One of the most important pieces of a successful marketing strategy is a strong website. The digital world has become a central hub of business, and your website is a foundational piece of every tactic you implement. Not only is it where your prospects go to vet your brand, it’s where every single presence – digital or traditional – points back to.
Think about it: social media channels. Business cards. Letterhead. Ads. Blog posts. They all point back to your website.
The problem is, most businesses don’t know how to create a website that does more than just provide an online presence. In reality, a website does different things for different brands. In it’s most basic form, it should back up who you are, what you do, and why you’re different. It should also help propel prospects through your sales funnel, while helping current clients see that you can do more than just one thing for them.
Unless, of course, you only do one thing. Then you just need to make it easy for them to contact you 😉
At any rate, website questions are one of the biggest reasons people initially come to us for strategy support. So before you dip a toe into an updated online presence, let me explain the top five things you need to include in your next website undertaking.
Modern Look and Feel
Your website is often your business’ first impression with new customers and prospects. If they don’t like it on a visual level, you’re going to lose them right away – and it’s going to be pretty hard to gain their trust back. A modern look and feel doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are plenty of web developers out there who will simply customize a WordPress template for your specific needs.
Things you should consider: modern colors, custom images (in fact, we often recommend that clients put more money into the images on their website than the actual site structure), on-brand font choices, clean design.
If it’s not easy to navigate your website, forget it. People aren’t even going to TRY to figure out who you are. Your website navigation should be part of your initial website strategy – it should lead your entire design process. It should never take a customer more than 3 clicks to get to the information they need on your site.
Things you should consider: Main menu navigation, whether you’ll offer breadcrumbs (the little “how you got here” links at the top or bottom of a page), how long it takes your website to load (hint: it should be fast)
All in all, your brand’s personality and company culture should be communicated through the content and images around the website. If your personality is fun, perhaps you should keep the content a little spunky. If you have a very unique culture, make sure the images fit that. This gives your website the same feel that someone would get with walking into your office – which is what helps them create a more emotional tie to your brand.
Calls to Action
Your prospects need to be told what to do next. Make sure the next steps in the process (call for this information, buy here, download this spec sheet, etc.) are clearly displayed and easy to understand. On EVERY page of your site.
The number one reason people come to your website is to figure out how to contact you. This information should be easy to access, no matter WHERE someone lands on your website. You don’t need to put a blinking arrow to three different contact points on every page, but a contact form on your homepage, as well as a clearly defined link to a contact page in your main navigation, are essential to your success.