Effective websites share a lot of the same key traits. But it doesn’t matter how big your business is or what industry you serve. Whether small or large, or you’re in tech, real estate, finance, B2B or law, your website needs to do a few things well (and in today’s world, do them quickly):
In my experience, effective company websites follow these 5 best practices:
1. Quickly identify your target audience.
Immediately clarify who this business is for and why they should pay attention. Depending on your business, this could mean integrating your customer’s:
- Geographic location – Are you a local or regional business? Do you serve customers in one specific area? Doing this will also be a boon to your search & local SEO efforts
- Demographics – Incorporate your customers’ interests, industry or background, needs, age, etc.
In this instance, Stanton Law has made it clear through its headline, graphics & supplemental copy that they serve high-level executives & business owners. Ideally, you want your customer to know within a few seconds that this website is speaking to them.
2. Define yourself clearly – What’s in it for your customer?
Name your products and services in the most specific way possible. Do you offer three main services? Do you have a clear set of best-selling products? Define and detail them. Your customers want to know what you can do for them, and they don’t want to hunt through pages and pages of information to find out. Statistics bear this out.
Ledbury makes it clear on their homepage in the top left corner of the site, (where the human eye naturally starts) that they make quality shirts that ‘fit better, feel better & last longer’. The crisp and classic imagery supports this message.
3. Build your credibility
Think about your most loyal customers. Why do they love you? Whatever the answer, it needs to be communicated on your website. You can show your credibility using your long history of success, testimonials from happy clients, examples of your awe-inspiring work, or a video of your respected CEO. Your website audience probably doesn’t know you already, so give them reasons to trust you.
4. Demonstrate your value.
Your website is an opportunity to communicate not only what you do, but why you do it. Explaining the why behind your products and services – your company’s cause – helps customers connect to your business in a real, emotional way. Need inspiration? “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” featuring Simon Sinek. Sinek demonstrates the importance of working with people who believe what you believe. The first step? Knowing and communicating the important “why’s” that guide your company.
5. Provide clear calls to action.
Any website that doesn’t define what they want their customer to do & also provide a clear path to do it is likely leaving a lot of money on the table. Don’t leave your customers hanging. If you’ve built a great website, you don’t want your customers to click away without taking action. Give them an easy next step to more information, a newsletter signup, a product or property search, or an online purchase. And it’s never a bad idea to incentive them do it.
This real estate website encourages users to digest information about a property, and then offers them an easy contact form to request more information from the agent.
When in doubt, err on the side of simplicity. Clearly define your company and your customer, but don’t bog your audience down with too much information. If you’re a service-based industry or specialize in offline sales, give your customer just enough information so that they will need to contact you for more. For online sales, provide a clear path for purchase.
Are you looking for help creating, designing, optimizing or promoting your online presence? Let’s chat.