Keys to a Great Website for Your Business
Is your website primed for success?
Web design and digital marketing can be overwhelming for most small business owners. In an attempt to simplify things, we have broken down the three keys for your business’s website to be successful.
3 Keys for a Great Website
- First Impressions
- Search Engine Optimization
- Conversion Rate
Unfortunately, online visitors have limited patience and will judge your business by what they see in the first 3 seconds. This is why it’s important to have an aesthetically pleasing and professional looking website that quickly communicates your brand’s key message.
Your website design starts with the layout. The layout should be clean and purposeful, not cluttered and disorganized. Large, easy-to-navigate sections will allow your visitors to grasp what your company is all about and invite them to scroll through to learn more about your business.
Once your website is laid out the way you want, you need to include strong branding. Branding can help to differentiate your business from its competitors, and can also evoke positive emotions in your visitors that they will associate with your company.
This article from Formilla, which also discusses how to make a good website, does a good job explaining how to implement branding. Put some thought into what colors you want associated with your brand and use them on your site. It’s also a good idea to get a good text-based logo and place it in the upper left corner where most people will expect it to be.
Another important aspect of making a good first impression is having a mobile-responsive site. This means that your website will format itself correctly based on if it’s being viewed on a desktop, tablet, or phone. Over half of internet usage is now coming from mobile devices, and most people will leave a website that doesn’t display properly.
A responsive website is also a crucial factor in search engine rankings, which is our 2nd key for a great website. You can use responsivetool.com to check that your site is displaying correctly on all devices.
We have just a couple more tips on first impressions. First, including a strong key message in your main banner helps to develop rapport with your online visitors. This can be a tagline for your brand or some sort of call to action. And second, make sure your top menu is easy to navigate. A confusing or dysfunctional menu will frustrate users and negatively impact your trustworthiness.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the process of getting your website to appear higher up in the search results when an internet user is search for products or services related to your business. This is how your website will get organic traffic, helping your business to grow.
Your website will never rank on the first page of Google without great content and quality backlinks. You can contact a representative here to learn more about this. Since it takes time to understand those aspects and even more time to implement them, this article focuses on what you can do with your website now to ensure that it is search engine friendly.
The first step is something that we already discussed, which is ensuring that your site has a responsive design for all devices. There’s no need to go into more detail now, but this step is important enough that it warrants a 2nd mention.
The next step is to check that your content is unique. Search engine algorithms will find any copied text on your website and your rankings will suffer. You can run a check at Copyscape.
Step three is all about the speed. The speed of your website is crucial for ranking due to several factors:
Most search algorithms factor in site speed for rankings
A slow website can limit the number of pages that are indexed
Visitors tend to leave a slow site, increasing the “bounce rate”
Here are a few more reasons you’ll want to have fast load times:
39% of internet users will give up on a website altogether if the images take too long to load
Just one extra second of page load time can cause sales to drop by 27%
Web pages that load in 3.3 seconds have a bounce rate of about 20%, whereas pages that can load in 2.4 seconds see a bounce rate of only about 12.8%
So, you should first check your site speed at gtmetrix.com. Your page speed score should be at least 80%. The best thing you can do to improve your site speed is invest in premium hosting. There’s also a good article here if you want to research the technical aspects of speeding up your website.
The fourth step is to make sure your website is hosted in a “good neighborhood”. Websites containing terms like “casino”, “gambling”, or other adult-themed terms are considered bad neighbors. Sharing hosting with these kinds of sites will put your rankings at risk.
If you want your site to be able to rank well, it’s probably not a good idea to have it hosted on a cheap, shared server. You can see what other sites are currently in your neighborhood at viewdns.info.
The fifth and final step for SEO is to get your website SSL secured. SSL certificates ensure that data transmitted between your website and visitors is private and secure, which will deter hackers. SSL certificates also add HTTPS to your URL. This is important because Google rewards website security, and prioritized SSL websites in the search results.
So, if your site’s URL does not start with https://… then contact your hosting provider to get that fixed.
If your website is going to be successful in helping you to grow your business, then it needs to be able to convert its visitors into paying customers. Luckily, we’ve already written another blog post on how to maximize your website conversion rate.
However, I will go ahead and mention here a few things to keep in mind.
Make sure your contact information is easily noticeable and placed in multiple locations, including at the top of your home page. A lot of internet users just want the important information immediately, and don’t want to have to scroll through to find what they’re looking for.
Keep the content text short and to the point. Long paragraphs will discourage visitors from reading through, and you won’t be able to get your message across. Also, use call to action buttons with a background color that stands out.
Use social media share buttons, lead capture forms, and testimonials. Social media and testimonials help potential customers to hear from your current customers which will build trust. Lead capture forms entice visitors to reach out to you and are a great way to collect contact information for marketing purposes.
Making an excellent first impression on your website’s visitors will not only get them to spend more time on your site, but will also build their trust in your brand. However, your site will not get any visitors if they can’t find it in the first place. That is why you need a site that is friendly to search engines so you can appear high in the search rankings.
Once you’re getting a good amount of quality traffic, you need to be able to generate sales. Use the tools and techniques mentioned above to increase your site’s conversion rate and get new customers. If you do all of these things, you will have a great website for your business.
The next step will be to continue to climb the search rankings. Getting on the first page of Google search results will have a massive impact on your business, and then ranking in the top 3 can further increase your leads multiple times over. Fill out the form below to find out how!