A great website acts as the hub of all digital marketing activities. When we’re thinking of digital marketing, we like to think of a wheel—where a website is the hub of the wheel and all of the other marketing channels (email, social, ads, etc) are the spokes. Together they make the marketing ecosystem work, and the website is what holds them all together.
Knowing how important a great website is with respect to a great marketing ecosystem, it is easy to overthink things and not make your site more complicated than it needs to be. With that being said, we’ve put together a quick guide to what your site needs to do to be effective.
Clearly Convey Your Message
Have you ever walked into a store and felt immediately overwhelmed about what you were supposed to do because it was too cluttered or disorganized? Yeah? Me too (I’m looking at your, Bed Bath and Beyond…).
What did you do in that situation? You probably did one of two things:
- You turned around and just walked right out.
- You walked around aimlessly, hoping to find something of interest to you.
See, that same thing happens on the web, and more often than not your audience is just leaving the site, not even aimlessly wandering around. When someone lands on a website and leaves without taking any meaningful action, we call that a bounce. We want to limit bounces.
So what can we do as marketers to limit bounces or limit that feeling of “what am I supposed to do now?” that website visitors get? You need to clearly convey your brand message and lead your visitor to take an action on your site.
Now this is a place that can get marketers stumped—how do I convey my brand message? To us it’s all about articulating exactly what you do, who you do it for, and what action you want the visitor to take next. Strong messaging is going to be what connects with your visitor and convinces them to further explore your site and contact you.
Think about your audience when you’re writing the content for your website. Think about what their problem points are and what is most important to them as they make a decision on how to solve that problem and write your content with that in mind.
Show How Your Service Solves Their Problem
An effective website doesn’t just tell what you do — it also shows how your service or product will benefit your audience. Too often websites describe what the company does but never makes an attempt to showcase expertise or any proof that the company is any good at what they do!
It’s really quite easy to show off your expertise—and depending on what type of business you’re in there are a lot of good options:
- Show your work in a portfolio
- Have case studies available for download
- Show off customer testimonials
- Give a free trial or live demo
This is like giving a test drive in a new car. Someone may love everything about the car but won’t know for sure until they have a chance to get in and drive. By giving the customer evidence that you are in fact able to help them it will make the choice to buy much easier to make.
Make It Easy to Contact You
For most companies, the single purpose of a website is to educate customers enough that they want to contact you to learn more or purchase (unless you’re selling online, in which case making a sale is certainly an important function!).
A great website should make it exceedingly easy for your customers to make contact with you. Offer your customers simple to find and use contact forms, email newsletter opt-ins, and list your phone number and email address in a simple to find place, for those that would prefer to contact you that way instead.
So There You Have It
Of course things are never just that simple, and a perfect website likely doesn’t exist, but these are the three things that an effective website needs to have. If you’re in the process of a website redesign or getting ready to start you should keep these things in mind and you’ll be on the right track. And of course, if you need help planning out your website or completing a custom website project, get in touch with us at Zangardi Studio—we’d love to help!