Well if you haven’t noticed, we are well on our way into the hyper galaxy of the digital age for business, where your website is literally the home base of your company.
Long gone are the days where a business could spend little attention on their web presence while their brick and mortar or physical presence is sparkly and bustling with exciting experiences… Consumers now have the same expectation if not more when it comes to your website.
To have a strong web presence, a company must first have a strong story, a reason to why they exist. Secondly, they must have a strong brand image or an artistic illustrative method in which they present their business, their brand and their “Why” to the world. Once these elements have been effectively executed, a company must then have a solid user experience on their website, clear messaging, good spacing and design, content etc. Lastly, a company must have strong backlinks that support their business or their brand. These backlinks can be anything from review sites, to blogs, news articles etc. Although this information is nothing new, a gracious refresher as we continue to endure rigorous lockdowns and restrictions to our usual in-person business operations certainly won’t hurt either.
Your website is of course the single most important element of your web presence, so getting this right is of the utmost importance.
So, how do you keep up with the Jones’s and get your website looking and performing at it’s best? (I too have always wondered who the Jones’s actually are.) Sit tight, in this article I’ll share 6 Ways To 'Bulk Up Your Website' and ensure your business has a strong web presence, that will inform, engage and convert browsers when they land on your site.
1. Easy to Read Information - Dedicated to all the Jargon Jedi’s out there. This is one of the easiest way to completely lose your potential customers interest when browsing your site. Complicated and complex copy (text.) I know how tempting it can be to take our passion, education or scientific backed research and pour it onto our website in hopes to ‘enlighten’ our viewers in the same way we had experienced ourselves. But the truth is, customers are coming to our websites to find quick answers to a problem they’re trying to solve. Not earn a PHD. (unless your selling online courses…in which case, you should load the boat.) According to a 2020 statistic from conversion optimization experts SWEOR, they reported that "It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not, whether they’ll stay or leave.” This means if it takes 5 seconds to pronounce that humungous oxford dictionary word you have on your landing… Customers are probably not going to google it and come back. There are many other ways of displaying your Funambulism. (look it up) Hehehehe.
2. Clear Call to Action- Ok, so you’ve mastered the copywriting on your website, it’s easy to understand, you’ve got some great product photos and a brand story that will leave readers weeping. Oh and you even listed the prices or contact form on your site as well! NOW WHAT? A Clear call to action is one of the most important elements to clearly display on your website. What do you want me (the customer) to do next with all this information. Do you want me to click, read more, contact you, order now? Clearly outline the journey with actionable steps to help guide your customer along. Pretend your website could only be accessed and explored by Apple’s AI assistant Siri. If a customer had to go from information to consideration to purchasing on your website only using Siri, what would that user experience sound and feel like? Would Siri be able to read things like:
“Our purple coloured apples are one a kind! read more to learn why."
"Add the purple apple to your cart?"
"Before you checkout, consider adding our rainbow coloured peach to your cart?"
"Subscribe to our newsletter."
These are very strange examples I know, but the point is that all these 'call to action' elements should be clearly displayed throughout your site.
Photo Credit: Ben White | Unsplash
3. Excellent Photography - Aside from the fact that great photography & videography make even the simplest websites absolutely stunning, great visuals also show the browser that their was effort put into the website. The silent thought of most consumers goes something like this: “If they could put so much effort into the photography and videography of their website, then imagine the quality and attention to detail they would offer with their products and services!” It’s a very quick silent thought that occurs within seconds of landing on any website, but 'boy oh boy does it matter. Having your own professional photography is definitely the creme de la' creme option (I always wanted to use that phrase, I forced it but still.) However, there are alternatives if you’re on a tight budget. Have a look at websites such as Unsplash, Pexels or Pixabay who all offer royalty free photos and image search. Used sparingly, this could be the answer to beautifying your website and strengthening your web presence. Be sure to give credit to the photographer where and when possible.
4. Limited Links and Pages - Have you ever tried getting the decision maker for your phone provider on the line? Right! It’s like trying to get blood from a stone. “Just a second we’ll transfer your call. "Hi there, one second please while I transfer your call." x 100. Well, this is exactly what it feels like when you have lots of links on your website. Each weblink creates another step for your customer to have to sift through to find the information conclusion that they’re looking for. Ask yourself, if I have 15 links (pages,) can I provide the same information in 10? If I have 10 pages, can I reduce it to 7? The answer may be “no,” but the simpler you can consolidate the information on your site, the more enjoyable the user experience will be. In some cases, people have shrunk their entire website into a one page display. Nice!
5. Effective Copywriting - In marketing, copywriting is a persuasive form of writing, with the primary goal of influencing the reader to take action. Not meant to be confused with content writing. Content writing is more focused on engaging the reader and connecting with the intended audience. Picture content writing as the more attractive and charismatic sibling, while copywriting is the more technical, straight to the point sibling who just wants to inform you of exactly what’s going on. Not to be undermined, effective copywriting is no walk in the park and if this is not your skill, you should seriously consider outsourcing this to an expert. Freelancer sites like UPWORK are great resources to utilize when looking for some assistance with your copywriting or any other relevant marketing tasks. Good luck!
6. Various Payment methods (if applicable) - The last criteria is another super important element to a strong website and that’s payment options. If you’re operating an online store selling products or services, you’ll want to make sure there are ample ways for your customers to pull out their wallets. Many sites are using payment options as one of their main competitive advantages, so you’ll want to make sure you’re running with the pack. We now live in a world where payment options like Afterpay are frequently utilized, giving customers the option of splitting their cart purchases into 4 easy payments! Options like this are deal breakers when it comes to online shopping, so you might want to consider this.
Hopefully this list of criteria is to you a checklist at the least to ensure your site is up to date and putting its best digital foot forward. If you’ found this article helpful, give it a yummy thumbs up and don’t forget to share and subscribe. Did you notice my calls to action? Just practicing what I preach.
[Drops the mic…]