Today you can create a decent small website in a day pretty much. With so many tools and templates, there is no excuse other than to have a great website. Your homepage needs to be well-designed, load fast and look professional. 0.05 seconds is all you have to convince people to stay on your website according to some experts.
Having worked with several of my clients and reviewed their online presence, it's quite clear that not everyone pays attention to the customer journey online. Let's clear that up.
It helps a lot if you consider the need from a visitors perspective. What are they looking for, and what do they want to find?
Ensure you have a clear description of who you are and what you have to offer directly on the front page (this is what is called the homepage). Take a look at the image above. Images of bags with the text 'Bags & Leather Goods. No chance of missing the point here is there? Someone who stumbles upon your website shouldn't have to guess the work that you do. Keep it simple and to the point.
One of the most visited page on any website is the 'about page'. The customers want to feel connected to your brand (and you if it's a smaller company). People do business with other people, and visitors want to know who is behind the company. The page should give a summary of who you are (with a clear picture of you), your company history and what isolates you from the competition. Make it personal. Canva has published some wonderful examples that gets anyone inspired.
Top list of key things to include on your website
Have a content menu in the same place on every page. Thereby, a customer can find their way around without having to go back to the homepage to get an overview. Ensure you link to all pages and that they are visible and easy to find.
2. Include a search box on your site.
There is nothing worse than when you know what you are looking for and cannot find it because the site is not clear. Your simple solution to avoid irritation is to add a search bar.
3. Please keep content to a minimum
If you don't have more to say, stop talking. Lots of people view websites via their mobile phones. The more simple you can make it and still get your point across, the better. Allow the viewer to make a quick decision.
Do you offer many different things? Ensure you list your essential products or services on the homepage. It's your shop window and this is what people see first.
Make sure you speak the same language as your customer. If you're an expert, that's great, but if your clients aren't, they might not follow what you mean. Could you keep it more simple?
CTA means 'Call to Action'. It is the action you want your customers to take after they have finished reading. You are guiding the visitors towards activities of your choice by giving them information that they want to see on their way to that decision.
Call, Email, Sign up, Buy now, Download, Share etc. How do you create a compelling CTA? Check out these tips from Optimizely.
If you have any positive comments and appreciations of satisfied customers, use them. It gives potential clients reasons to believe what you offer is worth it. Inevitably if others like it, so will they.
If you are a service provider, there should be a separate page dedicated to customers' testimonials. Summarise short snippets on the home page with links to the lengthier version on the page itself.
"I received my products sooner than I expected, they even added a special gift since they knew it was my birthday. I couldn't believe they write all their notes by hand. It's such a personal touch and I really would recommend these guys to anyone"
6. Signup form
To allow you to collect contact information of visitors even if they don't make a purchase on your website, you should include a signup form. To attract them to do so, you can include an offer in exchange to attract more customers.
7. FAQs section
FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions. A great page to have where you can answer all the minor queries that arise from clients. Use a friendly tone, so clients clearly feel that you care.
8. Contact information
How can people get hold of you? Email, Phone, Chatbox, WhatsApp. Your website must display clear contact information prominently on your website. If they can't get hold of you, how do they know you exist?
A sitemap page is a non-fancy page that lists all the web pages you have on your website. The list is also called an index. It's useful on sites with 500 pages or more.
There are two formats to consider. XML and HTML. I find it's more important to make the customer journey clear, so HTML (good for customers) is a priority. The XML index (good for SEO), in my opinion, is secondary. Read more about the types here.
It's best to put your sitemap page in the footer on all of your website pages. Many web builders have tools that can help.
10. Jobs or careers page
Do you have staff? A career page is excellent as you can link to it whenever you need to advertise. A jobs page is also often shared, which would increase your publicity. If you don't have any current posts open, suggest that people submit their CVs.
12. Events page
Do you have regular events? Consider having a dedicated page on your website where you host your coming and past events. Add your payments there. You can also link to this page directly from your social media.
13. Press kit
With so many online publications and blogs around, it's always a good idea to have a press kit available for download. If you have fresh content ready, you're more likely to be featured. If someone asks, you have the material already available online for download and don't need to send an email. Have a look at some different examples here.
Last but not least, please remember to ensure there are no broken links anywhere on your website. It's one of the most common reasons why customers leave a page. Ensure you lead them all the way to the checkout or the contact button.
Anna Seefeldt, your practical, no-nonsense marketing and business consultant, founded the company to assist with all your marketing needs. Anna lives in Singapore with her husband and two children.
For any questions or support in building your business and brand, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.