Whether you run an ecommerce clothing store, are a dropshipping supplier, sell vitamins and minerals from a brick and mortar store, or offer summer lawn care services, it’s important that you have a website. In this day and age, if you don’t have an online presence, you’re missing out on a lot of business that you probably can’t afford to lose. Even if you do have a website, if it’s outdated, runs slowly, or has too many pop-ups it can come across as untrustworthy and spam and could cost you just as much business as not having a site at all.
Whether you’re getting ready to launch a website or are working on revamping and fixing your old one, there are several elements that it needs to have to be as effective as possible and have a positive impact on your bottom line. Even if you’re not in the process of working on your website, you should go through and make sure that your site includes the following elements—if it doesn’t, you’ll want to get working on updates right away.
It Should be Designed to Lead Visitors to Your Goal
To design your website to lead visitors to your goal, you’ll have to define what your goal is. For some businesses that may be having people convert into customers by making a purchase. For others, it may be having people sign up to receive emails. Whatever your goal is, it needs to be well defined so that you can design your site around it.
Once you have your goal in mind, you need to ensure that the information given on your site, the flow of the pages, and the prompts for conversions are all in line with and lead to that goal. If your goal is to get people to join your newsletter mailing list, you may not want to put all of your focus on your products and the deals you’re currently offering.
It Should Include a Call to Action
A call to action is a prompt that encourages people to complete a specific action. For example, if you want people to sign up for a newsletter, then your call to action might be, “Enter Your Email Address,” (however, that call to action is not very strong). The calls to action that you place on your site should be in line with the goals you have for your site and the pages on your site.
When writing calls to action, the language should be direct and assertive and difficult to resist. There’s a little bit of psychology that can play into writing the perfect call to action too. For example, using an exclamation point can instill a sense of urgency and excitement, and using the word “now” instead of “today” can do the same. Wouldn’t you sign up for a free trial more quickly if the call to action said, “Sign Up Free for a Limited Time Only!” instead of, “Get a Free Trial”?
It Should Be Easy to Navigate and Understand
A website that is difficult to navigate and difficult to understand is a website that customers won’t visit for very long. The information you provide as well as the design of the site can affect its ease of navigation and how easy it is to understand. For example, if you’re trying to fit a lot of information onto the homepage, and you choose to use a small font and put a lot of paragraphs close together without any visual breaks, (think images or line breaks), visitors will leave faster than they chose your site from the search results in the first place.
It’s important that you only include information that is relevant and necessary, and that you space well. Include images and breaks to separate the text and use small, concise sentences that your visitors will be willing to read. There are great templates already designed to help you create an easy to navigate and understand site, or you could hire a designer to help you get it exactly where you want it to be.
It Should Include Quality Content
If you’ve ever visited a website trying to get information about a product, how it functioned, what its dimensions were, or how a service worked and only found a basic, vague description, you know how frustrating it can be. Content is an extremely important aspect of any website. Not only should it be spaced well and written concisely, but it should be quality and informative, giving as much information as possible.
It Should Show Why Visitors Should Trust You
People are more and more aware of and savvy about scams these days which makes them wary of anything that seems off. Even if your website is secure and trustworthy, its appearance and lack of trust icons can cause visitors to shy away from giving you their information or making purchases. Including trust factors like reviews, certification icons, security certificates, etc. can help show your visitors why they should trust you and help them feel more at ease on your site. Don’t just show them, though—you need to make sure you back up all your claims with security and confidentiality.
Based on all these elements of a good website, how would you rank your site as it is now?