For most businesses, a website is a critical part of reaching new customers and supporting existing customers. The company website doesn’t just create the first impression about your business. Your website is a critical asset for your sales, marketing, support, customer service, and business development efforts.

But an effective website requires planning, design, and ongoing marketing. A website that reaches your prospects and converts them to paying customers requires more than an excellent design. Although the design is important, it isn’t everything. To avoid losing valuable leads, you need to focus on capturing leads. Once you captured a valuable lead, you need to move your leads though your sales and marketing funnel.

What is the marketing value of great web design?

Website design is critical for several reasons:

  • Web design creates the first impression of your company.
  • The design will influence the SEO of your site.
  • The best-designed sites not only attract visitors but also keep visitors on your site. And the most effective websites bring visitors back over and over again.
  • A poorly designed site will fail to convert visitors into leads and leads into customers.

Before you can create a high-performing website for your business, you need to answer several questions:

  • What is the purpose of your website? This sounds easy, but you need to really think about this one. Are you going to have commerce on your website? Will your website serve as an information hub about the products or services you offer? Is your website to provide customer service? Is it a combination of all of the above?
  • What call to action are you going to have on your website? What action do you want website visitors to take once on your website? The call to action on this page is to get you to contact us about your website. Don’t assume that people will know what you want them to do once on your website. You need to tell visitors exactly what you want them to do. Do you want a high-performing website for your business? Contact us now!
  • Who is going to create content for your website? Unfortunately, most companies don’t think beyond the launch of the website. They believe that once the site is only the work is done. But realistically, the heavy lifting starts after your website has been published.
  • How often are you going to publish content on your website?
  • What types of content are you going to publish on your website?

What are the most important elements of a website?

A great website has a simple domain name

I have seen some of the craziest domain names over the years. Some of them have hyphens. Others have numbers or words that are impossible to spell. A great domain name is simple to spell, easy to say, and even easier to remember. If you want a great domain name remember the following:

  • Ideally, register a .com domain name
  • Avoid numbers
  • Never use hyphens
  • Use words that are easy to spell

Site visitors love simple navigation

If you want to have a great company website, make sure to implement simple navigation. A menu that’s simple and easy to navigate is critical because it guides visitors to the information they’re looking for.

Don’t settle for an overly complex menu design. Even if your web designer insists on something different, make sure the site navigation is clearly laid out. Dropdowns and nested menus are simple and effective. The goal is to create simple navigation, to help visitors find what they are looking for, quickly and easily.

Your website home page where it all begins

When someone stumbles upon your site, there should be a quick and easy way to figure out what you do. Even if I don’t know anything about your business, the home page should tell me exactly what you do. The job of the home page is to quickly confirm that I am on the right website. Don’t make me have to do investigative work just to find out what your business is about.

The power of the “About Us” page

The “About” page helps you share the story behind your company. Most companies miss their chance to tell an amazing story. On the “About Us” page, you can build trust. It’s critical to get this right if you want high conversions. People buy from those who they trust.

You don’t need to write a book on your “About” page, keep it short and to the point. Someone should be able to read it in a couple of minutes.

The most important elements of an “About Us” page that gets attention are:

Build website credibility with Contact information

Having contact information on your website is an important credibility builder. You should have your phone number in the header area, and your physical address in the footer area. In addition, your website should have a “Contact” page. The contact page should include:

  • Physical address or mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Social media links
  • Map of your location(s)
  • Contact form
  • Live chat

Although it sounds easy enough, yet many websites contain insufficient contact information. Don’t display your email address. It’s better to link to your contact form instead. It looks more professional and it is also more secure.

Most importantly, make sure your contact information is clearly visible. Website visitors should never feel that you are hiding your contact information.

What is outstanding website content?

A great website has excellent content. It doesn’t matter if you have an active blog or you constantly add outstanding content to your website. The key is to publish high-quality content. Your website can work 24/7 for your business. But that’s only possible if you publish excellent content, regularly. The content you publish will help you attract new customers and serve your current customers more effectively.

