Getting the most out of your website: Top 5 Things Websites Must Have.
A website is much more than just a pretty way to display your brand or company. Your website needs to be set up so that it is actually working for you and helping you meet your business goals.
How to get the most out of your website is something everyone should be asking themselves. A good place to start is by defining what you want to get out of your website. If your goal is to get users to fill out a form or request more information, your site design and content needs to reflect that.
1. Effective Calls to Action
A successful Call to Action (CTA) drives visitors 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 be clear on what is being offered.
- Test when possible. Try testing different colors, language, and placement to see which CTAs get more clicks and drive more leads.
2. Consistent Branding
Your brand must be consistent throughout all your channels. This includes your website, print collateral, email marketing, your packaging, and even your office/store decor. There is nothing less professional than receiving a beautiful mailer from a company, then you go to the website and it looks nothing like that mailing.
3. Authentic Imagery
Wherever possible, use real photography. Avoid stock photography if you can. Stock photography certainly has its place, but it should be used as filler, not as your main content. I would much rather see a photo taken in someone’s office, rather than a stock photo of pretty people smiling at the camera.
4. Basic SEO
An important aspect of SEO is making your website easy for both users and search engine robots to understand. Although search engines have become increasingly sophisticated, they still can’t see and understand a web page the same way a human can. SEO helps the engines figure out what each page is about, and how it may be useful for users.
- Build Inbound Links – Off-Page SEO is about building inbound links, essentially getting other quality websites to link back to you. Search engines call this authority or “link juice.” The more inbound links you have, the more important your site must be, thus the higher you’ll rank.
- Title Tags & Meta Tags – A Meta Tag is a line of code that is contained in the background of a web page. Search engines look at meta tags to learn more about what the page is about.
- XML Sitemaps – The general incentive behind an XML sitemap is to help search engine crawlers (or “spiders”) sift through your pages more efficiently. An XML sitemap is simply an .xml file containing a listing of all your pages and when they were updated. It’s a lot like a subway map. It shows the structure of your website and where are your pages reside.
- 301 Redirects – We’ve all experienced a time when we clicked on a website link that ended up being broken. Typically you’ll see a “404 message” or “Page Not Found.” A lot of times this is caused when a page is moved to a new URL and the old link hasn’t been directed to the new page. Think about the lost opportunity when your customers or potential buyers want information that they can’t locate.
5. Quality Content
Content is one of the most important aspects of any website. With the rise of inbound marketing, content has become front and center in the minds of marketers. It is what search engines and people are looking for. It’s what drives visitors to your site and turns prospects into leads.
If you haven’t considered a new website design before, now is the time to start thinking about it. Airglow offers great options for website design and development at an affordable rate. To learn more about how we can help you reach your target audience with an exciting website, get in touch.