In this series of blog posts, Gravity Marketing will share the foundational principles of an effective lead-generating website. You can use each article as a checklist for your current website to see where improvements can be made.
Before we get started, take a moment to answer the following questions:
- Do you drive traffic to your website on a monthly basis, though advertising, email, or print?
- Are you able to see user data on your website, including monthly visitors and how they found your website?
- Have any of your recent sales originated from an inquiry on your website?
If you answered yes to most or all of the questions, congratulations! You are on the right path. This series will help you identify ways to enhance the effectiveness of your website.
If you answered no to one or more question, this series will give you all of the tips you need to transform your website from a dormant digital brochure to an active lead-generating machine.
Let’s begin by establishing a solid foundation.
5 Critical Attributes Every Business Website Must Have
Every website needs to have features in place at the start in order to be properly set up for success. We narrowed down 5 critical attributes that cover user experience, functionality, and flexibility.
1. Home Page – A clear business description. The home page is the most visited page on your website, and often where new visitors will land. One of the first things visitors should see is a clear statement about what your business is so they know if they are in the right place. Your website can achieve this through copy and images. The goal is to make it crystal clear what your company is about. One simple way to check this would be to invite friends and family who are not familiar with your company to visit your website’s home page and describe what they think the business is about.
2. Contact Contact Contact – How easy is to reach out. The goal of most websites is to attract new people and encourage them to inquire about the business. Depending on your business, you will want to make sure contact information is prominent in headers and footers, including your phone number, address, and business hours.
Contact forms allow visitors to reach you any time of day and ask specific questions. Also, they require visitors to provide their contact information, which businesses don’t always get when fielding phone calls. Contact forms are a tool to collect more information about a website visitor that makes the initial sales call more informed, but not too much information – that could deter a prospect from completing it. Keep the form as short and as useful as possible for the person submitting the form.
3. Mobile-friendly design. As of February 2021, 55.56 percent of all web traffic comes through mobile phones. Expect a potential prospect to access your website via their mobile phone – maybe they are clicking on an email link or simply browsing on a search engine. If your website is difficult to use on a mobile device because it is formatted for a desktop screen, target audiences may move on before even understanding what your business is. You can test this by visiting your website on your mobile. Do you like the experience?
Website content management systems like WordPress allow you to customize the mobile experience per page, so if you have a complex matrix or an extensive cost calculator, you can disable it for mobile devices, or add a message (that only mobile users will see) encouraging visitors to view the content on a desktop for the best experience.
4. Insights through real data. There are multiple ways to pull insights from your website, depending on the website platform and tools you are already using. Google Analytics, for example, is free, and provides in-depth information on website visitors, including how they got to the site, what pages were viewed, how long they stayed, and if they converted via a sale or a contact form. Ask your website manager if Google Analytics is set up, and then make sure you are added as a user. The more you can understand about where your website traffic comes from and how visitors behave on the site, the more you can use this data to make improvements that lead to real sales.
5. Website ownership. Owning your website is like owning a house. You want to make sure your name is on the title, the deed, and you can fix and update the house on your terms. In website development, these factors are equivalent to registering the domain in your company name, managing the hosting, and having access to the Content Management System (CMS), or backend of the website. If the web developer owns these, they have control. Making changes to the site can be costly and changing web partners will be cumbersome.
Once you have these items in place, you are ready for the next step – focusing on lead generation. Keep an eye out for Part 2 in The CEO’s Guide to Effective Websites, where we tackle content, SEO, and sales funnels.