Make sure that you publish content on your own domain. If you use other platforms for your content, you will fail to get maximum SEO benefit.

A secure and well-maintained website

Unfortunately, many websites are never updated. And if you asked businesses about website updates, you would get blank stares in return. If you have a WordPress website, you should update it at least once every month. Website updates will ensure that your site is secure and everything is in good order.

Local SEO for service business websites

For many service business websites, local SEO is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, if your website isn’t optimized for local searches, you are missing out on valuable and free website traffic.

When people search for local service businesses, they generally include the location within the search terms such as “San Diego web designer.” It’s important to optimize your website for local searches. Include the city or cities you service in the website content and page titles.

Social proof and customer testimonials

There isn’t a simpler way to build trust than to publish customer testimonials on your site. Through sharing the successful track record of your business with prospects and leads, you are using your website to build credibility. Testimonials are even more valuable if you can use the names and logos of clients. Make sure you ask for permission before you do this.

Professional endorsements from associations displayed on your site are highly valuable.  Publishing case studies can provide real-world examples of how you helped your clients in the past. The case studies can focus on customer pain points and your solutions to their problems.

Differentiate your website with video

People like to see high-quality images on websites, but they love to see video content. With video, you can tell more compelling stories. For example, if your company provides web design services, you could share videos about good web design on your website.

The most important point about video is that every business can benefit from publishing video content. If you are an attorney, you can explain certain aspects of the law. An accounting firm can create videos about tax topics. Create short, authentic videos to differentiate your business.

Encourage email subscriptions

You should collect the email address of every site visitor. Give people a reason to subscribe to your email list. People will subscribe to your email list for the following reasons:

  • You provide valuable information, they couldn’t get unless they subscribe to your list.
  • Offer a monthly or weekly newsletter.
  • Send regular updates about relevant industry news.
  • Give frequent product updates.

Your email list will be one of your most valuable marketing assets. It will give you a new channel of communication, increasing the possibilities for additional sales.

Social media icons

Social media icons are important, but only if you have an active presence. Having a social media icon on your website that links to a dead social media account is a huge turnoff. Unfortunately, many companies are guilty of having inactive social media accounts. If you don’t post at least once or twice a week, you have an inactive account.

Don’t add platforms that you don’t publish to regularly. If you are only active on one platform only link to that platform.

Increase site conversions with live chat

A live chat feature is important, especially, if your business has customer service or support phone number. Many people prefer to get in touch using live chat instead of calling.

Chatbots are also effective because they help you automate customer service. Site visitors are more likely to convert to buyers if their questions are answered by a chat feature. The built-in AI functionality offers a simple solution for businesses of every size. If you have a WordPress website, you could contact your web designer to integrate a live chat service with your website.

Improve your website using analytics

Website analytics will eliminate the guesswork from your marketing efforts. With analytics, you make decisions based on data instead of a hunch. If your website is integrated with analytics software, you will know:

  • How many visitors visit your website. You cannot have a successful website without visitors. It is impossible to make improvements without having a clear understanding of website traffic.
  • What percentage of visitors return to your site? Returning visitors are valuable. Some of the most valuable websites have excellent retention.
  • Where your site visitors come from. You can track your marketing campaigns using analytics. Based on the data, you can decide to end or increase your marketing spend on certain channels.
  • How much time visitors spend on your website. If people spend only a few seconds on your site, you need to make improvements. Perhaps you need to rewrite the content of the pages or change the design of the site.
  • Which pages are the most popular? If you know which pages are popular, you can create more pages like them. You can also study the content and optimization of your most successful pages, to help you improve the less visited pages.
  • What is the bounce rate of each web page? A high bounce rate tells you that the traffic to your site is low quality.

The web is full of poorly designed, under-optimized websites. And I don’t just mean ugly websites. A great website must include critical features. From authentic videos to social proof, every website should include the essentials to help your business succeed.