Most web designers are very good at what they do, however web designers concentrate on design and functionality so if you pick a good designer you will get a great looking site that works well (at least on the functionality side of things).
The main reason why most websites do not produce good leads or generate phones calls is because they have not been designed by someone that understands marketing, and more specifically how to market to a human.
The same can be said about a firm that concentrates solely on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), most of the time people that do SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) are good at getting computers to rank sites well, however they too forget that the goal is to rank well AND appeal to a human.
Over the past 20 years we have looked at 1,000′s of websites, and no matter how much money was spent designing the site, most of them (approximately 95%) don’t have a call to action. A call to action could be generating a phone call, or entering their contact information into a form, or even joining a mailing list.
Most websites hide their phone numbers on the contact page when it should be at the top of every page. Simple mistakes that make the difference between a website that produces Sales, Leads or Phone calls, and one that does not.
Test your website
Let’s test your website. First, bring up your site and write down the first thing you see. Most of the time, you get 3-5 seconds for visitors to find the information that they are looking for before the hit the “Back” button and go to another website. So if the first thing that caught your eye is not what you want people to notice, it’s time for a change.
You have seen your site many many times, so ask some other people to do the same test for you and give you their first impression. This simple thing can double or triple your results from your website. (once fixed)
When people read a web page, they start at the top left, can across to the right then down the right side of the page ending up in the middle of the page. This is a clue as to how you should set up the information on your page.
Typically we put a small logo on the top left of the page, then top middle should be a slogan, and on the right side of the page your Phone Number! After that it is all about giving them the information they seek.
A page filled with just text is boring (like this one!) and most people won’t read it unless they think the information they seek is within the text, so starting the information of the page off with bullet points or your most popular products is a good idea. Also using different Heading tags and bold text with different colours will help break up a page of monochrome words.
Adding pictures and video to any page is a good idea, remember a picture is worth 1,000 words and a video is priceless! Try to limit the number of pictures and video to 3 per page (2 pictures and 1 video). To be the most effective with video, your landing page (home page) should have a video that is no longer than 1 min (less if possible).
Studies show that videos that are over 1 minute are watched 80% less than videos that are less than a minute! Your video can always be a teaser… this will peak their interest to know more, then you can send them to a video of any length you need… however it recommended to keep videos to less than 15 minutes (we recommend no more than 5 minutes at a time).
Above the fold
Above the fold is prime real estate! The term “Above the fold” refers to the page that appears without doing any scrolling on the page. Since this area is prime real estate, try to position videos or pictures so that the top 1/4 is showing above the fold, this way they will scroll down the page to see the picture or video and it does not dominate your prime real estate.
Avoid large pictures! Large pictures take time to load, and remember people will only give you 3-5 seconds before they are gone… so small pictures or thumbnails are preferred. Using a small picture, with text below to “Click to enlarge” works well.
Simply link the thumbnail to a larger version of the picture so if they really want to see it big they can. At that point they will wait for it to load, even if it is a huge picture. (try to avoid pictures so large that it requires scrolling)
Compelling headlines are the key to capturing peoples attention in the first 3-5 seconds. News Papers have been using this technique since the beginning… because it works! Write a compelling headline and then back it up with a paragraph of information that supports the headline. Sounds simple, however you would be surprised as to the number of people that get it wrong.
Your income depends on your Call to action: This is probably the BIGGEST mistake that we see on most websites. You MUST give someone a compelling reason to ACT. Limited time offers are good, coupons work well if they are a massive discount (50% or more) and you have what they are looking for.
In a retail business, if you do not have it in stock, your customers may never give you a second chance. So make sure what ever your call to action is or your best product is that you keep plenty in stock.
Test Test Test: One of the reasons we really like the WordPress platform for building websites is that you can make changes quickly without having HTML skills. This gives you the ability to test your site constantly. When ever you make a change on your landing page (home page) make sure to ask several people to take a look and give their opinions. Put your Facebook friends to good use! You know your business inside and out, so what you are looking at may make perfect sense to you, however to an average consumer it may be confusing or they may not understand the information.
About Us page: Every site should contain an “About Us” page. Believe it or not, the About Us page is normally the second most visited page. Remember we are dealing with humans, and humans like doing business with other humans (as a general rule) so the About us page should be just that… About YOU! People want to know who you are, why you do what you do, how long you have been doing what you do, are you a family person etc. Share what you are comfortable sharing.