In our post-global pandemic and increasingly socially-conscious world, success in business is becoming less about the sell, sell, sell and more about influencing hearts and minds.
Take your website, for example: your business’s best asset. Successful businesses now realise this complex engine has the power and potential not just to sell, but to influence and build loyalty – in short, to turn customers into friends and advocates.
In the title of this post, we reference one of the best-selling books of all time, the self-help book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Why, I hear you ask? Well, in the introduction to that book, author Dale Carnegie promises to help the reader do 12 things:
· Have new thoughts, visions and ambitions
· Make friends quickly and easily
· Increase their popularity
· Win people to their way of thinking
· Increase their influence, prestige and ability to get things done
· Win new clients and customers
· Earn more
· Become better at selling
· Better handle human interactions, including complaints
· Be a more entertaining conversationalist
· Apply the principles of psychology in daily life
· Enthuse others
Reading that list, it struck us that – rather than reading the book – businesses wanting to achieve those 12 things could do so by creating a really top-notch website.
So, how do you go about doing that? If you’ve done your SEO work then getting people to your site shouldn’t be a problem, but how do you keep them there? What makes a good website?
It is easy on the eye
Your website pages should be laid out clearly so they are easy for visitors to scan. Design your content and style around your brand, but remember that people are used to certain features being in certain places, and may struggle to use your site if things are not where they expect them to be, or if your design is too busy or jumbled.
It is easy to find what you need
Your website menu should also be simple and clear so people can navigate around your site and find what they are looking for. Keep sub-menu items to a minimum, and make it easy for people to find key pages like your blog or contact us page, as well as return to your home page.
It has really great content…
We can’t stress this enough: content is key. If nothing else, it is what Google uses to rank your site; if your content is poor you won’t get many visitors. Steer clear of jargon and keep your messaging clear and concise. Consider keywords and SEO in your writing, but don’t let them stilt your copy. As with all good copy, website pages should be engaging and enjoyable to read. Finally, make sure you’re using a CMS that makes it easy to update and add the new content that will keep your site feeling fresh.
…and fantastic imagery
Too many websites still use stock photos or generic, bland imagery. It will reflect better on your brand if you portray the human face of your company by using images of people who actually work at your offices. Ensure all images are optimised for online use so they don’t slow down the speed at which your pages load. Not only is this off-putting for users, it can negatively affect the search visibility of your site.
It is easy to find out more
If someone is ready to talk to your sales team, you should make it as easy as possible for them to find the contact details they need. For prospects who may not be quite so far along the buyer’s journey, you can use chatbots and forms to help direct them to the information they are looking for, or personalise their website experience.
It encourages you to do something
Websites should have strong calls to action that are easy for visitors to follow. Be clear about what you want visitors to do, whether it is downloading a document, subscribing to your blog or signing up to an event. Make sure you spread CTAs across your site; don’t bury them at the end of your blogs.
It works… for everyone
If you want your website to be popular, it needs to work across all platforms – desktop, mobile and tablet. If your site isn’t optimised for viewing on a mobile phone, it doesn’t look good to your customers. When you test your site’s usability, make sure you look at all the different platforms to understand any changes you might need to make.
It connects people
If you have social media pages, it is a good idea to link to them from your website to encourage people to connect with you in a different way. Just make sure it is easy for visitors to get back to your website if they want to.
And, finally (and this is the hard bit!)…
It is different
Your website should be all of the above, but you also need to stand out from the competition. Good quality design will help, but don’t underestimate the power of multimedia content like videos, illustrations and animations to help you make an impact.
If you need some help give us a call.