5 Ways to Get More from your Website
Your business’s website is so much more than a collection of fonts, colors, pages, and forms. Whether its main function is to increase sales, share thought leadership, fundraise, or engage particular demographics to do something else, your website has the potential to be an incredibly useful – or detrimental marketing tool.
I was recently asked by my colleagues at the Boston Business Journal Leadership Trust for my top tips for elements and features that businesses should consider while building a new website or working to increase engagement for an existing site. While I am not a website developer or designer, I’ve worked with them, created them, and managed new website projects for employers and clients for – gasp – nearly 20 years. And while platforms, designs, and integrations have changed considerably since the early days of e-commerce and internet marketing, there are absolutely several tried-and-true, basic tactics that any website owner should consider. Below, I cover my top 5 ways to get more from your website.
1. A noticeable call to action
Make it easy for your website visitors to stay engaged with your company or brand(s) after their site visit by incorporating an attractive and easy-to-find call-to-action. This can be an email sign-up link with a “Stay in the loop” or “Get on the list” call-to-action at the top of the page, and/or in the page footer. Self-provided email addresses and contact information are pure marketing gold for keeping customers, investors, community partners, media, and other people who demonstrate an interest in your company, informed and engaged with your company. Check out some creative CTAs here.
2. Make it easy to connect on social media
In this FOMO-focused, digitally-obsessed, iphone-attached word, don’t miss the opportunity to gain new followers and to stay engaged with your website visitors on social media. Depending on which website platform you’re working with, you can download official icons that you can link to your specific accounts. Think strategically about where you place the icons: Upper right corner and down in the footer are two go-to options for social icons. Whatever you do, keep the icons neatly together rather than scattered across the page. You can also add your social media icons and links to your “Contact us” page, as well as blog posts and other content you publish for visitors to easily share your content.
3. Start where you are, keep it current, and keep it classy, San Diego
Gone are the days where a business can get away with a single page website with no navigation other than scrolling. Startups and those with smaller marketing budgets (and the time, patience, and “eye” for basic design) can utilize the off-the-shelf and custom design options provided by Wix, SquareSpace, and even GoDaddy. As your business and budget grows, hire professionals to support your website’s increase in content development and customer service interactions that will inevitably come with a growing business. At some point the off-the-shelf services may be too limiting. Whatever you do, keep the content current, and the colors, iconography and images easy to read/view. Read more about typography in website design from Hubspot here.
4. It’s 2021: Make your site mobile-friendly
Ever get annoyed when you visit a website and need to pinch, expand, and adjust the width of your screen to read the content? Or worse, when you have to download a pdf that you need to zoom in and out of to read a full sentence? In March 2021, the number of smartphone users across the globe surpassed three BILLION. And, with Americans spending an average of up to 4 hours per day dedicated to screen time on their smart phone, its incumbent on marketers and website owners to recognize how an unresponsive dinosaur site may be hurting your bottom line.
5. Be helpful and clear about what you do
Selling auto parts? Don’t use imagery of a serene spa. Selling cannabis products? Let visitors know where they can make a purchase.
Regardless of your business and industry, people are generally visiting your website because they want to know more about your business or because they already know your business and trust it as a resource for helpful information or engagement with your brand, products, or services. Include an “About Us” page where people can learn about the type, size, locations, and culture of your company, and include quality photography and videos to help visitors connect with your business. Also, be proud of your team and show them off with a “Meet our Team” section with headshots, short bios relevant to the business, and – bonus points – a team photo of everyone smiling and enjoying their work!
What would you add to this list? Check out the 14 website elements that can boost your online sales and engagement from the BBJ Leadership Trust for more ideas from leaders representing industries including IT, public relations, legal, and nonprofit.
What not to do: Sixties Press insanity!