We all know how important a website is to a business’s online strategy. Almost every business, whether B2B, B2C, nonprofit, local or global needs an online presence to reach buyers in the Internet age. A company’s website is its virtual storefront.
Having a website alone isn’t the key to great results .
Instead, it’s the ability turn your website into an inbound marketing machine . Your website has a hefty goal and it needs to wear many hats. A website needs to not just exist, it needs to perform. It needs to attract visitors, educate them and convince them to buy. But I know what you’re thinking— easier said than done. Today, the web is social and interactive. It’s not static like most websites tend to be. As such, a website can no longer sustain as its own island. We now need to consider integrating search, social media, content , blogging, and more with our websites. Gone are the days where all it took was a URL, fancy Flash graphics, and an expensive advertising campaign to temporarily boost traffic.
- Building inbound links
Every website on the Internet has the goal of reaching the #1 position in search engines but because there is only one top spot per keyword phrase, not everyone can make it. So what gets a first place ranking? Off-page search engine optimization (SEO) is the most important factor to increasing your ranking results. Off-Page SEO is about building inbound links, essentially getting other quality websites to link back to you. Search engines call this authority or “link juice.??? The more inbound links you have, the more important your site must be, thus the higher you’ll rank.
- On-Page optimization
While off-page SEO is hugely important, we can’t forget about on-page SEO . This consists of placing your most important keywords within the content elements of your actual pages. These on-page elements include Headlines, Sub-headlines, Body Content, Image Tags, and Links. Often, on-page SEO is referred to as “keyword density.??? It’s very common that businesses will do too little on -page optimization or too much (keyword stuffing). While it’s important to include your keyword as many times as necessary within a page, you don’t want to go overboard with it either. For on-page SEO done right: Pick a primary keyword for each page and focus on optimizing that page for that word. If you oversaturate a page with too many keywords on one page, the page will lose its importance and authority because search engines won’t have a clear idea of what the page is about. This is very common on homepages in particular, where too many keywords are used.
- Design and usability
Your website represents who you are and what you offer. When people see it for the first time they’re thinking:
Is this site credible?
Is it trustworthy?
Is this a professional company?
Is this company stable?
Does this site make me feel welcome?
Am I in the right place?
You need to ask yourself all of these questions when designing your website. Now, design may not be the most important factor in a website overall and often-times folks put too much emphasis on how a site looks instead of it works, but it does play an important role in making a good first impression.
Content is one of the most important aspects of any website. With the rise of inbound marketing, content has become front and center in the minds of marketers. It is what search engines and people are looking for. It’s what drives visitors to your site and turns prospects into leads.
Now that you know what it takes to drive traffic and engage visitors with great content, the next step is to get your visitors to convert from a prospect into a lead. You don’t want them leaving without providing some information or else you will lose the opportunity to nurture them until they are ready to buy. Here are some must-haves for increasing your website conversions.
The effect of a successful Call to Action (CTA) is to drive a visitor to take a desired action. CTAs are typically kept above the fold or in clear sight on a page so visitors know where to take the next step. CTAs are the key to lead generation but they need to be done right to convert traffic into leads. Make them bigger and bolder than most other elements on the page, but don’t overdo it. Consider colors of the CTA, whether it is a link, button or image. Make them look so good people will want to click on them.