Web sites, in general, should reflect your specific brand and product. There is no question that they should be unique in that respect. However, there are specific features and aspects that ALL local business websites should have in order to attract visitors and generate the leads you want.
Did you know that globally, over 52% of internet users primarily access it via mobile? Even more (75%) of U.S. internet searches are done through a smartphone. And the percentages of mobile usage have been increasing each year. These statistics prove that all websites must be designed to work on all devices: laptops, tablets and mobile phones. This is referred to as “responsive web design”, which incorporates web pages that “respond to” or resize themselves depending on the type of device they are being seen through. That could be an oversized desktop computer monitor, a laptop, a 10-inch tablet, a 7-inch tablet, or a 4-inch smartphone screen.
You’ll also want to be careful not to have ads that pop up on mobile or you’ll get penalized by Google. Any website that shows a pop-up ad that covers the site’s main content — whether right when the user gets to that page or while the user is on the page — will receive rankings hit in Google’s search results. That applies to pop-ups users have to dismiss to continue onto a site and advertisements that cover the top half of the page. Even without the hit in Google search results… these pop-ups are generally annoying to visitors.
Users’ attention span and patience level for accessing internet information are only a few seconds. If they find the information on your site difficult to find or not available at all, they’ll quickly click to the next competitors. Your navigation should be simple and straightforward. The right balance is key; don’t include too many menu items; 4-8 are ideal, depending on your brand, product and what you want them to do or find as a result. Make it clear what you provide and how to traverse the site.
The intent of your website and the content within is to attract visitors and generate leads. Every page should include a call to action (CTA). For example, links to contact us or get your free estimate here. The purpose of the CTA is to get their contact information in order to convert them to actual customers. Getting them to follow you on social media or sign up for newsletters are another great way of doing this. These CTAs should be woven into blogs and web copy within the site.
Your web design should be unique to your brand and convey the image of your brand. This is what visitors see when first accessing your site and if the visuals or message aren’t accurately representing your brand, it could impact your trust and credibility.
The site must be tested thoroughly–initially and after every modification–to make sure that there are no broken or non-working links. Also, the loading speed is a critical factor. If it takes too long to display, users will lose patience and click away. And don’t forget to proofread all content before publishing. Grammar and spelling errors don’t inspire trust and confidence that you’ve done your due diligence in this area.
You’ll need to provide content that is interesting and fresh, and above all, relevant to your prospective customers. Regularly adding content in the form of blogs, newsletters, ebooks and other informational and useful data will help drive traffic to your site. It will also help increase your ranking in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) because Google uses new content as a factor in its ranking algorithms.
Last, but certainly not least, websites should be optimized for search engines in order to build and increase organic SEO. (See our related blog on Building SEO into Web Design for more details on how.) Sufficient research to determine the appropriate keywords and phrases to use is necessary in order to make sure the site is optimized for optimal rankings in SERPs. While many of these tasks aren’t too hard to do on your own, hiring a SEO expert can alleviate any uncertainties and ensure things are done and maintained properly.
We have the expertise and resources to build successful websites. Contact us today to review your existing site and learn how we can design and develop a website that will get you found and generate leads.