Generate More Leads From Your Business Website
Your website is where all the magic happens!
If your website does not convert then everything else will be wasted – all your targeted traffic, all your optimisation, all your online efforts.
We will cover website content in another podcast; here we are focusing entirely on the design, appearance and crucial elements of your website from a human user perspective.
WordPress Theme Vs Custom Design
One issue that some people have with WordPress is that they think that by using an out-of-the-box theme they are getting a cookie-cutter website and that there will be hundreds or even thousands of identical websites out there online.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Whilst it is a fact that the same theme (a theme is essentially a graphical website template) may have been used thousands of times, each theme has many different configuration options and therefore can have different lay-outs, not to mention colour-schemes, etc.
On top of that you will add in your unique logo and images which will differentiate it even further!
Also consider that the same theme will be used for different business sectors, so a plumber and a florist creating websites using the same base WordPress theme will for all intents and purposes look completely different.
The fact is that custom design can be expensive (depending on where you go), whereas even premium themes are comparatively very cheap! The latest premium themes are excellent and, as mentioned earlier, are fully responsive (work on tablets and mobiles) without needing any additional coding.
As WordPress is open-source an existing theme can be customised as required without the need to start from the ground up, so many people start out with a template site and then upgrade that to custom design when they can justify the outlay.
My advice, therefore, if you are just starting out, is to start off with a good premium theme for between £50 – £75 and then further down the line if a custom design is required or justified it can be easily edited as needed by a coding specialist.
Here are some websites that offer responsive, premium business themes;
Your website should contain the following elements;
- Logo and contact details in header
- Appropriate and obvious navigation
- A lead capture form
- A call to action banner
It should also contain the following for good practice and compliance
- A ‘Contact’ page
- A ‘Terms of Service’ page
- An ‘About’ page
You should also have a blog – WordPress has this functionality in-built so it is just a question of setting up a ‘Blog’ page.
If you go to all the trouble to create a decent business website, add useful content to it and get it ranked in Google so you are getting some targeted traffic, it seems a shame to then not direct your website visitors to where you want them to go.
So here are some tips on getting your website visitors to complete your desired action.
I’ll start with navigation as there are some basics that you’ll want to adhere to concerning navigation before you move on to more advanced ideas.
The bigger your site the more important good navigation is, however even for websites of just a few pages it is still important.
Being consistent in navigation means both ‘how’ and ‘where’ your navigation links appear. Make your navigation appear in the same place with the same look and feel on all the different sections of your website. That way users will always know where they stand and won’t be fumbling about trying to find the links on a particular page.
Where should the nav-bar appear?
The nav-bar is short for navigation bar, or menu.
Some years ago navigation menus often appeared vertically in the right or left sidebar, and sometimes they still do. However with the advent of mobiles and tablets it has become widely accepted that the navigation will be placed horizontally along the top of the website – either above or below the main header.
Most users have become used to this convention and it suits tablets and mobiles better too.
If you have different categories be sure to have navigation that reflects this.
The number of menu items will dictate to a large extent exactly how you order the menu, but you should put your services first and have a separate tab for each distinct service, followed by ‘About’ and ‘Contact’, e.g.
Home – Service 1 – service 2 – service 3 – about – contact
Additional admin pages can then follow after, or be placed in a ‘Top’ or ‘Footer’ menu – these will be pages like Privacy, Terms, Sitemap, etc.
Clear and descriptive labels
Help users understand what content they will be getting with good labelling.
This is something of an art because as well as being descriptive a label needs to be short so that all the menu tabs can fit comfortably on the nav-bar.
Having relevant descriptive labels also helps Google understand what is behind a link.
Breadcrumbs always remind me of the story of Theseus and the Minotaur – Theseus took a ball of yarn and unravelled it as he made his way through the labyrinth so he could easily retrace his steps.
Breadcrumbs work the same way – they are a trail of where the visitor has come from which appear just below the nav-bar on the top-left side of the page.
This makes it easy for the user to know where they are, how they got there and how to get back to a previously viewed page.
An in-site search feature can be very useful on larger sites where someone may have to spend a bit of time and make a few clicks before they can find what they want.
This bypasses the regular navigation but can be considered as an offshoot of it as it helps a user get to where they want quickly.
Depending on your theme this feature may be included by default, if not there are plug-ins available.
Identify and foreground most popular content
So now we are moving away from traditional navigation and beginning to direct your visitor.
What are the pages that you want your users to visit? What pages contain the most popular content on your website?
You can encourage visitors to click-through to those pages by adding larger image links on the home page below the main nav-bar.
Look at these examples;
Having consistent, descriptive and logical navigation is important, but actually directing your visitor to complete your desired action is even more vital!
What exactly do you want your visitor to do when they arrive on your website? For most businesses it is to make an enquiry – either by picking up the phone and calling or by completing a short form to receive an email or call-back.
A surprising number of websites do not have this feature or relegate it to the bottom of the page!
A business website whose primary aim is not to generate leads and enquiries has got its priorities wrong!
You can use simple banners to highlight and direct users to a call-back form or a special offer.
See this example;
Good navigation encourages visitors to browse your site, which is good for SEO – the longer someone stays on your site the more Google considers your website relevant!
Combine that with a clear direction incorporating calls-to-action and your site will begin to generate leads – provided you have a compelling offer to go with it!
Review your website – does it;
- Clearly display branding and contact details
- Foreground offers and top content
- Make it easy for users to navigate
- Direct your visitor – Does the visitor know what to do?
If not make the necessary changes so that when a visitor lands they are presented with a useful relevant offer
They can navigate around the website and find what they need with ease