Remember the early days of web design, where, multiple scrollbars, moving graphics and neon text were the standard fare? Websites have come a long way. Now, they feature high-quality images, clean design and are mobile responsive.
Websites are, thankfully, much better than they were in the “pioneering” days. However, although web design has come a long way, a clean, beautiful website still doesn’t guarantee that people will respond to your message.
Having a web presence isn’t enough. You need five vital components on your site to ensure that your well-designed masterpiece generates leads and reinforces your brand.
If your website isn’t implementing these five important elements, your lead generation rate is likely suffering.
1. Clear, concise, organization information
You’d think this would be obvious, but surprisingly, some sites don’t give readers a clear idea about what the organization does, leaving the user to aimlessly poke around the site. Explanations don’t need to be long, just a few basic paragraphs representing your purpose “in a nutshell” will suffice.
For example, our website for the Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina has a clear call to action (“How You Can Help”) and an eye-catching graphic labeled “Our Story” on the home page. The reader immediately learns the organization’s purpose, history, and values.
Skipping this element also forfeits an opportunity to build your brand.
2. Clean, simple, elegant design
Don’t misunderstand: we love pictures of cute kittens as much as anyone else—but they don’t have a place on your website. Although you like a certain type of aesthetic, it may not best choice to meet your website goals.
If you have any doubt about the importance of design, consider this: consumers decide within 90 seconds whether or not they want to purchase a product. In addition, 62 to 90 percent of this decision is influenced by the site’s color alone.
Web designers work closely with clients to create a design that is easy-to-read, directing the reader to the relevant information and call to action.
3. A clear call to action
Speaking of call to action, do your readers understand what you want them to do? Is it to schedule an appointment purchase a product or sign up for a mailing list?
It’s not enough to merely get viewers to your website; you must clearly tell them what you want them to do. Without conversions, your internet presence is little more than a storefront window display.
4. URL optimization
The URL is your site’s “address” on the internet, and every page on your website has a URL. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t take advantage of maximizing the URL for search engine visibility. At a minimum, use these tips to get your URLs optimized.
Your URL should be:
Keyword rich: make sure you’re using terms to your content. (e.g. www.example.com/website-design-and-marketing)
Avoid long strings of numbers or punctuation “gibberish” (e.g. www.example.com/?Q=789trh)
Straightforward: if you have duplicate content, make sure you’re using canonical tags in the head of the webpage. This tells a search engine which version of the content is should show to users who are looking for your keywords. If you have the same content on multiple pages (URLs), you’re confusing the search engines and missing out on those higher ranking positions in the results pages.
5. Contact information that’s easy to find
Not everyone wants to send an email. Your potential clients may prefer to talk to an actual human being. It’s important to not only include your phone number, but also your street address. Even better, pair the street address with Google maps to ensure viewers will easily find you.
Don’t set it and forget it! The internet is constantly developing and changing. For example, more people view websites on mobile devices than they did six years ago. In fact, Google has seen a 500% increase in mobile searches.
Your website is an important source of revenue AND a vital complement to your brand. Don’t overlook these five elements that will strengthen its visibility.
Are you utilizing your website to its full potential? Following are some useful articles:
Established in 2000, Proclaim Interactive is an award-winning, think-out-of-the-box digital marketing agency located in Wilmington, NC. Proclaim Interactive provides website design, social media management, SEO and general marketing services designed to amplify clients’ messages. Contact us for more information.