Building a business website can be a daunting task. There are many design, development, and content options available. It’s easy to get bogged down with so many choices. A business’s website should be tailored to it’s specific goals and priorities, but every business website should start with these basic essentials.
Prioritize these key elements and your website will attract new customers and help your business grow while you maximize your investment.
You want your website to look good, but the idea of “good” (or “better” if you’re going through a redesign) is often subjective when it comes to design. So, how do you get “good”?
The design elements your site has should be chosen not only because of their colors or style, but because of how they will represent your brand and impact the people visiting your site.
Effective web design should …
- Make your site easy to navigate
- Be simple to understand and interact with
- Guide visitors to take action
- Be original and on-brand
Because more than half of all web traffic is now coming from mobile devices, your design also needs to be mobile-ready, meaning the design works and makes sense on all platforms.
Your website is an important brand touch-point and should be consistent with your entire marketing strategy. This is often where website templates fail, so you may want to consider custom design to get it right. Inconsistent brand representation creates a murky impression and diminishes your brand value.
Your brand is represented by words as much as graphics. Along with good design, an effective business website should also convey clear messaging and calls to action that drive users to engage.
Clear brand messaging means that any visitor to your site should be able to “get it” right away. They should know who you are, what you do and why it matters (your differentiation). Together, message clarity and effective web design work together to compel your visitors to interact with your content as prospects, leads, and customers.
If you’re sensing a pattern here, that’s not a coincidence. A good business website should always aim to engage its visitors. That brings us to our next point.
Lead Generation Strategy
Why settle for a passive website? Business websites should act as a lead generation engine. This requires a clear strategy. Beginning a website design without a plan for generating and collecting leads is leaving money on the table… and leading customers to your competitors.
An effective business website that is easy to navigate and easy to understand will also make it easy for visitors to engage with the site, download ebooks, white papers or other lead magnets, subscribe to your email list, or make a purchase if they’re ready.
Organic Search Plan
If your site ranks highly on Google, it can mean the difference between a thriving business and one that’s constantly struggling to grow.
Like a lead generation strategy, SEO isn’t something that can wait until you think you’re ready. SEO is a long game. It can take months or even years to get a new site to rank for high value keywords. The sooner you start implementing SEO best practices into your site design, the better off you’ll be.
This doesn’t mean that your site should launch with a comprehensive list of keywords you want to rank for pasted onto every page. Rather, it means being aware of the most high value, attainable keywords and keyword phrases you want to build your content strategy around so that you can start writing, tagging, linking, and promoting your content effectively for maximum SEO benefit.
Visitor Centered Content
Even though you’re pouring your blood, sweat, and budget into your business website, at the end of the day it isn’t really about you. You can build a website that perfectly matches your own aesthetics and is crystal clear to you, but if it doesn’t make sense to your potential customers, you’ve wasted your efforts.
That means every piece of content you put on your site, from a homepage headline to a CTA button to a long-form blog post should be applicable and compelling to your customers. Your content should move visitors through the buyer’s journey by continually being ready to answer their questions and decrease any friction in the buying process.
A list of only five components might not seem like enough to build a website that generates leads while you sleep and acts as your best sales tool. But if you can master these five aspects of a good business website, you’ll have the foundation for a higher performing website—and better return on your marketing investment.