5 Recommendations for a More Effective Website

1. Remember the Obvious

It doesn’t matter what your site looks like, how many pages you have, or how much content you put into it, if a visitor cannot quickly tell who you are, what you do, and if you offer a solution to their problem, you’re going to lose sales opportunities.

Remember that you may eat, sleep, and breathe your business but your customers may not. What is second nature to you may be foreign to your next sale.

Don’t dismiss the basics–be sure you have clear language and simple navigation to key areas. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and remember that an exit from your site is only a click away. Making it easy to understand what you offer and the value you provide will increase the likelihood that their next click is within your website and not away from it.

A couple of examples I really like:

Gateway Title – I really like the clear language of what they do, how to get ahold of them, and where they are located. The site was written to get you where you want to go quickly and easily.

Mid-Coast Energy Systems – A company with a vast array of service offerings but a website that organizes them well and makes it easy to get to where you need to be.

2. Prioritize the Needs of Your Customer

Consumers are looking for sincerity, trust, and experience. The more you can convey that you understand what they need and how you can help, the more likely you are to have an opportunity to form connections with your website visitors.

The best way you can do this is by creating quality content for your website. And the easiest way to create quality content is to start with the questions you get every day in your business. Developing thoughtful and thorough answers to these common questions will make meaningful and valuable content for your website–and set you apart from your competition–as a thought leader in your industry.

Valuable resources for you:

Marcus Sheridan has one of the best presentations I’ve seen to help inspire ideas for your business website content.

Here’s our list of answers to the most frequent website questions received regarding website development projects.

3. Integrate Lead Generation

Creating a simple and obvious way to get leads from your website will help you make the most from the website traffic you’ve earned. This doesn’t have to be a complex or fancy approach. In fact, one of my all-time favorite examples can be found at hammondlumber.com.

During the redesign of this website a button that reads “Request A Quote” was added to the header. Because the majority of spring website traffic is generated from contractors and homeowners looking to plan projects, requesting quotes is a common need. This button helped to increase seasonal leads by nearly 600% over prior years.

The other component of the Hammond Lumber site that consistently draws quality questions and leads throughout the year is the “Too busy to browse” sidebar.

4. View Your Site on Mobile

Remember a website can be viewed on a computer, a tablet, or a phone. And often times the needs or intent of the website visitor may change based on the device the site is being viewed on.

You’ll want to make sure the address and phone numbers are easy to find and obvious when viewed on a mobile device and consider what the intent of the visitor may be when viewing on a phone vs a computer.

For instance, the website for Bangor Federal Credit Union has a number of menu options from checking balances to starting the application for a mortgage. However, analytics show that users visiting the website on phone were interested in three primary areas. So the result was a mobile presentation that was simplified and put those priorities first.

Visit the website www.bangorfederal.com on a computer and on a phone to see the difference.

5. Measure with Analytics

In the advice listed above, many of the suggestions and actions can be attributed to intelligence learned through utilizing Google Analytics, a free statistic and reporting tool from Google.

Integrating this tool into your website is easy and allows you to gain intelligence about how your site is used, when it is used, how folks are finding your site, and a valuable array of other data and reports.

More on the benefits of analytics for your site can be found here:How Google Analytics Can Help Your Small Businesses Website Marketing Efforts