If you’re building your business’s website, there are some components you absolutely need to have to help you better connect to customers and provide all the information a person needs to make an informed decision about buying from you.
1. About Us Page: This should not only summarize the products and services you offer, but also give some background on your company. Customers like to know a bit about your brand, as it makes them feel better connected to it.
2. Contact Information: Your email, phone number, and address, if you have a physical location, are essential components of your website. If you have multiple locations, consider including a map to help customers find you on your Contact page.
3. Keywords: In order to be found on search engines like Google, you need to use certain keywords that will help people searching those keywords find your site. Use them naturally, and don’t try to stuff every sentence with them. Aim for about 2-3% of a given page’s content to contain targeted keywords.
4. Images: People respond to photos and images, so enhance each page with either images of your products or stock photos that relate to your customers. If, for example, you sell business services to Baby Boomers, find images of similarly-aged people looking happy to create a sense of satisfaction and keep visitors to your site there longer.
5. Breaks for the Eye: People have short attention spans, so be sure to break up your web copy with subheaders, bullets, numbers, and shorter paragraphs. This gives the eye a break and lets the reader know there’s something different coming up in the content to pay attention to.
6. Blog: If you haven’t started blogging, there’s no better time to start. Build it into your website to keep the look streamlined and make it easy for visitors to go from the website to the blog, and vice versa.
7. Portfolio, Case Studies, or Testimonials: If you’re in services, you can’t very well ask customers to review you on Amazon. Instead, ask top customers to give you a testimonial you can use on your site. If you’re in a visual industry, like graphic design, set up a Portfolio page to show off your work. And case studies that highlight ways you helped customers can also be beneficial to someone considering your services.
8. Pricing…or Not: While it’s not appropriate for every business to list prices on its site, it’s worth consideration. I wrote a post a few years ago about a pool company in the US that is posting prices, much to its competitors’ chagrin. The benefit is that it lets visitors know exactly what to expect, and can help them quickly determine whether working with you is in their budget.
9. Featured Products: Your home page should be dynamic. Use it to highlight products you want to focus on, and promotions you’re currently offering. Change them out regularly.
10. News: Having a News Page shows that your company has things going on! You should be using press releases as part of your overall marketing strategy, and posting links to your releases on your site.
These ten items, combined with a well-designed, well-targeted website will increase your number of leads and sales! Just remember that you don’t have to fear changing your website, but do keep it in line with your overall company branding. Change the copy slightly now and then, but try not to switch out the design more than once every few years.
Get more tips on “How to Create an Effective Website” with our free webinar on February 12, 2013, at 1 pm Eastern.