Your website is at the centre of all your online marketing efforts. In most instances It’s the first thing most people will see when they search for your business and we all know how important first impressions are…
It is vital to remember that between 70% and 80% of all consumers say that they research businesses online before buying anything. If you then also consider that 38% say that they’ll click away from a website if it is slow or poorly designed.
All of this means that it is not a good idea to just make do and mend when it comes to a business website. This will not help you to generate new leads for your business. Your design must be fast, user-friendly and help the visitor to understand your offering and convince them to buy your products or services. Here are some tips to help you out.
Choose the Right Domain Name
It’s always surprising how many small businesses select confusing or difficult-to-remember domain names for their business websites. Your domain name should be:
- Descriptive of your business
- Easy to type and spell (skip the dashes and weird abbreviations)
- Easy to remember
It is always better to choose a domain name that uses one of the popular extensions. These include:
- .com (by far the best for global coverage)
- .co.uk (if you are in the UK and targeting the UK)
There are others, such as .info or .us, but these can confuse potential customers and make them choose a competitor over you.
Leave dashes and other punctuation out of your domain name and try to keep it short – under 15 characters is ideal. However, a lot of shorter domain names aren’t available and you’re better off choosing a .com name with a longer root than a shorter name with a less-common extension.
Design an Eye Catching Home Page
In many cases, it is the home page of your site that will be the first thing a visitor to your site lands on and sees. In turn this means it’s message must be clear, it has to have both an attractive design, whilst also being easy to read and navigate.
Your home page is like the cover of a magazine. It has to be welcoming and intriguing. You must use concise and compelling copy that explains who you are and what you are offering. Using original, meaningful images will also help ‘sell’ your business.
Calls to action are vital, your home page absolutely needs a clear CTA and an irresistible offer. For best results this should appear above the fold for the best results, however that may be difficult on devices which have a small screen.
Target Your SEO Efforts
If you have never carried out keyword research, now is the time to check to see what terms people are using when searching for the products or services you offer. The same goes If it’s been a while since you carried out the original research, as search terms do change over time.
Once you know what these terms are, you can ensure that they are being used in a way that will ‘impress’ Google.
Optimising for voice search also needs to be done, one way here is to make sure that your site answers some of the many questions that are being asked on the Web every day. Choosing long-tail keyword phrases is a great idea as they are highly focused and specific.
It is also important to ensure that the content on your website answers the most commonly asked questions about your business, services and products.
Schema markup is another way to ensure that it’s easy for Google, Bing, and other search engines to scan and index your site, although implementing this can be complicated and time consuming.
Give Visitors A Clear Path To Follow
Many small business websites have only one call to action, this s usually being on the home page. However, sometimes it’s hidden deep in the website’s structure and may never be seen.
Make your calls to action obvious, easy to find, and simple to follow. Your should:-
- Include a call to action on every page
- Make sure your forms use the fewest possible number of fields
- Auto-complete fields if possible
- Use a CTA that matches the page it’s on
- Use strong wording that makes it clear what the user will get if they fill out your form
Don’t make completing the CTA form the only way for people to get in touch with you. You should also have a “Contact Us” option in your navigation, header or footer and include your email address or phone number on every page, too.
The point is, you want it to be easy for people to contact you.
Remember ALL Your Pages Are Landing Pages
Another common mistake that business owners make is not remembering that every page is a landing page. This means that all pages should include a CTA, but that is only a part of the process.
To get the very best results each page should be targeting a specific set of search queries. Why? For two reasons, One, because this is better for SEO (Google does not get confused about what the page is about) and Two, because, similarly, the user is not confused and can easily find the information they are seeking. Basically it is a bad idea to try to pack too much information on a single page. Don’t make your visitors wade through tons of other content to reach what they are looking for.
HubSpot’s research shows that businesses with 30 or more landing pages perform best in organic search and lead generation. This may be too high for your business, but you should give some thought to creating specific pages that speak directly to a searcher’s intentions and needs.
Create a Great User Experience
Creating a great user experience on your site is important. For instance, if it is slow or is not readable on the small screen they are using, or is just not clear, people will leave and the site just won’t get to first base when it comes to responding to your calls to action and offers.
Creating the right user experience includes:
- Creating clear, easy-to-find navigation on every page of your site
- Using lots of white space to make your content easy to read
- Breaking up text with videos and images
- Using short, easy-to-read sentences
- Using internal links to help people move around the site
When users enjoy being on your site, they will stay and browse and best of all will come back too.
Use Your Content to Attract Visitors and to Generate Leads
One of the best ways to generate leads is to share content that sells your business and makes people want to buy from you. One way is to write about blog topics that people are interesting in that allow you to demonstrate your expertise and the solutions you provide.
Some great topics are:
- What problems does my business solve?
- How you can help people with a particular problem?
- What’s different about my business?
Providing answers to these questions will ensure that you’re giving your readers the kind of content they crave. You can expand the reach of your blog by sharing your posts on social media and repurposing blog posts as videos or infographics.
Done properly, there is no reason that your website can’t be generating leads for you every day. The tips we’ve outlined here will help you take your site and turn it into a lead-generating powerhouse.
About the author
Graham Baylis was born in 1957 and has therefore seen the birth of the Internet and experienced at first hand, just how it has changed the World we live in. He has been involved with computers since 1983 and helped set up the first electronic mail system used by the Civil Service in 1986. He has gained several qualifications in Computing and Marketing and has written hundreds of blogs which you can find around the web, many being on customer’s websites. He has over 19 years of experience with Pay Per Click and SEO and has an answer for most Search Marketing questions, and, for those that he hasn’t is quick to find one. Continually coming up with solutions, Graham is one person it is worth having a chat with.