It’s amazing how much marketing has evolved in the last two decades and even in the last two years!
I remember when I first had to get a website made for PostcardMania – I thought “Geez… something else I have to spend time and money on — and as a new business I can barely make payroll!”
As technology advances and as marketing tactics improve (to really focus on how to get a person to react to ads and take action immediately), websites are no longer simply an online brochure like back in the day.
Over the years I’ve observed more and more small business owners reluctantly realize they need to have a legitimate online presence.
But it’s not even enough just to have one. It has to:
- Make visitors like and trust you, and
- Turn them into leads you can follow up with and close
Yes. Your website can — and SHOULD — do that.
I know it sounds like a tall order, but it’s not so hard — I promise!
There are at least 5 elements every revenue-generating business website needs. Yes, there are more. And as your marketing becomes more advanced, so too should your website.
Arguably though, these 5 are the most vital. And they’re a great place to start!
So open up a new tab, go to your homepage, and let’s go through this list together.
According to a study done by Stanford University, 75% of people judge your business based on your website’s design.
If you haven’t touched it since 2005, it’s time for an update.
It should look current and professional — this is not a job for your nephew who “knows computers.” (Nothing against your nephew, especially if he’s a professional web developer!)
Your website should be pleasing to look at and make the visitor want to hang around for a while, while using industry-appropriate colors and images — for example, a dental website could use a blue and white color scheme and lots of pictures of beautiful smiling people!
2. Flawless programming
Programming is how well your website performs behind the scenes. Do links and buttons you’re your visitors where they expect to go, and do photos and other elements look the way they’re supposed to?
Programming is the aspect of your website that people don’t see, but when it’s bad, they notice!
A well-programmed website is easy for your visitor to navigate.
A site with broken links or slow-loading photos does not instill confidence in your business!
Plus: A Kissmetrics study showed that most people will abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
And a website with responsive design — meaning it adapts to whatever device it’s being viewed on, whether it’s a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone — is no longer optional. More than HALF of digital media is consumed on mobile devices today!
Have you ever tried reading a nonresponsive website on your mobile phone? You have to zoom in and scroll to the left and right and left again to read it… and you wind up clicking on things you didn’t mean to!
It’s extremely frustrating, and quite frankly, not worth it — that’s exactly what your hard-earned leads will say when they hit the back button!
3. Clear and consistent contact information
Make it as easy as possible for interested leads to get in touch with you. That means having your phone number clearly visible (in one of the upper corners, ideally) on every single page of your website.
Even if most of your customers reach you via email or web form, a business website with no phone number is suspect.
Legitimate businesses have phones!
4. Lead capture forms
This is arguably THE most important element of a business website.
Not every lead who visits your site is ready to act right away. (According to Kissmetrics, only 4% are!)
Your website needs to include a form they can fill out with their contact information in return for something of HIGH PERCEIVED VALUE THAT DOESN’T COST YOU VERY MUCH — a report, an e-book, a newsletter, access to special deals, etc.
You can even make the fill-in form a space for them to ask a question about your product, service or industry that you can answer via email. The point is to get them to interact with you in some way that causes them to leave a way for you to contact them.
Ideally, there should be one on EVERY PAGE of your website! I literally feel like I can write an entire book on this point alone. People don’t really like to fill out online forms (do you??) so the subject of how to get them to fill out yours is interesting and lengthy.
There are many “best practices” — like keeping them short (start by just asking for their email address, you can collect the rest of their information later!) and using enticing button copy (not just “submit”) — and you should know what they are so you can utilize all that work in your industry.
Download the FREE report, “16 Website Mistakes that KILL Revenue,” to learn more about lead capture forms!
Once you have their information, you can email them with special offers, newsletters and other valuable information until they’re ready to buy.
Remember: only 2% of leads close on the first contact while 80% close on the 5th to 12th contact. That means following up is extremely important, and you need their contact information in order to do that!
5. Ratings and Reviews
When your prospects see that other people are happy with your product or service, their trust level goes WAY up.
More than 90% of consumers read online reviews, according to the 2015 BrightLocal Survey, and 68% of them say positive reviews make them trust a business more.
Ask your happy customers for reviews, and post them on your website for your prospects to see! This is another subject that a few sentences doesn’t really stress the importance and all the data needed to do it correctly! Should I write another book?
So how did you do? Did your website tick all the boxes?
If not, you might want to give your web developer a call — or we can design a beautiful new website for you (starting at just $495)! Just call 800-628-1809 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation!
If you have questions about anything I’ve talked about here, you can always email me at Joy.Gendusa@PostcardMania.com or just leave a comment below.