How to Craft A Website That Converts
Running a business in this era means having a strong online presence. It is non-negotiable for every business, no matter how big or small they are. A study from Stanford University shows “46.1% of 2,500 people studied say a website’s design is the top criteria for deciding if the company is credible or not.” [Search Engine People, 2014]
Imagine your dream client landing on your website right this second. What thoughts pop into your head? Do you feel panic or embarrassment because it hasn’t been updated in awhile? Or maybe a sense of pride and confidence, because you love your website and know it’s a true representation of your business.
What if you had a website that works just as hard as you do? Turning viewers into clients or customers. Acting as a resource centre for your audience, not just a page with a few words thrown together.
Now I'm not suggesting you create a powerhouse of a website with countless pages, lots of blog posts, and text. In fact, trends in website design are leaning more to minimal website (sometimes even one page). Whether your website is 100 pages or just 1, there are key elements to ensure your website is effective, and working just as hard as you are.
How To Craft A Website That Converts
One of the biggest mistakes I see on websites is no clear call to action. What do you want the user to do on each page of your website? Help your audience by guiding them through exactly how to navigate the website by pointing them to the most important pieces. Every single page should have a clear call to action of what to do next, whether that’s learning more about you, booking a call, looking at another product, or viewing content on your blog.
The easiest way to implement these actions in a strategic way is to start with your goals. What do you want your website to do for you? Take out a piece of paper and write down your top 2-3 goals for your website. Some ideas to get you started: get more email subscribers, inquiries for services, sell products, or read content on the blog.
Once you have your goals figured out, write down every single page on your website. Beside each page, write down which page or action your audience should take next (the idea is that these will tie into your goals you determined above). These will transform into your calls to action on each of these pages. For example: for you about page, your goal is to get more email subscribers, so your call to action becomes a sign-up box. Another example would be your services page, you want people to inquire, so your call to action becomes a link to your contact form.
By including a call to action on every single page of your website, you can guide your audience through your content and ensure people are taking action on it, even if that’s as simple as subscribing to your newsletter.
Copy That Converts
There are three major parts that make up a website: the content, photos and design. All three of the pieces are equal in weight when in comes to priorities on your website.
While the images and design of the website will draw people in (as visuals are noticed within seconds of landing on a page), it’s the actual words on the page that will convert your audience into clients, customers, social media followers, or newsletter subscribers.
If you’re not a writer yourself, this is a great area to get some help with. All of your content should be written with your ideal audience in mind. It should address their struggles, frustrations, and pin point exactly how you are going to help them get through that. Using language that they can understand is key, so re-visiting past consult calls, or feedback is essential.
One of the quickest, most effective changes you can make to your website is on the home page. When a complete stranger lands there, can they tell within 5 seconds exactly what you do? If the answer is no, it’s an easy to fix to add one sentence that clearly and concisely states what your business is and how you can help.
High quality visuals and graphics
Visual design is a large piece of website design, as “the brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text" (3M Corporation). As mentioned before, the content will convert your audience, while the visual pieces will draw them in to read that content.
Your website visuals are made up of photos, graphics, typography, white space, colours etc. The easiest way to make a big impact with not a lot of effort is photography. Either hire a lifestyle photographer in your area to create custom branded images for you, or purchase high quality stock photos that fit well with your brand.
Overall your website should be clean, simple, and easy to look at. This means utilizing a lot of white space, taking advantage of different headings, and breaking up text to make it easy to digest. Your fonts should match your brand, but above anything else, they should be easy to read. Stay away from those curly, loopy, cursive fonts and stick to clean, simple and easy to read.