You know that expression—you never get a second chance to make a first impression? Well, it applies to all facets of your life—professional and personal, in-person and online. When it comes to making the best first impression online, it is all about your website! Don't allow mindless mistakes compromise your first impression.
Here are 10 ways to utilize—no, maximize!—your website:
Have a Purpose
When visitors get to your site, what keeps them there? You don’t want a high bounce rate, so answer these questions: What is the purpose of this site? Who is it targeting? What (if anything) am I selling and is it clear? Before you can maximize your site, you need to pinpoint its “why.”
Headlines and Subheads
Seems simple enough, right? Well, you would not believe how often these are overlooked. Yes, you want your headers to be visually appealing, but they must also be explanatory. Make it immediately clear who you are and what you can do to help—avoid fluff and jargon.
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome online is getting people to trust you, often in a short time span. Testimonials—in the form of reviews, comments, and pictures—are one of the best ways to do this. They quickly establish trust and others will vouch for you.
Blogs do so much for your business and your site. They’re an excellent way to build trust and credibility. They demonstrate to readers that you have valuable content to offer—not just sales pitches. Before you ever try to sell to someone, you should first establish yourself as an expert with information to share.
Social Media Links
Not everyone already follows you on Twitter or likes your Facebook posts, so encourage them to join your social community with noticeable links. The easiest way? A social bar.
When people visit your site, they are not necessarily there to buy something…at least not yet anyway. And, just like with your blog, you want to offer them valuable content. Provide usable resources in the form of white papers, guides, case studies, e-books, and more. Content builds respect.
People are visual, so use images to reinforce the information on your site. Or, take it up a notch with a video. Whatever you choose, avoid blatant, cheesy stock images that don’t add value.
Yup, this one seems obvious too, but you should always have an address and phone number on your site in addition to email and an online contact form. Prospects want to know that actual people are available to speak to if needed.
When on your site, readers want to be able to click around freely and easily; cumbersome navigation leads to frustration and less time on your page. Keep navigation clean and simple, using visual clues to direct readers to what they want.
Take a look at your current website and see how many of these you are currently using. If there are several that you are not taking advantage of, consider updating your website to add value and boost leads. Beyond making a good first impression, your site must be responsive and meet the needs of your target market.
What other website must-haves should you be maximizing? This free guide tells you everything you need to know!