What Makes a Great Website?
What makes a great website? Is it eye-popping graphics? Powerful and engaging wording?
A great website is simply one that works: that brings prospects to it and converts them into customers. After all, that is our primary objective in the world of online marketing isn’t it?
It builds Your Brand
A great website should be consistent with your other branding efforts. If you have a logo, display it prominently. If you do not have a logo, consider hiring a graphic artist. A logo can tell people many things about your company without the use of words. Think about McDonald’s golden arches. How is it that kids who are under the age of 5 can point out a McDonald’s without the ability to read? It is the identifying colors and shape of their logo.
Your logo can let people immediately know they came to the right place. If you don’t have a logo, or don’t feel you can afford to have one professionally created, use a consistent font in your business name. Use that same font on business cards, flyers, print ads, and of course, on your website.
A great website is one that adds fuel to your marketing efforts. It helps build your brand.
It Contains ‘Calls to Action’
A website that doesn’t include calls to action is like a salesman who never asks for the order. You must ask your visitors to do something. Examples of simple CTAs include: sign up today, find out more, call for more info, and get started now. Keep the calls to action above the fold, available for viewing without scrolling down on the page.
Calls to action are asking for the order. The “order’ may be in the form of getting them to join your mailing list or asking for further details. You want them to initiate contact and that is not likely to happen without a call to action. Call to actions can be made more effective by including a benefit. An example would be “Get started today and make money tomorrow!”
Have Compelling Reasons to Use Your CTA.
Experts say you may only have about 8 seconds to catch the attention of a visitor before you lose them. You need quick, powerful reasons for them to use your calls to action. What’s the incentive to click on your join my mailing list (JMML) or request for information (RFI) buttons? It may include free information or access to premium or exclusive content only you can provide.
Use Professional Photos That are Your Own
Do not use all stock photos or graphics. Hire a photographer and, if necessary, use a few stock photos for fill. If the site includes a photo of you, make sure it is taken by a professional. Professional photography shows that you are serious about your website and goes hand in hand with your branding. A cell phone headshot is not acceptable for use on a great website.
Videos fall into a variety of categories, but each can be compelling. Videos will engage your viewers and may increase conversions. Some videos are designed to demonstrate or instruct; others are informational or promotional. There are those that feature testimonials, and some simply exist to entertain. They also share the following:
When implementing videos on your website, you can increase viewership by keeping them short and making them as relevant to your visitors as possible. The presence of videos alone will not ensure viewership, so invite viewers to watch with enticing captions.
More than 90 million smartphones are in use in the U.S. alone. How many are being used to browse the net? Yet today, most websites are either not mobile capable or mobile-friendly. Keep in mind, not all mobile users are teenagers. A full 50% of smartphone users are 35 years of age or older, and are a valuable market. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you are missing out on an opportunity, and a market that continues to grow rapidly.
Mobile users want information quickly. They are not likely to have the patience to sift through detailed information. Their screen sizes are smaller, and they will see your website vertically and horizontally. Your website will need to be optimized for these smaller screens and various shapes. This is typically done by experienced web designers.
Keep it Social Media Friendly
Having a social friendly website can boost traffic by leaps and bounds. This doesn’t have to be difficult, but it will take fresh content — blogs, infographics, videos and more. Allow your visitors to easily share your content via email, Twitter and Facebook. Link your website to your Facebook page as well. Make sure you respond to inquiries generated by social media. You may even want to stream your social media content to your main page.
Use Appropriate Search Engine Optimization Tactics
You can’t have a great website if it can’t be found. Making sure your website suits search engines is a critical step. Do not utilize black hat techniques (like keyword stuffing and hidden links) in an attempt to improve your rankings. Such techniques are not only unethical; they can also provide a bad user experience.
Utilize Keywords But Do Not Overstuff Them
Keep content fresh. Build a growing list of pertinent back-links. You are likely to be rewarded with increasing rankings.
A great website is one that builds your brand and converts visitors to customers. It does this by giving them compelling reasons to follow through on your calls to action. A great website will use quality custom photos and relevant videos to make an impression, and it will be mobile and social media friendly. A great website that works will drive visitors by using appropriate SEO techniques. A great website — an asset for any organization — deserves appropriate attention.
An online browser can pretty much tell if a website is great or not within the first few seconds of clicking on it. Do you have a personal niche that “Wows” your visitors instantaneously when they see your homepage? Please feel free to leave your comments and share with us how you’ve personally converted a simple visitor of your website into a paying client. And of course, you don’t want to forget the biggest key to a successful website…be enchanting!