Your website is the first thing someone sees when they search for your business online. Think of it like a business card or a digital storefront. A customer visits your site to get an understanding of what you do, who you are, and what you offer in contrast to your competitors.
And let’s face it. In a big city like Long Island, you’re going to be going against a lot of competition. To have a successful website, we’ll take a look at the top things you need on your digital checklist and start generating leads.
1. A Fast Loading Website
One of the fundamentals of any thriving website loads fast. There is nothing that drives a customer away more than having to wait for a site to load. Ideally, you’ll want it to load within three seconds.
Between two and three seconds is where you’ll see a dramatic change in what’s called bounce rate. This is how long it takes for a visitor to abandon your site.
If you’re not tech-savvy, we highly recommend working with a Long Island website design company. They’ll have the knowledge and skill to discover why your website isn’t loading fast enough and take the necessary steps towards addressing it.
2. Simple and Clean Navigation
Have you ever been to someone’s website and couldn’t figure out how to get from one page to the next? It’s frustrating for any customer. Having simple and clean navigation will allow users to seamlessly flow throughout the pages from start to check out.
This is called a site map. Plan what your site map will look like ahead of time. It’ll make the process of developing web pages much easier as you build out your site.
3. Clear Call-To-Action
If you want to generate leads, you need to make it crystal clear what you want your website visitors to do next. Maybe you want to build your email list or have them schedule a free consultation.
Present your call-to-action several times throughout the flow of your site. This way, they can’t miss what’s clearly being asked of them.
4. A Blog
Content marketing is a critical element towards building your SEO (search engine optimization). This is how pages on your website will rank according to specific keywords and phrases people are searching for online.
While SEO is a rather complex marketing strategy, you can start by adding quality content that’s relevant to your business. Think about questions customers are already asking you. Then, write a blog post answering it in more detail.
Your blog needs to be updated regularly and consistently. It’s not realistic to write one blog post per day if you’re running a business full-time. Find an amount such as one blog per week, every Monday, and be consistent with it.
5. An Easy to Remember URL
An overly long or complicated URL isn’t going to be nearly as effective as a short, clear, and concise one. Industry-standard is to have your URL be anywhere from fifty to sixty characters at a maximum. Anything longer than 80 characters can have an impact on your SEO.
6. Contact Information
This might seem like an obvious statement, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses don’t make their contact information easily accessible. This includes creating a full contact page and having the necessary contact details listed in your footer.
If you’re wanting to prompt someone to call to set up an appointment, make sure the number is clearly listed alongside your call-to-action.
7. Keep the Design Minimal
One of the common web design mistakes that many companies make is that they over-embellish their design elements. There are flashy colors and it’s stuffed with too many features. The truth is, less is always more.
Minimalism is one of the most common trends right now for all design elements. Clearly written fonts with neutral colors will allow your branding to stand up substantially more than if it’s being overpowered by neon colors and flashing banners.
If you want to level up on your web design knowledge, learn more about the most common web design mistakes by visiting The .ISO Zone.
8. Add Social Share Buttons
Social media is no longer just a place to post family photos. It’s how everyone communicates and finds community. Online platforms like Facebook and Twitter are allowing people to find a place to belong by sharing educational and entertaining content.
If your website’s blog doesn’t offer a way to easily share its content, you’re missing out on potential new website traffic and even clientele.
Word of mouth can go a long way. Showcasing a few quality testimonials from happy clients and customers can help provide an element of trust when newcomers visit your website.
This is why reviews are so important. According to a recent study, customer testimonials are one of the most effective content marketing strategies, roughly at 89% effectiveness.
10. Email Sign Up
Your email list is one of the most important elements of a successful marketing strategy. If you’re not working to build one right now, you’ll absolutely want to start.
This is how you’ll regularly communicate with your clients about the latest news, specials, events, or even to share reminders when they’ve started making a purchase but never finished. Always have a clear email signup form on your website.
11. High-Quality Images
A picture is worth a thousand words and this is especially true in the digital world. High-quality photos that are relevant to your business can speak volumes with your new visitors.
You want to avoid using images with low resolution. However, if it’s not exported appropriately, you’ll have too large of a file and bog down your website. This causes it to slow down and as we’ve learned, is not a good thing.
12. Cyber Security Measures
In 2018, over 164 million records were exposed, leaving people and their financial or personal details vulnerable. And it was all due to cyber-attacks, which have only increased over the last several years.
Any e-commerce website or a company that uses a digital platform to accept payments of any kind should take extra precautions with their hosting to ensure it’s safe and secure. This is not only for the use of your customers but for your business as well.
Developing a successful website requires a lot of work, especially when you’re a business that’s located in a highly competitive area such as Long Island. When in doubt, work with a web design company to help you stand out from the crowd.
You’d be surprised at how an effective website can end up generating a lot of revenue for you.