There’s almost too much freedom when creating a website for your business – it’s no surprise that this is where most business owners get stuck.
To make a website that generates leads, it has to say all the right things.
You’ve heard that internet users are fickle and have short attention-spans – you don’t want to overwhelm them with too much information.
But your website is what your online leads will see before reaching out to you – you don’t want to sell yourself short by not saying enough.
In truth, the most important thing is if your website is saying the right things. We’ve narrowed those things down to seven must-haves.
Whether you’re planning a website or already have one, this list will make a perfect checklist for your online strategy.
1. A domain name that is easy to spell and matches your brand name
Whether it’s on a print ad, a business card, a billboard, or something you scrawled on a napkin, you need a domain name that your customers can easily type into their phone or computer.
Marketing expert Neil Patel says you should choose a domain name that matches your brand name.
A domain that is simple and easy to write will also be easier to remember.
Go with a .com ending whenever possible. Use .net or .org only if you absolutely must, and stay away from unique choices like .biz.
2. Design with mobile in mind
Designing your page for mobile is a must.
As of February 2017, 49.74% of web pages worldwide were viewed from mobile devices.
On top of that, 57% of users say they wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.
The easiest way to make sure your website is designed for mobile is by using a website theme with a responsive design.
A responsive design means that your website will automatically adjust the elements on the page to match the screen size its being viewed on – this includes laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.
Likewise, the text on your website needs to be written for mobile device screens. Instead of large blocks of text, write with plenty of line breaks and bullet points.
3. Consistent and visible business name, address, and phone number
The importance of a consistent name, address, and phone number (NAP) data can’t be understated. It’s essential for both humans and search engines.
For one, consistent information on your website gives your user clear direction on how to contact you.
Multiple phone numbers or email addresses on one website can cause the user to hesitate, and that’s the last thing you want to happen.
Second, your NAP is an essential element of SEO.
If a search engine scans your website and isn’t 100% certain about your NAP data, then they would rather show someone else’s business instead.
In summary, you should make it easy for both humans and robots to understand:
- Place your NAP data on every page of the site. The footer is an excellent spot.
- Be consistent with every detail. If you prefer to use “Street” in your address, don’t use “St” in another spot.
- Include as much address information as possible. If your home address is your business address, it’s understandable that you don’t want to put that information on your website. However, you’ll still want to include as much location information as possible – a city and zip code at the least.
4. Clear, factual descriptions of who you are and what you do
Readers on the internet all have something in common nowadays – they don’t actually like reading.
They’ve become much more skilled at skimming for key terms, finding relevant headlines, and scouting for facts that signal credibility.
Write your website text as close to the point as possible. If you answer your reader’s questions immediately, they’ll be far more likely to convert on your page.
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Jose’s Auto Repair is a complete auto repair center specializing in engine rebuilds. We service all makes and models of cars and trucks. Our repair shop, located in Los Angeles, has over 20 years of experience in the industry.
5. Real photos of you and your storefront
Internet users are skeptical about everything they read online, never believing what sounds too good to be true.
Until you’ve established trust and credibility with the reader, everything they read on your site will be taken with a grain of salt.
The best way to get past this is with real photographs of the business. You don’t have to go overboard, but at least one picture of the owner, the storefront, and some staff can go a long way toward creating trust.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have professional photographs – cell phone pictures are fine if they aren’t blurry or pixely.
Social proof is a powerful factor in generating leads. 88% of consumers treat online reviews as they would personal recommendations.
Leverage social proof on your website by placing at least three glowing testimonials on your webpage. Most website themes have a feature specifically for adding testimonials.
A good testimonial features a picture of the customer, the details about how your service fixed their problem, and the customer’s name.
Some small businesses just starting out might not have that many testimonials to share, but I would urge these business owners to start collecting them now.
7. A compelling call-to-action
If you’ve gotten users to visit your site and to read about your services, the absolute worst thing you could do is leave them asking “Now what?”
A call-to-action (CTA) is the statement that tells your users what to do next – and turns them into a lead.
A clear CTA will tell the user to “Call now,” “Contact us,” or something else that will drive them toward a profitable action. Just having a CTA increases conversions by 62%, so you can’t afford to not have one.
Saying “Call Now” is far better than not saying anything, but a good CTA will be irresistible.
An irresistible CTA will create a sense of urgency, make an offer, and give clear instruction.
Let’s look at two examples:
- Call now to set up an appointment
- Call before the end of the year to get a free examination with your teeth whitening
Which CTA do you think is more compelling? The first one doesn’t offer much. The second one tells you exactly what to do, how to do it, and the benefit you’ll get when you do it now.
Putting it all together
As long as your website has these seven “must-haves,” you can feel proud of your online presence.
But don’t let this list hold you back, either – it’s OK if you only have one testimonial instead of three, for example.
And don’t be afraid to try out different messages. Websites aren’t set in stone – you can always change your message, update your offers, or do a complete redesign.
Still not sure if your website is saying everything it can for your business? Drop your name and email in the submission form below. We will be happy to give you a free one hour consultation about your current or planned website.