What a fabulous day we all had at the Socially Shared women in business conference 2018. Great speakers, lots of interesting things to learn and great company. I have been a member of Socially Shared for nearly a year now and it is like being part of a family, I love it.
Of course we do work hard too, it is about having fun but our businesses are at the heart of it all. I was very honoured to be asked to present a workshop at the event. Here are the details ….
Websites that Work
I have been a web designer for just under 12 years and in that time I have seen some really important stuff missing from websites and some pretty common errors. Here are a few pointers to make sure you have a website that works.
You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression
Your home page needs to wow and convert vistors into contacts or buyers.
- If you are a small or medium sized business your logo should include your business name.
- It should be clear on every page.
- Your website colours and fonts should compliment your branding.
- Make it clear what you do in your website headline.
- Visitors need to see within 3 seconds what your business offers.
- The Dropbox tagline – ‘Securely share, sync and collaborate’. Does what it says on the tin.
- Below you can see the Little Soap Company are very clear about what they do too.
- These can be useful to provide a bit more information and will supplement the main headline.
- Solve a problemher and show what can you do for your clients.
- Fulfil a wish, talk about how you will deliver what they need.
- This is my sub-heading from my own website “Creating beautiful, contemporary websites that are Google friendly, mobile responsive and easy to use.”
Calls to Action
- It’s a huge error to omit these, they are very important.
- Make them contrasting so that they stand out.
- Make them short and snappy.
- Make sure buttons are large enough for big fingers on mobiles, with plenty of space around.
- Add secondary calls as page scrolls down, so people always have the opportunity to click and take the required action
- Examples – Make Appointment | Free downloads | Try it for free | Sign Up | Contact |Buy – eCommerce
- Most people are visual and images are really important in websites.
- Images capture emotion and cause people to take action.
- Showcase images should be high quality, no cheese. Use professional photography whenever possible.
- Resize and Smush your images to make sure they are optimised for the web.
- Don’t forget to include your Alt tags, these are the Alternative tags that enable visually impaired people to understand what the image is about. It is also the only way that Google can read what is in the image.
- Keep your text lightweight, easy to read, definitely not too much. A page full of text is enough to put anyone off.
- Get your message across in short sharp bursts.
- Speak the language that your customers will understand – lose the jargon.
- Describe what you do and why it matters.
- Highlight the benefits of your product or service to keep visitors interested.
Social Proof and Client Feedback
- Include short quotes on homepage and then link to more detailed testimonials.
- Testimonials are a powerful indicator of trust.
- Adding the persons name and/or photo adds credibility.
- Use within case studies and portfolio items, so they apply directly to that content.
- Use on a relevant page, so if someone is happy with delivery use that feedback on your checkout page.
Shout about your awards
Don’t forget to include your press coverage, magazine features and any other media.
- Make sure that there is a clear path from the home page to all high profile pages in your website.
- A good navigation bar at the top of the page will keep people on your website and reduce your bounce rate.
- Include good internal linking – link relevant posts and pages together with text or image links.
- Lose the Drop-downs and make a path through your website via links in pages. Drop-downs create orientation fears for visitors, they feel that there is too much content.
- Keep it simple, it is easier for mobile users.
- Include a search box to enable visitors to quickly find what they need.
Social Media & Contacts
- Make sure your contacts are very visible, make it easy for people to get in touch.
- Include brief contact details on every page.
- Don’t forget your calls to action – Get in touch today!
- Social media links on every page, give visitors every opportunity to follow and interact.
Content Offers Generate Leads
- You can offer a free download, this will keep people engaged and interested.
- These can include white papers, PDFs or ebooks.
- Get something for yourself, take a name and email address in exchange.
Resources for Retention
Add interesting items and articles to retain a visitor who is not yet ready to buy. These can include …
- Case Studies
- Product Features
- Product Comparisons
- Answer questions – FAQs
- Technical Information
Blogging for Business
Blogging is a great way to get your message across and demonstrate your knowledge as an industry leader. Blog posts can include all kinds of content ….
- News and media stories
- True life and personal stories
- Educational videos and webinars
- How to Guides
- Client Feedback
Consider your Local Area
This is fairly obvious if you are a restaurant or Hotel, you will want talk about your local area and demonstrate where you are. Other small business forget the merits of being local.
- Make sure the name of the town is in your content. People in your local area will be more likely to find you.
- Can you localise your product to your community? For example – selling cars what is important locally? Off road? Economical? Easy to park?
- Make sure you add your business to Google My Business
Do Mention Pricing
You can miss out in the search results if you don’t include pricing content.
- Use price ranges / starting prices if you don’t want to or can’t publish actual prices.
- Adding pricing filters the wheat from the chaff, people who cannot afford your service will not contact you.
- Builds trust with potential and existing clients. They know there is a structure.
- You can add special offers too.
These days your website has no value if it is not optimised for mobile. Mobile traffic overtook desktop in 2016 and continues to do so.
- Make sure there is plenty of finger space around buttons and navigation links.
- Make sure images look good on all devices.
- Readable text is vital on all screen sizes.
- Make sure your content is never wider than the screen, however small.
Make sure it works!
Do a lot of testing when you launch. It is worth testing everything works ongoing too.
- Check your links.
- Check your social media links and social media sharing buttons work properly.
- Keep an eye on your page load times this is a factor in Google ranking – you need good quality hosting.
Thanks for listening! I hope you will find these tips useful to make your website even more successful than it already is.
— Rebecca Proofreader (@PayforPrecision) May 16, 2018
— #COVHOUR (@Covhour) May 16, 2018