A well-planned web strategy is the first step in creating a successful website. Besides a creative, eye-catching web design tailored to your specific industry, it’s important to understand exactly what your customers need and want when they enter your website – and how your online presence can best deliver to their expectations.
From restaurants to manufacturing, each website requires a different strategy based on their company’s goals, budgets, industry and targeted customers. A local Italian restaurant will have a much different web strategy than a global manufacturer of steel components.
Do your online visitors land where they expect to be?
- Landing pages
Not all visitors enter your website through your home page. Perhaps they entered via a link to a page within your site. For specific search phrases, search engines (like Google and Bing) will often designate certain pages within your site as more relevant than your home page. These relevant pages are often referred to “Entry” or “Landing Pages”. Check each of the Top Entry Landing Pages on your website. While it’s important to ensure that these pages quickly reveal the “offer”, use these same criteria on all pages on your website. Don’t beat around the bush. Otherwise, these might become the “Exit” pages.
- Use a prominent hook
Quickly and visually show them what’s offered on the page (and the value they’ll receive from it). Provide additional relevant information with conveniently-placed links throughout your content. The combination of relevant information and internal links will reduce the bounce rate on entry pages.
- Make them feel at home
You can establish familiarity by clearly displaying keywords or images that customers can relate to or would be looking for when they enter a page on your site.
- Provide rich, relevant content
You’ve heard the phrase “content is king” and that couldn’t be truer. Websites need to deliver what visitors want and need in a relevant, useful content. Make plans to update this information periodically. Adding current useful information is a sure way to attract your customers for return visits.
- Add engaging content
This will increase the number of pages viewed per visitor and the total time spent on your site.
Are your online visitors easily engaged?
- Increase the number of ways that visitors can connect with you (call to action). If you’re looking for other ways to entice visitors to take action, think about the needs or interests of visitors who are at different stages in buying what you have to offer. Offer a different call to actions that are pertinent to their specific decision-making needs.
- Make it easy for visitors to take action: #1) make actionable items prominent on the page and #2) match their incentive to the level of effort required to take action.
- On forms or surveys, less is more. Remove questions that are not critical to the task. The quicker you get them to click the submit button, the less time they’ll have to reconsider.
Do online visitors quickly realize the relevance of the content on your site?
Provide appropriate visuals, widgets, tools, or features that offer relevant or additional value, which will give them a reason to linger long enough to realize what is offered and to easily move through the site to quickly find further information that feeds their curiosity.
- Make it directly related to the search terms or linked text that brought them to the page
- Use imagery or content that conveys the value or interests your visitors can easily identify with
- If specific keywords or text links directed them to this page, repeat those SAME phrases to reinforce the relevance. Get to the value quickly!
- Increase the length of time spent on site; increase the number of call to actions engaged on the home page or top-level pages
Do your online visitors believe you? Does your website present sufficient information to convey trustworthiness?
- Make it credible. Deliver information that answers the big question: Why should they buy from you?
- Use content that connects with them logically and emotionally
- Be persuasive. People tend to take the advice of experts. Begin building your reputation as an expert in your field by telling them what you know (not what you do).
- Credibility Builders include:
3rd party validations; brand logos of businesses/organizations that you work with (customers, vendors, and suppliers); customer reviews; whitepapers; guarantees; and credentials or certifications
- Increase the number of return visits and number of customer-initiated contacts