a strong CTA:
- Lead with a verb (ie. “Contact us today” or “Schedule a meeting”): Using direct, active language is essential to engage your audience and give them a clear, direct instruction on what to do next.
- Keep it short and sweet: As we mentioned earlier, you have a limited amount of time to engage visitors. Make sure you are giving clear, direct instruction in the most efficient way.
- Make sure it stands out: Your website hosts a lot of valuable information. Make sure you create a clear hierarchy so your call-to-action stands out (for instance, make the call to action a button rather than a simple text link).
3. The value of original content
There are several reasons that original, unique content is essential for your website. In addition to improving your SEO, original content is necessary to capture you and/or your company’s unique voice and value proposition.
Write your content as if you are having a conversation with your visitors
Whether you are rewriting content for the pages of your website, writing a blog post, or compiling an online newsletter, you should write as if you are having a conversation with your visitors. So many people can verbally articulate what their service is and why it is valuable, yet they have a hard time translating those words to the page. My advice is to start your draft by writing as if you were actually talking to a potential customer, and then go back and edit.
This ensures that your unique voice and personality shines through, and without realizing it your site will possess a quality that so many others lack: Authenticity.
Studies have shown that we are more likely to do business with companies that we perceive to be authentic, yet so many organizations have a hard time communicating this. Your website is your voice on the web – use it to communicate your trustworthiness, your personality, and most importantly – why your service is better than your competitors.