A majority of the traffic to your website is probably from a Google search or a referral from another website.
When a person clicks through and lands on your website, that is their first impression of your business.
You need to make sure that it is an enjoyable and memorable one.
And yes- first impressions do matter.
You only have, at the most, three seconds to capture a person’s attention when they land on your Orange County website.
If they don’t like what they see, then they are gone and moving onto your competitor’s website.
We put together this article to help you identify what you can improve on your website and how you can leave a memorable impression.
Below is a comprehensive list of everything your website must include to successfully attract and retain website visitors.
Determine The Voice Of Your Brand
Every brand has its own personality.
That personality is expressed through the images and copy on your website.
In order for your business to be successful online, you need to determine the personality of your brand.
You can do this by creating a brand persona for your business.
The easiest way to do this is to imagine if your brand was a person.
Now take out a piece of paper and answer these five questions:
- Is it a boy, girl or gender neutral?
- How is he or she dressed? Do they dress formally in a suit, business casual or do they wear shorts and t-shirts?
- What is his or her personality like? Are they professional and trustworthy or are they friendly and whimsical?
- How is he or she viewed by others? To people see him or her as a trustworthy advisor or a loyal friend?
- What are his or her morals? Do they stand for anything particular?
For example, let’s go through the steps with a hypothetical wealth management company.
- Is it a boy, girl or gender neutral?
- Gender-neutral because both males and females can be wealth managers.
- How is he or she dressed?
- Professionally dressed most likely wearing a suit with a jacket.
- What is his or her personality like?
- Extremely professional and trustworthy. People want their finances handled by a professional company that they can trust with their money.
- How is he or she viewed by others?
- He or she is viewed as a trusted advisor because someone wouldn’t want their finances handled by someone who isn’t qualified.
- What are his or her morals? Do they stand for anything particular?
- They believe in helping their clients become more financially secure by growing their savings and building their assets.
After you have created a brand persona, you will have a better idea of the personality of your business. You will want that personality to reflect in the design of your website.
It will also appear in the tone of the copywriting of your website.
If you have a more professional brand persona, then the writing on your website will reflect a more formal and authoritative tone.
You probably won’t use contractions when you write since the use of contractions makes your brand less professional and conversational.
If your brand is a surf, skate or snowboarding company, then you may want to use contractions to provide a more friendly and conversational tone.
Create Copy That Converts
The writing that is on most websites is very poor. Most websites have way more content and writing than is necessary.
It is important to remember that the human responds much better to images than it does text.
However, that doesn’t mean the website copy is irrelevant.
It is actually one of the most important aspects of your website.
Now that you have determined your brand personality and voice, it is time to write some amazing copy for your website.
Clean up Your Homepage
The best place to start is your homepage since it is probably the most visited page of your website.
Pull up your homepage and see if it can answer these four questions in 20 seconds or less.
- Who are you?
- What products or services does your company provide?
- How can you solve a problem that your target customer is facing?
- Why are you different from your competitors?
If someone can’t find the answer to all of these questions quickly on your homepage, then there is a good chance that they are going to leave.
Determine Your Value Proposition
After evaluating your homepage, you will want to create a list of features (or services), benefits and objectives about your products or services.
For example, if you are a wealth management company, you would write:
Features: Asset Management, Wealth Protection, Self-Directed Investment Services
Benefits: Our investments consistently outperform our benchmarks, Industry-leading experts in wealth protection, 97% client retention rates
Objections: There is a myriad of different wealth management companies. How will yours fit my needs?
Once you have this information written, draft an enticing value proposition. This value proposition is like your company’s pick-up line.
It should try to address the objective(s) that you that wrote earlier.
It is a brief few words that will entice the reader to keep learning about your company. There are many different ways you can structure a value proposition.
It can be a few sentences or a headline with some bullet points or even just a few words.
For example, our hypothetical wealth management company value proposition could be:
Our Asset Management program consistently outperforms industry benchmarks, which is why we have a 97% client retention rate.
Remember Your ABC’s
Now that you have your value proposition, list of features, benefits, and objectives. It is time to tackle the rest of the pages on your website.
Let all of the writing and discovery that you have done up to this point be the guide for the copy on the rest of the pages.
There is just one thing that you want to keep in mind, and that is your ABC’s- but not the ABC’s that you are thinking.
ABC stands for Always Be Closing.
When writing your website copy, you want to always be closing the reader and persuading a visitor to take some sort of action on your website.
Whether that is to fill out a contact form, purchasing a product or entering their contact information.
It is important to remember that the intent of your copy is to drive a user to take a specific action on the webpage.
