Building your company’s website is a significant investment in the future of the business and should be approached with great care, planning and strategy. Constructing a successful website requires organization on multiple levels—from web design, to copywriting, to image creation, to hosting fees and a variety of other essential components. And the company’s ability to achieve their business objectives will depend on nailing each one of these fundamental elements of website development.
However, even with all of these integral pieces to consider, there is one piece of the puzzle that trips more businesses up than anything else— hey forget to approach building a website with the understanding that its primary function is to serve as a conversion tool. A website that doesn’t convert customers is not living up to its full potential. In order to avoid the missed opportunity of capturing sales and lead generation, consider the following:
Traditionally, when a company meets with a developer to discuss building a website, they discuss nuanced information like how many pages it will be, what information the pages will include and the desired feel and graphic elements. However, they’re missing the most important aspect of a website—converting visitors into customers! While discussing the framework is important, teams should prioritize how the website can meet the business needs of the company, including (and especially) conversions.
Define business goals
If you’re just building a website without considering how it will convert and help you meet your business goals; you’re wasting time and money. Ensure your website will push your business forward by clearly defining your company’s objective. Do you need lead generation, or can you sell directly from your website? When discussing design with your developer, take the time to determine how your website can drive customers to your business and then make functionality decisions based on that goal. If one of the primary goals is lead generation, keep in mind that often a shorter form converts at a higher rate.
Marketing and brand development
Look at your website from a marketing perspective. Your website is part of your overall brand reputation, and as such it should showcase a forward-thinking design, use the most up-to-date technology and have a contemporary feel. Including these facets in the scope will take your website from simply serviceable to a high-performance conversion tool that truly stands out. Your website should also communicate clearly and effectively to your target market. A strong call-to-action (CTA) on the homepage has been associated with a 106 percent increase in conversions. Sometimes companies think that if the website looks good, the messaging and CTA are secondary. Some may even let the developer fill in these areas with generic content. The truth is that the entire website is a marketing piece, and each item from the design to the content should be strategically created with this in mind.
What’s going to drive the customer to a point of action? Your design approach should be about providing a funnel that will create the fewest barriers to conversion. There needs to be a high level of strategy focused on converting when it comes to your website content and design. User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) work in tandem to provide both a functional and seamless connection to the brand story. It will be hard for users to convert if the interface is confusing or cumbersome. Forty percent of users said they would leave a website if it didn’t look good and provided a bad user experience, and 88 percent said they wouldn’t return or try again. Make sure that UI and UX are optimized to ensure visitors can easily navigate your website and maximize the rate of conversion.
Think outside the website
So, your website is fully optimized and ready to convert—congrats! In order to guide customers through the conversion funnel from awareness, to interest, to consideration and finally to conversion, examine how visitors will arrive at your newly created website. Search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) can both drive traffic to your website. Additionally, your social media accounts, emails and other communication should do some heavy lifting. Search has been shown to drive an average of 35 percent of website traffic and social 26 percent. That’s about 60 percent of your website traffic right there! If you are planning on including a blog on your website, it’s vital you promote that content via social media and email to drive traffic. How about news items or new product announcements? Everything that is exciting and posted on your website should be highlighted on other platforms to drive customers through the sales journey.
A website is an essential tool in capturing conversions for your business. A company that creates a website which allows them to convert visitors to leads and sales will make the most of their investment and establish their website as an integral part of their growth and success. Consider your business goals and then work with your developer and web design team to create a website that works to convert for you.