How to Optimize Websites and Landing Pages for SMBs, Part 1
Published: December 29, 2015
Author: Sana Ansari
As a small-to-mid-size business, your goals are to drive revenue and grow your business as efficiently as possible. Before even launching any digital marketing initiatives, it is crucial that your website and landing page are as up to par as possible. We want to make sure that we deliver a great experience for users who come onto your website. If you’re going to spend money to get people to your site, you need to give yourself the best possible chance of converting that traffic.
In part 1 of my two-part blog series, I’ll focus on some of the basics & best practices of a good website; we’ll cover landing pages (and the difference between websites in general and landing pages specifically) in part 2.
When a user comes to your site, there are some key takeaways they are often looking for:
1. What exactly is your product/service?
2. How can I benefit from it?
3. How can I trust that this is the right company for me to purchase this product or service?
4. How much does the product/service cost?
5. What is the quality of this product/service?
Best practices for your website
When creating your overall website, there are some best practices we should always put in place to answer the above:
1. Use simple navigation: In order for users to get their questions answered, we have to make it as easy as possible to navigate throughout the site. Users should be able to access the pages of your site within a click and find what they are looking for in under 20 seconds. If it’s going to take a user too long to get what they need, they will bounce off the site.
2. Include a Product or Services page: Make sure you have a specific page that provides the user with details of the product or service. This page should be able to provide “researchers” with all of the info they need to be fully informed about the product/service. Those who walk into this page should have all of their questions answered (from product/service specs to pricing).
3. Offer multiple formats of content: Content shouldn’t only be thought of as text. We live in a world where everyone has their own preference of how they learn about a product or service. Incorporate visuals of the product to give the visitor an idea of what the overall user experience of the product might be, or to help them understand the different details of the look and feel of the product. Incorporate video where it makes sense; some users prefer listening/watching over reading. By providing users with multiple content options, we are able to accommodate every audience’s preference.
4. Make your site responsive: About 75% of mobile smartphone users access the web (do we need a reference for that %? http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/12/80-of-all-online-adults-now-own-a-smartphone-less-than-10-use-wearables/). We want to make sure that those who go to your website are able to decipher what’s going on and capture key information. If people can’t access what they need easily from your site, then they will bounce and head over to a competitor with a mobile-friendly page.
5. Include a call to action on every page: When users are learning about your product and researching throughout your site, we want to make it as easy as possible for them to convert. By having the call to action with the next step in the funnel (lead form/purchase, etc.) on each page, we make it super-simple for them to move to the next step once they have determined this is the right product/service for them.
6. Establish credibility: It’s often hard for people to pull out their credit card or provide personal information to a company that is new to them. In order to gain their trust, make sure to include testimonials, quotes from major publications, and a roster of your clients/customers (if they are well -known brands) to help establish credibility and trust.
7. Include a thank you page: After a user converts, we want to confirm with them that the action (purchase/sign-up, etc.) has been registered. In addition to that, thank-you pages are an opportunity to relay additional messaging that can help our business; for example, we should include links to social media as those give the users an opportunity to stay connected to the brand after they convert.
Stay tuned for part 2, when I’ll discuss best practices for landing pages.