12 powerful ways to create value with your company website
The internet is overrun with content streaming and updating every second of every minute of every day. Intelligently planned SEO (search engine optimization) strategy and management can funnel users through the digital deluge straight to your company’s website, but once you have their attention it’s crucial you provide them with value or they may never return. People love the access to information the internet provides and 8 out of 10 of consumers hit the web to research when they are in the market to purchase goods and services. But competition is fierce and if you do not stand apart from the crowd, you will be drowned out by the onslaught of content crowding the internet. Most users suffer from content overload and you really have one chance to make your impression or they will move on to your competitors. How do you keep them coming back? That’s simple, but not always easy: create value with your website.
1. Provide information that helps people.
To determine what information is helpful to people try this effective technique: Pretend you're a visitor and imagine what you would want to know and what information you would want to come away having learned after interacting with your website. This seems simple at first, but there are subtle and sometimes unobvious subconscious decisions that your visitors are making. Try to get in their heads and really think about what would make them, not you happy.
2. Have a purpose and a way to measure your progress.
Think of your website as your online ambassador. It represents you every second of every day, while you're sleeping, away on business, or offline. What do you want your ambassador to say to people who are interested in what you do and what you sell? What is your goal? Do you want your brand ambassador to generate sales or leads? How many and by when? Be specific in outlining your objectives so you can set up benchmarks and monitor your progress. If you are not hitting your marks, it’s a good indication that it’s time to make some changes to your content, online marketing, or SEO strategy.
3. Give or create something specific.
General information is for Wikipedia; you want people to gain measureable value from spending time on your site. Be specific in what you are communicating so people come away with a clear understanding of what they accomplished, learned or gained.
4. Use tools.
Tools help you maximize your web presence. Of all the sites they could end up at, your visitors came to yours; why let them leave without knowing who they are and taking the time to see what their interests and needs are? One way to do this is to use a newsletter sign up that captures their email addresses and maybe a few additional pieces of information. For the cost of providing a weekly or monthly newsletter you gain valuable leads and priceless market research.
5. Always include a Call to Action.
Make it easy for your website visitors; let them know what to do next if they are interested in finding out more, taking advantage of a special discount or promotion, or talking to a representative from your business. CTAs can be designed to run with new product launches, special promotions, your current marketing campaign, or key industry events. Even if you are not offering a specific offer, you can suggest they click on a link to take your desired conversion action. You need to know what specific behavior you want a visitor to engage in on your site to consider it a successful visit. Then invite them to do so, that’s your call to action.
6. Connect to your Social Networking Sites.
Invite your visitors to engage with your brand through the social sites where they spend their time. This takes the one way message of your website and makes it an interactive experience by opening the door to a conversation via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or whichever social networks your company uses. It's important to pick and choose which networks you really plan to use, then stick with it, even if you only write an update once a month.
7. Incorporate a blog.
Fresh content improves SEO while establishing your brand as a resource and leader. Additionally, if you continually update your site with new blog articles it provides a reason for people to revisit your site on an on-going basis, creating a relationship with your readers.
8. Use images and text to communicate your message.
Multimedia makes for a more satisfying and engaging experience. If you can use images to enhance your message, go for it. If you can offer video content too, then even better. Internet users are becoming accustomed to photos and videos and the more variety of media you offer the more enticing your message. Images also help communicate the message you're saying faster and in a more friendly way when used correctly.
9. Use images as part of your navigation on your homepage.
People should be able to click on an image or icon to navigate through your website to improve the ease of use. This is especially true on your homepage. Some people are visual and may prefer to navigate using images so be sure your images are clickable and reinforce the natural navigation structure and flow of your site.
10. Plan your pages and content.
This requires that you have your objectives clearly defined. Once you know what you want your site to offer and what you want your digital presence to achieve, you can plan your pages and content to accomplish your goals. As your goals change and evolve with your business and the marketplace, you should update your site and revise it accordingly.
11. Have your contact info on every page.
Make it as convenient as possible for visitors to get ahold of you when they are ready to take the next step and contact you. Establish the method of contact that works best for your business and have it appear on every page. Have you ever been to a website and not been able to find the phone number? That’s an easy way to lose a client or give the impression you're not eager to receive calls. Don’t require too much work on behalf of your visitors, because they may lose interest or delay contact. Think about websites you've used recently and where you had to look on their site to find the phone number.
12. Make your homepage user-friendly.
Your site should be easy to navigate, streamlined and not overly cluttered. A web page that a visitor can glance at and have a clear idea of who you are and what you do is ideal. You only have a short amount of time to convey your message and if it takes too much of an effort to comprehend, or more than 2 or 3 seconds to figure out how to navigate your site, guests will move on.
As a Las Vegas SEO and web development company helping local and national companies build their brands online we are always interested in hearing about the experiences others have had with user-friendly design and invite you to comment or email us any questions you have or topics you are interested in and we’ll do our best to include them in our upcoming blog posts. And feel free to let us know anything we might have missed or anything that has successfully created value for your users which could help others.