How to Build a Business Website That Converts
August 23, 2013 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg
Here’s the thing: Everybody and their dog has a website these days. You have to. If you’re going to do business in any way, shape, or form, an online presence is par for the course. Not having a website is like adding a little note at the bottom of your print advertisement that says, “P.S. We’re not trustworthy.”
Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as just having a website. How many sites have you seen that looked outdated, or were riddled with mistakes or empty pages, or looked so basic that your 6-year-old could have put them together? Quite a few, right? And how many of those companies have you done business with? Our point exactly.
In order for your business website to do what it’s meant to do – convert visitors into customers – it needs to contain certain elements. So without further ado, we would like to present you with…the 7 elements of a business website that converts.
1. Design: Ok, be honest here. Everyone judges books by their covers! Don’t you? And in the same way, everyone judges businesses by how professional their websites look. It’s only natural to assume that a successful, professional company would have the funds and would take the time to ensure that their website is the best possible reflection of their business that it can possibly be. So a site that looks bad means one of two things: either the company doesn’t care – in which case, how can you know they’ll care enough to do good work for you? – or, they are short on capital, which is not a good sign, either. Make sure your site looks great!
2. Lead Capture Mechanism with Free Giveaway: Everyone loves free stuff, right? But we’re not talking pens and koozies here – we mean valuable information, the type typically contained in a white paper or email newsletter. Offering site visitors something for free will entice them to give you their email address, which is a vital step allowing you to stay in touch – and gradually turn them into customers.
3. Structure: Have you ever been overwhelmed by a website with confusing links, or no easy way to return to the home page once you’ve navigated away? After a few short minutes on a site like that, you probably gave up in despair, right? Don’t let that happen to customers on your site! Make sure the structure of your company’s website is clear and easy to understand.
4. Content: We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Content is king. Seriously. Your site needs to be chock full of useful content for visitors, whether it takes the form of blog posts, articles, podcasts, or videos. When you provide great content, potential clients see you as an expert in your field – and solid content also helps your search engine rankings.
5. Social Media Integration: Just as with the free info giveaway above, you want to give your site’s visitors as many ways as possible to stay in touch with your company after they leave. Be sure to include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ buttons on every page of your site, so that visitors can easily access your pages on their favorite social media channels.
6. Optimization: More on the technical side of things now, it’s important to make sure that your site is optimized – inside and out. It needs to be built well in the first place, so that it looks good in every different possible browser, for example. And it needs to be optimized for search engines, as well, so that people searching for someone who does what you do can actually find you!
7. Maintenance: Finally, a good business website needs to be updated regularly. It’s not enough just to set up a site and then leave it alone; it needs a blog or some other kind of regularly added new content, or search engines will start to ignore it – and so will potential customers.
If you need a professional website for your business, but don’t know where to start, give us here at Marketing Zen a call! We are experts at creating customized sites that deliver results.