Your website is the North Star of your brand’s online presence—all other marketing efforts center around leading people to the website.
We’ve all heard the “5-second rule”. When someone lands on your company’s website, you have about 5 seconds (probably less) to capture their attention. You need to tell them quickly and clearly what you do, why you do it, and for who. So you need a great website.
The best websites are beautiful, easy to use, and have a clear, compelling message. If your site isn’t there yet, don’t worry! These tips will help you optimize your website for user experience, SEO, organic traffic, and generating leads for your business.
1. Make it Mobile Responsive
You probably already know that optimizing for mobile is extremely important. You might even be reading this on a mobile device.
At least 80% of internet users own a smartphone, and mobile makes up 58% of all Google searches–no joke! Google’s algorithm even switched over from “desktop-first” to “mobile-first” indexing back in 2018. So, the need for responsive design is more critical than ever.
Make your website do more for your business.
2. Focus on Benefits, Not Features
Have you ever heard the saying “Features tell, benefits sell”? It’s true!
While customers might use features to compare two similar products, what they really care about is how your product or service makes their life easier. Your website copy should focus on what problems you solve for your customers, what tasks you help them accomplish, and how they will feel after using your product or service – aka the benefits!
Customers care less about “Advanced safety restraint systems” (feature) and more about “Keeping your family safe” (benefit). They care less about a “Dual-core 1.4 GHz ARM v8 Typhoon processor” (feature) and more about “Surfing the web, faster”! (benefit)
Learn how I use the Hero’s Journey and StoryBrand frameworks to tell a benefit-focused success story on your website.
3. Get to Know Your Audience
Customer profiling helps you put yourself in your customers’ shoes—or in their minds, rather. Creating detailed customer personas will help you learn about their habits, behaviors, and interests. Before creating any content for your website or marketing materials, spend some time nailing down exactly who your target customer is. Determine their:
- Age Range
- Geographic location
- Marital status
- Favorite online platforms
Combine this with the results-focused messaging above, and you’re on your way to building better customer relationships.
4. Include Clear Calls to Action
Sign up now. Get started. Let’s chat. Learn more. Calls to action (CTAs, in marketing-speak) are a critical part of driving conversions online. We’re so used to seeing call-to-action buttons, we may not even think about it. But make no mistake, they are super important!
There’s no point in capturing your audience’s attention, getting them all excited about your product, or building trust if they’re not sure what to do about it. Calls to action make it easy for people to call you, schedule an appointment, or BUY your product.
Calls to actions should contain simple action phrases, and they need to stand out from the rest of the design. Make it a button, use contrasting colors, animate it–whatever you need to do! Buttons will lead to pages on your site for more info, or directly to your shop page.
5. Include Social Proof
More and more business takes place directly on the web, without ever meeting your customer face-to-face. But that doesn’t mean people don’t need to vet you or build trust in your brand. In fact, it makes trust more important than ever.
Social proof shows off the great things others have said about you before they book a call, sign up for your email list or click the ‘Buy Now’ button. Testimonials, online reviews, logos, case studies, and more work as social proof, reassuring potential customers that you actually do what you say you do.
6. Blog Consistently
How often are you currently publishing to your company blog? If you want to develop a strong online presence, you need an active blog to help people discover your website.
Blogs are great for organic traffic and lead generation:
- Websites with a blog have up to 434% more indexed pages (hello, SEO!)
- Content marketing generates 3X more leads than paid search advertising
SEO keyword research isn’t going away just yet, but as search becomes more advanced language processing becomes more natural (and with the recent Google BERT update) , I encourage brands to focus less on keyword research tools, and think more about what people are typing as they search. Answer the Public is a useful (and somewhat amusing) resource for coming up with long-tail keywords and topic ideas.
7. Create a Google My Business Page
If you have a local business, a Google my Business Page is critical for local SEO; it’s the second-most important channel for SEO, behind your website.
How do you optimize your Google my business page to rank higher in local searches? Here’s how: Collect reviews, fill out your profile completely including professional-looking photos, keep all information accurate, and verify your business listing.
So, is your online presence on point? If your website looks dated, your message feels stale, or your clients have new needs that you need to address, it might be time to revamp. If your business is growing or you’re offering new products or services, you also might want to update your site.
Think you could benefit from a messaging audit or SEO audit? Let’s talk! Schedule a free 30-minute call with me.