Not all websites are created equal, and rightfully so. Some business owners truly take the time to vet out others’ websites to determine what needs to be included on their own sites—whether you’re looking at the competition, websites that resonate with you or getting advice from experts in the field. Others, well…don’t.
Let this be your go-to list of website “must-haves” as you review your website with your developer or develop your site yourself. These are some no-excuses, you’ve-got-to-have-on-your-site, don’t-skimp-on-these, pieces of content.
Call to Action
What do you want people to do when they land on a page on your website? Don’t leave them to guess—tell them! A call to action stands out from the rest of the page and gives visitors somewhere to look when scanning through your content.
Your call to action could be one of two things: an opt-in opportunity (which we’ll discuss later) or simply an ask that sends visitors to another page on your site—a sales page, a form or another page you want to draw attention to—or tells them to do something like call you. A call to action tells visitors what to do so they move through your site and take action.
[bctt tweet=”Does your audience know what to do on your website? Be sure to include a call to action.” username=””]
Whether you’re an online business, visit your clients on-site or have a brick-and-mortar location, your potential customers want to learn about you. Your About page puts a human face to your online presence and helps people to get to know you better. It’s designed to establish a connection so people will want to do business with you. Sadly, the About page is a vital part of your website that many business owners often skimp on because they feel their products and services are more important than they, the business owner is. This is a must-have page on your site, so don’t skimp on it. Be sure to utilize best practices when creating your About page and avoid these common mistakes.
Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? You’d be surprised how many people don’t include direct contact information on their websites. For some, it’s an intentional omission because they don’t want to be contacted directly. For others, it’s a “duh” moment that leaves them wondering why no one has emailed them about their product or service.
No matter what your personal feelings are about leaving your contact information on your site, it needs to be there. If you’re a local business, your address, phone number and email address should be in the banner of every page. A link to a Google map on the sidebar makes it easy for mobile users to look you up quickly. Even online businesses should have easy-to-find contact information on their site—whether you want people to contact you directly or not. A phone number and email link makes you look more “real” to the online community because you’ve made yourself available (even if you opt to allow phone calls to go straight to voice mail). Just be sure to set aside some time to return those phone calls.
[bctt tweet=”If you don’t have contact info on your site, how will your audience find you if they have questions?” username=””]
People are inherently lazy. Yep, it’s true! So if you want them to share your website or blog content with others, you need to make it easy. Share buttons make that possible. I use Easy Social Share Buttons, which only runs me $19 per month and allows me to place easy-to-find share buttons on both my blog and my evergreen pages as I want. Users only have to click on the buttons to add them to their Buffer feed, Facebook page, Twitter account, you get the picture.
So what’s the benefit of using share buttons on your website? If someone loves one of your posts or one of your current clients wants to share one of your services with their followers, it takes just a few clicks to do that. More traffic to your website, more business for you.
I wrote about the best length for a blog, and what I found was that everyone has their own opinions about everything. (Bet you didn’t know that, did you?) The reality is that several experts in the content marketing realm have done case studies on long-form content and found that longer posts and pages tended to get more traffic. There are a lot of reasons why this could be the case (more content means more opportunity for search engines to find you, more content keeps visitors on your page longer, etc.), but the reality is that it works. So whether you house that long-form content on your blogs or on evergreen pages on your site, give it a home somewhere. I recommend a good mix of long- and short-form content on across your site to appeal to all your audience members.
You’re an expert in your field but no one seems to be buying. Have you given your audience the value they need and want so they can get to know you? Having a blog is a must in today’s crowded online space. And while it will take time to get noticed and develop a following, your blog is an invaluable marketing tool that spotlights your expertise and helps prospective clients to grow to know, like and trust you.
Include a blog on your site and be consistent about posting there. It doesn’t have to be daily or even weekly; shoot for once or twice a month to start, until you can get into a groove. There are so many things to write about too!
Once you’ve attracted someone to your website, how will you communicate with that person again? How will they continue to receive quality information and value from you over time, so they might eventually convert to a paying customer? The opt-in allows you to give away more value in exchange for the visitor’s email address. I’ll have more on this later, but know that an opt-in is a vital part of your overall marketing plan and should not be forgotten on your website.
So how’d you do? If you’re missing any one of these must-have pieces of your website, what are you going to do to make sure you’re covered? If you need help moving forward, know that I’m here for you! Contact me today.