What does your website say about you and your brand? How can you know for sure you have an effective website that converts? You can’t know 100%! However, you can make sure your website integrates the most important elements to increase the odds of a conversion.
In social media, I tell clients “I can drive traffic to your website all day long, but I can’t make them drink.” What I mean here is that I can get prospective clients to click links that take them to a page on your website marketing a particular product or services, but I can not make them take action and purchase from you.
Think of your website as the gateway and social media as the pipeline.
16 Elements of an Effective Website that Converts
- Easy on the eyes – A clean website that isn’t overcrowded to the point that the customer doesn’t know what you want them to do and where you want them to click. Use colors and design that draws in the eye instead of diverts.
- Intuitive navigation – Ensure the navigation menu is organized and your customer can easily find and click what they are looking for on your website. (Don’t get so creative that they don’t know where or what to click.)
- Take the visitor on a tour – Your website content should link to other places on the site for more information and resources. Ideally you would have a minimum of one link, two if possible to other pages or posts on the website on each page. (Search engines like links in your content going out to other websites. Make sure the links going off your website opens in a new window.)
- Call to actions – Integration within the site content and sidebars that includes contacts us, call us, asks for a subscribe, a free download opt-in, follow on social media, etc.
- Email Opt-In – Include a way for your clients to join your list to email them from time to time with special offers, events, news, etc.
- Contact Form – Form on your website so your future customer can email you quickly and easily. (Be sure to also include your email address and phone number written out, so in case they don’t want to use the form they can email you directly or call.)
- Business Contact Information – This should include your business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, etc.
- RSS Feed – Make sure this is setup properly and easy for the customer to subscribe to blog updates with the click of an icon. (It is recommended that you have it setup so they can subscribe to blog updates via email or RSS.)
Social Media Integration
- Follow Icons – Ensure they are easily locatable on the website and working properly (some sites will have them mixed up and have share functionality linked to the follow icons).
- Share Icons – Include WordPress plugins like “Share This” so the website visitors can quickly share your posts to Facebook, Twitter and even email to a friend. Also make sure to have the Like / Pin / +1 setup within the plugin.
- Display Social Feeds – Another way to encourage your website visitor to follow you and interact with your brand on social media is to display your Facebook Page Feed, Twitterfeed and Google+ Feed in the sidebar.
- Click to Tweet – This is a fun plugin that you can include through your website pages and posts, which when clicked will pop up Twitter with a pre-written tweet for the website visitor to share on with their Twitter followers. (Integrating plugins into your website to drive social media traffic is a win / win.)
The list of elements of an effective website could go on and on. I wanted to hit the most important items in this post.
It is important that you decide what items are important to you and make sure and include them within your website. I suggest visiting other websites of your competitors and documenting the elements they have within their websites that you like. Then get with your web designer and see what it takes to integrate them.
I can’t close out this post with out sharing some of the essential elements we make sure and include within each post and page on Rocks Digital, besides what I have listed above.
Optimized WordPress Posts and Pages
- Each post / page title (H1) and subtitles (H2 and H3) are engaging and keyword rich
- Posts and pages each include a unique image that fits with the content and the image name and description matches the target keyword
- Usage of SEO Plugin (i.e. WordPress SEO by Yoast) that allows for quickly completion and displays a on-page SEO grading
- Integration of Facebook and Google+ open graph for social sharing of pages and posts (WordPress SEO includes this functionality). This allows you to set the featured image, page title and description for each post and page that populates when someone shares the link on Facebook or Twitter.
As I mentioned above, we all have our preferences about what we like to see on a website. This list is the items I look for, recommend and focus on including in not only the Rocks Digital website, but the websites that I do social media maintenance for.
What is your favorite feature of a website? What would you add to my list? Each one of our businesses grows and succeeds because we help each other to learn. Let’s continue that process.
Learn more on this important topic at one of the largest digital marketing conferences for 2015!