What a Website Must Do
The primary function of the website is to Engage and Convert visitors. Just like in your brick and mortar store, the longer a prospect stays, the more they learn about your services, thereby increasing the odds for a sale. Today, most people browsing leave a website within 10 seconds. Why? They don’t find anything immediately relevant or of value to them. They are becoming less inclined to read through several paragraphs to investigate you. This increases your bounce rate, and a high bounce rate is bad.
If you don’t engage them, and get them to investigate more about your product or services—you lose the sale. Conversion simply means, “What do you want them to do when they visit your site?” What is the goal? Do you want them to fill out a form, or subscribe to your newsletter? Do you want them to buy from you online, give you a phone call or email you? By knowing the end goal, you’ll create a better design that leads and compels them to that path. You then set goals for yourself to try to increase conversions.
As Important As Your Store
You have one chance to make a first impression. Buying those “one size fits all” do-it-yourself website templates that look like the back of a cereal box is not going to save you money. It will cost you money. Spend some money and time to make your website dazzle your prospects, so it will help you make sales.
Website Design and Development
There are three critical components in a high-quality website:
Most websites are created with only one, maybe two, of these elements intact. Only the best websites address all three, and if you want your website to be better than your competitor’s website, you need to be sure yours has all three elements. When you’re looking for help with your website, remember to look for someone who not only has experience, but success stories and satisfied customers who can attribute sales and increased traffic to their website. You need a designer, a developer, and a strategist on your website team. Normally, a designer and developer are two different people; one more right brain and the other more left. You might occasionally find a designer who has development experience—they are rare and highly coveted!
My advice is to hire a website group that has both. And this is very, very important: Make sure your website is built to be mobile friendly. More than half of all website visits are done on a mobile phone. If your website looks good on a personal computer, it may not be viewable on an iPhone. You should consider building in html5 or something that will make your site “responsive.” This means it will adjust to a smaller screen (like an iPhone) to make it simpler to read.
This is an excerpt from “Marketing Survival in a Digital World” by Ron Marshall, president of Red Crow Marketing. If you’d like your own copy of the book, you can download a free copy here.