With online business growing at unprecedented rates there really is no excuse for your business to be without an effective website… in fact if it is you’re going to be missing out on sales and business opportunities. So, for those of you just getting started or for those of you wanting to make sure your website is operating as effectively as it could do, here are our 5 must dos for an effective website.
1. Create a Great User Experience (UX)
You have under 1 second to capture the attention of the user. Yes, you read that right, a site visitor will make a split-second judgement as to whether your website is one that they want to continue their search on, or whether they are going to abandon and look elsewhere.
It is important that your website has clear navigation, easy usability, and striking design. Think about who your target audiences are, what are their interests. By answering these questions, you can convey to your audience that your website is exactly what they need!
Include any critical information for your audience to see above the fold on your website layout, so you can be confident that this information will not be missed if they don’t scroll down.
Even if your initial design attracts their attention you need to be able to maintain it! This means having a clear navigation that a user will find easy to use. For example, if you offer a variety of different services, rather than compiling them onto one page, create a drop down in the top menu navigation bar that breaks down the different services that your business offers.
If you have a button that you want someone to click on, perhaps to book an appointment or maybe even subscribe to your mailing list, it is important that this button is placed in an obvious position!
2. Compelling Content
Like the design needs to appeal to your ideal customer, the content that you include on your website needs to do. Make sure that the content you write is informative, provides answers to questions that they might have and gives them an insight into who you are and why they should buy from you.
It can be a great idea to take your customer on a journey through your content. You want to start by introducing the common problems that they might experience and then progress to show them how your product or service provides a solution to those problems!
Make sure your content has been optimised for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Include relevant keywords that you want your website to be found for on search engines like Google. SEO can be a complex strategy including both Content Marketing and Technical SEO, so again we advise that you speak to an expert in this field to make sure you get it right.
3. Mobile Responsiveness
Go back 15 years and viewing a website on a mobile was more of a rarity. However, things have changed! More and more people are choosing to search the web on their mobile devices. Mobile devices offer ease and convenience, with users being able to search for what they are looking for on the go, no matter where they are if an internet connection is present.
It is crucial that your website works and performs just as well on mobile as it does a desktop. You need to ensure your pages display correctly, that images load well and text can be read. It’s always a good idea to test your website on several mobile devices to make sure that it works well across them all!
4. Secure Payment Gateway
Having the ability to take payment on your e-commerce website not only helps streamline your business processes but also improves the customer experience. Imagine if your customer sees something that they want to purchase or book but to do so they must call you… you’re unable to answer the phone when they ring and they begin to lose patience. After trying you one more time with no answer, they move on to the next website that offers the same product or service as you and make their purchase within minutes on your competitor website.
Of course, if you are adding a payment facility on your site you need to make sure first and foremost that is safe! You need to purchase an SSL Certificate to help do this. If you’re unsure what an SSL is and if you have one or not, we urge to speak to your web development company urgently as you could be putting customer data at risk!
5. Integrating Email Marketing
Your website should be used as part of your wider marketing strategy and as part of the customer journey. For example, a user might come to your website make a purchase and then go on about their daily business forgetting that your website ever existed. (Of course, if you are offering an exceptional product or service and have excellent customer service than we hope that this won’t be the case… but we’re all busy individuals and even when our customer service is spot on, you still might slip from their minds.
A great way of overcoming this is to integrate email marketing. Once your customer has made a purchase, they then get funnelled into an email sequence that might for example offer a discount and encourage them to come back and shop later. Fast forward a few more weeks and they then might be emailed and updated about a new product range/ service that you have just launched.
On the other hand, you might have a user that has visited your website and signed up to your email list but are yet to purchase. This user can then be funnelled through to a different email marketing sequence which helps nurture them over the purchase line!
There are many other integrations in addition to email marketing that will aid your customer journey and help boost sales in your business, so be sure to check others out too!
We understand that building your own website can be a little daunting, particularly if you’re not comfortable tweaking certain technical elements. If you’re looking for additional support when it comes to your website or it’s time for a complete website redesign our expert team at Carrick are here to help. Fill out the form below and find out more!