Improve Your Navigation
We all know those websites that have about ten to fifteen different pages on their navigation bar.
Those websites are a huge turn off to website visitors.
The more choices that you give a person, the less likely they are to make a choice at all.
It’s called the paradox of choice and you can read more about it here.
Your website shouldn’t contain more than 8 different times on your menu.
The fewer the better.
The more you can seamlessly guide a user through your website, the less likely they are to leave your site, and that will improve your conversion rate.
To help you eliminate unnecessary pages from your website and move pages off of your menu, try to think about it from a user’s point of view.
After they land on your homepage, where are they going to go to next or what more do they need to know before they take action on your website?
This could mean they move to the services page to learn more about your general services.
On the services page, you can provide links that give more information on each service.
But, there is no point in having all of those services in your menu bar or even as a dropdown in your menu bar because not every person will be interested in those services.
In fact, getting a person to read through your list of services with a description of each on the page is extremely helpful and may even lead to an increase in sales.
This is because a visitor will discover they need a service they haven’t previously thought was necessary.
Not to brag here but we do a pretty good job of this on our marketing services page on our website.
Take a look and you get an idea of what I’m talking about.
Read through your whole website and find pages that you can eliminate and combine with other pages.
The less the user has to think about navigating your website the more happy they will be.
It is important to remember that good navigation comes with good design.
Captivate With Eye-Catching Design
Good design is subjective. It is an art form.
What one person might see as garbage, another person could see it as a masterpiece.
However, all good websites have a few common design elements:
- Easy to navigate
- Soft on the eye (meaning it doesn’t hurt to look at)
- Large, clear and vibrant images (eye-catching and enticing)
- Accurately conveys the brand’s personality
- Simple to read (text isn’t too small or too big)
If you are designing your website yourself, you will want to ensure that you include these design elements.
They will be crucial to the success of your website and your business.
If you are working with a professional designer, then you will want to make sure you hire the right graphic designer or design agency that can accomplish the key items above.
Choosing the right designer is never an easy process so we put together a design agency hiring guide that will help you select the right person to get your design project done without using your cousin Larry.
We recently wrote a blog post discussing how a business can benefit from good design- you can read it here.
Capture A Visitor Information
When a person visits your website, it usually means that they are interested in a product or service that you offer.
Your business probably has hundreds or even thousands of visitors to its website each month.
The unfortunate part is that a majority of those people are visiting your website and leaving without ever contacting your company or purchasing your product.
Those visitors disappear like a ghost in the night, and it is like they were never even there.
There are multiple ways you can, directly and indirectly, capture a visitor to your website’s information.
Lead Capture Form
It is essential that your business is growing their email list.
Email marketing one of the most effective marketing channels on the Internet, and your email list is probably one of your business’s greatest assets.
Placing several lead capture forms on your website will help to ensure that you acquire a visitor’s information when they are on your website.
We recently wrote a blog post about how to start growing your company’s email list and capture a website visitor’s information. You can read more about it here.
Only 2% of people who visit your website for the first time convert.
This means that 98% of the people who come to your website leave without taking action.
By placing a retargeting pixel on your website, you can capture visitor’s information and serve advertisements to them enticing them to come back to your website.
This code creates a list of people who have visited your website by placing a “cookie” in their browser.
Unfortunately, you cannot see the name and information of people on this list, but you can serve them relevant advertisements enticing them to sign-up for your email list or download your lead magnet.
Facebook, Google Adwords, and Twitter all allow you to build retargeting lists.
Each ad platform will require you to place a different line of code within your website in order to start growing your retargeting list.
If you are brand new to retargeting, I recommend starting with Facebook since it is the most effective.
Facebook gives a great overview of how to utilize their retargeting feature.
If you are looking to expand your retargeting beyond Facebook, Google Adwords also does a great job of discussing their retargeting features.
It is also important to note that retargeting is sometimes referred to as remarketing.
The two terms on synonymous and mean the same thing.
A website that effectively captures a visitor’s information will have several lead capture forms on their website as well as retargeting pixels.
The days of just needing a website have long past. If you build a site, there is a good chance that traffic might not come.
Even if it does get a consistent stream of traffic there is no guarantee that those website visitors will convert into leads or sales.
Your business needs to focus on establishing a clear voice for your brand, improving your website copy, creating an eye-catching design and capturing a visitor’s information in order to be successful in today’s digital world.
Are you looking to improve your marketing? Click on the lets talk button below. Root Marketing an Orange County Marketing agency is happy to discuss your particular situation.