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A Business Owner’s Guide To Designing An Effective Website

To be effective, your website needs to attract, retain and convert prospects into customers.  Your website represents your brand.  Your website design is as important as any aspect of a brick-and-mortar store.

Most executives spend more time with the design of their company lobby then they do with their company website. While you need experienced designers and coders to execute a successful website, you also need to be intimately involved in the objectives for the website and the overall look and feel.

After all, your website will probably receive multiple times more visitors than your brick and mortar office!

What is the objective of your website?

Are you trying to inform your visitors and turn them into a solid sales leads that one of your staff can personally follow-up with and close?  Or, do you actually want them to be able to purchase your product or service on the website?

What are in trying to communicate in the first few seconds?

The home page is probably the most critical page of your website.

The first thing that visitors are going to notice is the look and feel.  Does your website look and feel like a place that the visitor wants to spend some time on?  If you’re selling a product, you may want to be concerned about a site that looks very professional and trustworthy.  If you represent a community of users, such as child day care workers for example, you might want a website that’s fun and full of color.  Whatever the design, it has to re-enforce your company brand and voice.

Probably the easiest thing to identify for your homepage is what functional element’s you might want.   Some of the elements to consider are:

  • a clear headline regarding what you do
  • a brief description of how you do it
  • key benefits for the visitor in choosing you over your competitors
  • key product or service features
  • artwork or video that both reinforces your brand and your product
  • primary calls to action for the visitor
  • customer testimonials
  • additional resources
  • subscription or free download box
  • social media links

Don’t make this mistake!

Apparently, the hardest thing for many to do is to limit what they have on the home page.  Don’t make that mistake!

You don’t want to confuse the visitor or make the site look cluttered and unorganized.  Whether you opt for a simple clean homepage as we have on Marketing Outfield, or a homepage stuffed full of content, it is absolutely critical that you provide your visitor with clear simple navigation to the rest of your website.  If your website is not easy-to-use for the visitor, they won’t stay very long.

Keep your prospect engaged

Recognize that your visitor may need some time to make a decision.  A general rule of thumb is that the longer a customer stays on your website, and is engaged with your content, the more likely they will want to do business with you.   So you’ll want to make sure there are product articles, instructional videos and case studies available for them.  These can be cost effectively created with outsourced marketing. User reviews can help visitors feel more comfortable purchasing your product or service.

It is also a good general rule that customers want to participate and hear from other customers.  In this case, you may want to leverage informative customer testimonials, have a blog where customers can comment, and/or have your website be the launching pad to your LinkedIn, Facebook or other social media business page.

Another very effective tool is to allow them to download a free e-book or case study in return for their e-mail address and permission to send them promotional information from time to time.

Finally, recognize that your visitors are increasingly accessing your website through smartphones and other mobile devices.  So you will want to make your website mobile friendly, and you may even want to consider QR codes, Apple icons and mobile apps as another way to engage and convert your visitors.

Don’t create it in a vacuum

To have an effective website you need to carefully think about what you want to communicate when a visitor lands on the home page of your website.  You probably only have a few seconds before the visitor is going to decide whether they have landed on the right website or not.   Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and take a look at your competitors’ websites; determine what you like or don’t like when you visit them.  Go to your favorite websites and determine what it is you like or don’t like about their homepage.

Marketing Outfield can help you grow your company’s profitable revenue with outsourced services from independent service providers that best meet your unique requirements.  Whether you are looking to redesign your whole website, or simply add a blog or subscription box, experienced designers are available to turn your vision into reality. Marketing Outfield is your marketplace for the most cost effective marketing for small and medium business.

 

About David Hubbard

David Hubbard is a Revenue Growth Expert, a pragmatic Marketing and Sales Consultant, a proven business leader and the CEO of Marketing Outfield. He has helped both private and public companies grow by 25-50% per year by properly enhancing their revenue strategy, sales and marketing activities, and incentive compensation plans to better align the company with their target market buyers. With a unique professional track record within the Sales, Marketing and Product Management functions, he brings a frank and unbiased perspective to his clients. Request a Complimentary Audit Consultation from Dave and his team and follow him on LinkedIn.