September 6, 2018
No matter what kind of entrepreneur you are, a killer website is a necessity for running a successful business. Have you ever visited a website with the intent to purchase, and decided not to do so based on your user experience? We certainly have. And the deterrents can vary anywhere from broken links, to poor navigation, to overall bad design. Don’t let this be the experience for your potential customers! Whether you’re on a DIY mission or working with a pro, we’re sharing 5 steps to build a website that converts so that it’s actually helping your business…not turning customers away! Read below, and download our free Website Audit Checklist to get started.
Building a website is like building a house for your brand. As such, you’ll want to make sure your foundation is solid. To do so, start by reviewing or updating your overall goals for your website. If goals weren’t set for your website when it was first created, it’s not too late. Follow up by making sure you have a site plan that helps you achieve those goals. If you’re not familiar with a site plan, think of it as an outline for your website (just like back in the day when you had to write an outline for your essay beforehand)! Then tighten up your plan even further by identifying goals for each page / section of your site for an unbreakable foundation. Keep the customer in mind during the process and strive for easy navigation, which leads to higher conversion rates.
Although design is typically considered the fun part for us creative types, it should not be taken lightly. If done poorly, this step can make or break your business. There are some important steps you can take in order to ensure your design is beautiful AND effective so that it converts! If you haven’t done so already, do some research in regards to color theory as it relates to your niche before simply settling on your favorite colors. For example, your favorite color may be red. However, if your products and services relate to helping your customers relax, red is likely not the best choice. Make a rough sketch of your layout on paper and compare it to the foundational goals you set in step 1. Make sure that the fonts you’ve chosen are beautiful AND legible. Only use high quality photos. And ultimately as you review and tweak your design, always keep your goals in mind.
Content is king…or better yet, queen! Identifying your brand voice is an important step not only for your website, but for any aspect of your business that represents your brand (i.e. social media, packaging, etc.) Websites that convert do a great job of connecting with customers via content and appropriate writing style. So before you sit down to audit your content, make sure you understand your ideal customer and how to speak to him or her. And just like in the previous step, remember to keep your step 1 goals in mind. However, if you want a real pro to audit your copy, check out our Comprehensive Copy Audit For Creative Entrepreneurs, or holla at your girls to discuss copy services.
This is your time to shine! You could have the most amazing products, but your website will not convert if the pictures don’t show it. When presented with photos and text, eyes are instantly drawn to photos first — which means that the likelihood of someone continuing to read after seeing poor quality photos is slim to none. Use high quality, well lit photos and clear descriptions. Support the photos with benefits and testimonials. This will help your ideal customer understand exactly why they need what you have to offer. And if your “product” is you, we highly suggest working with a brand photographer to help you put your best foot forward. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Last but not least, make sure you can keep the party going for your website visitors by ensuring that all links work properly. Test links for all active social media accounts, contact forms, opt-ins and pop-ups, downloads, third party website links, etc. There’s nothing worse as a potential customer than clicking on a link, only to be directed to one of those annoying 404-not found pages! Working links are essential to building a website that converts, and if you have external links, check them periodically in case they’ve changed or have been removed.