Why Does Your Website Need To Perform Better?
Your website is your shop window to the world. The design and layout of your website is important because it is likely the first point of contact between you and your potential customers.
The impression your website makes on them can either encourage them to stay and learn more about your business, or it can turn them away to your competitors.
A high-performing website keeps your potential customers on your pages and encourages them to take action – usually a phone call, information download, in-person visit, or an online sale.
The rising popularity of services like Wix, SquareSpace, and similar website builders have made it easy for anyone aged 9 to 90 to build a website. Pick a template, add some words and images, and bam – you’re online.
However, these products tend to sacrifice good design for ease of use, and the resulting website, if done poorly, will make the wrong impression on your would-be customers.
This guide will help you to understand if your business website is optimised to deliver the results you expect from your online investment.
If your website lacks even a few of the elements described in the following pages, it may be giving your visitors a poor impression and driving them to our competitors.
Breakdown of a Results-Producing Website
How does your business website stack up to the mock-up below?
- Professional logo – Your logo, typography, and colouring
- Contact details – Your preferred means to be contacted – phone number or email address – plus other useful info such as business hours
- Social links – Links to your active social media pages
- Navigation– Links to your primary sub-pages
- Header Image – A striking professional photo or image that conveys your business value to your visitors
- Headline – A short sentence fragment that conveys your business value and aligns with your header image
- Subheading / Value Statement – More detail around your value proposition – who you serve, how you help, and what makes you better
- Calls to Action – One or two buttons that encourage action – “Register Today”, “Download (information) Now”, “Get a Call-Back”, “Sign Up”, “Request a Sample”, etc.
- Primary Service / Product Listing – Images and summary of your primary services or products (2 to 4 count)
- Links to Inner Pages – links to service / product pages having additional detail
- Customer Feedback – “Social proof” of your value to your customers, ideally with names, locations (town/area), and a photo
- Online Ratings – If your feedback comes from a site that has ratings (Google, CheckATrade, etc), show it off on your website for further trust building
- About Your Business – Another chance to describe the unique value you provide to your ideal customer
- Address and Contact Details – Where are you located, and how can visitors get in touch with you?
- Hours of Operation – Your… err… hours of operation for your business
- Contact Form – Another opportunity for visitors to get in touch to ask a question or request information
- GDPR Protection – Cookie warnings and data privacy policies are a must-have as of 2018; don’t get nicked!
Congratulations if you can tick all of the boxes above. Unfortunately, you’re still not done if you’ve not considered these additional performance aspects.
- Mobile-Friendly – Your website must be “responsive” and easily readable on mobiles, tablets, laptops, and high-resolution desktop screens
- Professional, Error-Free Writing – your website writing must be clear, concise, and free from grammatical and spelling errors
- Professional Photography / Images – the photos and /or images on your website should be of high quality, and consistent with your
- Customer Voice / Mind – Your website writing should keep language simple, jargon to a minimum, and focus on solving your visitors’ problems
- Fast Loading – Use GTMetrix.com to check your loading speed; anything over
- No Distractions – You may love your children, pets, hobbies, and favourite holiday spots, but your potential customers care only about your business
- Visible by Google – Do a Google search for your business type + local area (“tilers in Kingston”); your business should be on the first page of results
- Up to Date – Ensure you have your latest services, products, pricing, images, etc. on your website
- Secure – Open your website in the Google Chrome browser; if the address bar has a message saying “Not Secure”, then you need a security certificate (SSL Certificate) set up for your site
- Consistency – Ensure that your business information – name, address, phone number, business hours, etc. – is consistent across all of your online listings – website, Google, Facebook, etc.
While your website doesn’t have to match up exactly to the example above, it’s important that enough elements are in place so that your website achieves the following results-producing goals.
- Builds trust
- Loads quickly
- Looks professional
- Works across all device formats
- Looks better than your competitors
- Speaks your ideal customer’s language
- Clearly and accurately explains your business value
- Entices your potential customers to select you over your competitors
- Encourages your visitors to take action, and makes taking action easy for them