You only have a matter of seconds to hold a visitor from the time they land on your website. In that small window you need to make them feel like they have landed in a good spot that has what they are looking for.
Next you need to make the visitor feel good about doing business with you so communicate expertise, authority and trustworthiness. Once you have gained their trust the next step, which is the ultimate goal, is to create content that will convert the visitor into a sale by guiding them to a certain action such as calling or emailing, buying your product or physically visiting your location. These are the fundamental reasons for having a website in the first place.
The purpose of your online business is to either sell your products or services or provide information for people coming to your website. To do this you need to have compelling content that converts visitors to your website into a purchase, visiting your store or any other goal you want to establish.
Market your products and services rather than just listing them. A lot of websites simply list the products or services they sell when they should be providing compelling reasons for the reader to engage. Market the benefits your products or services have, sell their competitive advantages and make it easy for the reader to understand and take the next step.
It is important to nail all these factors but in a way that is straightforward and concise.
Rich informational content is the best way to effectively communicate to your readers. A screen of black text on a white background isn’t stimulating and can feel daunting. Breaking up the content with relevant images and headlines provides information at a glance and encourages visitors to engage with your content.
Media such as video are extremely good at communicating a message and even complex information quickly. Many people prefer video for this reason and will dive right in. Rich informational content appeals to site visitors and is liked by Google because it is an engaging and efficient way to communicate and it provides real informational value.
The visible portion of your home page, without scrolling, is ‘above the fold’. The fold is an old term from the printing industry that relates to the area of a page that appears above the folded section of the paper. You need your home page that is above the fold to be concise like a billboard. The amount of time that it takes for a billboard to be read in a moving car is roughly the same amount of time that you have to hold the visitor to your site and to convince them to view the rest of your website.
Your business name, logo, motto or tagline.
Identify your industry, product, service or subject matter and your role. For instance, we are the largest supplier of widgets in Texas.
Badges, seals and other graphics. For instance, we have won numerous awards, have thousands of five star reviews and have been in business for twenty years.
Content is still king and Google likes websites that have good content that meet the needs of readers, and rewards content that conveys Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness on the subject matter.
Some prime areas of website real estate include:
An extremely important part of all websites is the header. The header can have an image, slider or other items. The best use of the header is one that communicates your message at a glance. This is the best real estate the website has and you need to convey quickly to the visitor that they should stay on your website further. Think of your header as a billboard, show one or two key messages that the visitor will get within the first few seconds, just like driving by a billboard on Highway. If you don’t hook them with your header it will be more difficult to succeed.
Another important part of your website is your menu or navigation bar as some refer to it. A lot of information can be gleaned by the visitor to your website by simply looking at the buttons you have for the various products, services, departments of your website.
You should also mention, above the fold, any benefits that you have over a competitor such as celebrating your 10th or 15th anniversary in business, any awards that your company has won or why your products are better.
The purpose of having an online business is to sell products and services, which requires converting website visitors into buyers. The goal is to steer visitors from the home page to the checkout page.
The best way to visualize this structure is by looking at the content marketing funnel infographic below.
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