It’s a common scenario: You’ve got a great website for a great business, but somehow it’s not giving you the results that you (or your boss) are looking for. We’ve worked with hundreds of businesses, so we know how frustrating this situation can be. After all that time and effort to get a website up and running, you want to see it pay off.
Fortunately, there’s hope for our fellow business owners and marketing managers! We have gathered together 7 key ways to help you solve your biggest website problems.
So what can you do about it?
1. Set SMART goals. Just as a business plan is necessary for companies of all sizes, websites should start with goals and plans to achieve them. Widely used in business and project management, the “SMART” model (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) also can be applied to website creation.
- Specific: What do you hope to accomplish with your website? This may include more website visitors, higher search-engine rankings, more sales, improved customer service, or increased qualified leads.
- Measurable: How will you know these goals are being achieved? You might use Google Analytics or customer surveys. Customer relationship management (CRM) software can help you track leads.
- Attainable: Is your goal realistic? It should not be too lofty or too easy. For example, doubling the number of monthly site visitors six months after a website redesign may be too much, but a 10% increase may be more sensible. How do you plan to achieve your goals? Study your industry trends to better understand what you can expect.
- Relevant: Does your goal suit your business vision and customer needs? A better website may help increase sales, which would encourage a company’s goal of increased revenue.
- Timely: Set a realistic timeline for achieving these goals, including both the new (or redesigned) website and what you hope to get out of it.
2. Understand SEO and put it into practice. Search engine optimization (SEO) affects where a website ranks in search results. To rank higher on search results and be more visible to Web users, a website should incorporate the keywords that people are most likely to search for. Like almost everything else online, SEO best practices are constantly changing, and websites should adapt to these changes.
3. Make it mobile friendly. More and more people are browsing websites on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Findings by KPCB show that mobile usage is overtaking desktop usage. A website that is not optimized for mobile devices can be frustrating for visitors. This can reduce website traffic, driving users to more accessible sites.
4. Keep the design simple but attractive. A streamlined design is especially important for mobile users, who do not want to see too many colors, logos, and words cluttering up the small screen on a smartphone. Animation should be used sparingly to keep the user from being too distracted. Use a few different pages for different topics, such as a main page, an “About Us” page, and a page for each service or product offered. You may want to include a page for client testimonials, which can help build credibility.
5. Add and update the content. The “About” page is one of the most commonly visited pages on any company website. Check in on that page periodically and update the information. Make sure your staff list is up-to-date, and highlight any recent company accomplishments. Consider adding a blog page to the website, as well. This should be updated fairly frequently (at least once a week) with both company and industry news. Depending on the business and its goals, the blog may include local news or events.
6. Contact information should be clearly visible. Every page on a business website should include contact information that includes the company name, phone number, physical address, and email address. Consider adding a contact form for users. If your company has any social media accounts, such as Facebook or Twitter, the website should include links to those, as well.
7. Encourage responses with a Call To Action. Just as important as the contact information is a call to action (CTA) that prompts some kind of response from website visitors. Depending on the company goals, the CTA may encourage users to sign up for a newsletter, schedule a consultation, or start a download. Experts recommend only one type of CTA, but it should be effective. Techniques include using language appropriate for your target audience and offering something visitors really want.