1. Know your customer. When you create a website, you need to know your targeted website visitor. You need to know what that person is looking for before you do anything else. You need to ask what kind of information they are looking for when they land on your Website? What’s their life situation likely going to be? What kind of information or factors will drive a purchasing decision by them? A little thought about why someone would visit your website can help you make good decisions in its design. You want to make sure that the kind of information they are looking for is there, so that the person takes action and either calls or emails your business. In considering your typical customers, get a piece of blank paper and write down literally everything that comes to mind. Don’t worry about trying to organize it – just get it down on paper in whatever order it comes out.
2. Serve 80% of them. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. If you try to cover all of the information that people could possibly be looking for, your website is going to get messy and it could hurt sales. For example, a plumbers site could have plumbers tools, plumbing products, plumbing advice etc….. You can see how easily a person might get distracted and then not call you, which was the whole reason you had the website to start with. Instead, you should identify and feature your top money-making products and services, and have a clear focus on the needs of your typical customers. Whether it’s emergency service, a professional record, whatever it might be, represent that clearly. Otherwise, if your visitor can’t quickly find what they’re looking for they will leave your site immediately, or possibly get distracted and you end up losing a sale.
3. Content Planning. With the work you did before on brainstorming your typical customers, go back and try to group the things you wrote down. Think about your top 3-4 money-making services that you would want to do more of, and think about how the items from your brainstorming relate to those services. Along with some keyword research from an SEO professional, this will help you organize your website and get ideas about what kind of content it will need to have to represent those services while getting the attention of your visitors.
4. Keep it simple. Less is more! If your homepage is visually ‘busy’ or presents visitors with too many choices or decisions to make, you’ve already lost. ‘A confused mind never buys.’ A very common mistake is to present multiple menus, contact forms, and call-now buttons all over the place. Subconsciously this will confuse your website visitor, since you’re telling them do different things. Do you want them to call, or email? You can and should make both options available, but one should receive a clear emphasize and stand out as a clear call to action. Keep your home page simple and present visitors with only a few options. Be careful in your use of color, since too many colors has also been shown to distract visitors and reduce conversions.
5. Nice pleasant looking website. Your website needs to be a great first impression by looking clean and well-organized, while presenting typical things they are subconsciously going to be expecting to see. It’s easy to confuse a professional website with a flashy one; while flashy websites may seem neat, they often don’t convert as well. Stick with simple, clean designs with good use of color that put the right things in the right places so visitors can easily find their way around.
6. A call to action on all pages. Your website isn’t just a brochure. It’s an active portal that pulls them into your digital world and entices them to have a business relationship with your company. Your website should reassure visitors about doing business with you, while funneling them to take a single, clear, obvious action. You won’t know when they are ready to buy or call, so you need to make it as easy as possible for them. The call to action needs to be prominently featured. When they think “Okay, I need to find out more information…or I need to call them”, you need to have the contact number easy to find. Ideally, you want to present your visitors with one primary action that you want them to take, whether it’s to call you or fill out a form, and you want it to visually stand out so they can’t miss it.
7. Mobile friendly. The website needs to be mobile friendly. A huge percentage of Internet users are now mobile, so your website needs to look good when viewed from such devices. You need to make it easy for your visitor to call you from their mobile by providing a simple tap-to-call capability.