Regardless of whether you operate a traditional, online, or hybrid store, you need a website. However, not just any site will do. Your online presence must include some essential elements of a website that drive traffic.
If you sell online, your website is your virtual storefront. If you’re not involved in e-commerce, your website still serves valuable purposes. For example, you need it to provide information to search engine and social media users.
Furthermore, your website can function as a lead generation tool.
Your website can also serve as a foundation for your customer service strategy.
If you’re still unsure how a website fits into your comprehensive marketing and sales strategies, you should connect with the professionals at ABS Marketing.
Needless to say, merely owning a website doesn’t automatically lead to phenomenal results. What you want to do with your website and how you attempt to do it are the things that matter.
In most cases, your website may perform multiple functions:
- Search engine optimization.
- Social media.
- Content marketing.
- Lead generation.
- Information distribution.
So, let’s take a step forward and look at 3 essential elements of a website that drive traffic.
3 Essential Elements of a Website That Drives Traffic
Every business differs from the rest. So, you can’t expect that a winning recipe for one company will work for everyone.
Regardless of the purpose of your website or the role it plays in your business strategy, some common aspects of it will impact your success.
The user experience created by your website should be your top priority. Your visitors should have an exceptionally pleasant and easy encounter with your brand.
The right user-friendly design for your site offers several benefits:
- Visit duration. Increase the amount of time your visitors spend on your site.
- Direct attention. Use color and other formatting tools to direct users to the most important parts of your site.
- Clear navigation. Your site should have menus and links that make finding the information easy, especially for mobile users.
- Clean and neat. Avoid unnecessary bells and whistles. They can detract from your message.
- Text. Choose easy-to-read fonts and colors. Use bulleted lists and headers to break up walls of text. Also, keep your paragraphs short.
- Mobile-friendly. By far, the majority of internet traffic comes from mobile users. Your site must load quickly and display properly on mobile devices.
Essential Elements of a Website: Quality Content
In other words, you must publish high-quality content that has relevance and value to your target market.
In addition to publishing content that educates and informs your audience, you must also satisfy search engines such as Google.
Modern algorithms can assess the quality of your content as they determine where to place your web pages in search results.
If you’re careless with your content, you’ll hurt your brand in multiple ways. So, don’t skimp on it.
Essential elements of website content
To start, make sure your content includes the following essentials.
- Call to action. Tell your readers what you want them to do and what they should do next.
- Do more than sell. Don’t spend all your time pitching sales to your customers. Instead, provide actionable information that people can use even if they choose to not buy from you.
- Show personality. Give your brand a personality that feels human. Also, share both your company culture and the individual personalities of your team members.
- Solve problems. Valuable content helps real people solve real problems. When possible, position your brand as the ideal solution for a problem, but don’t make all your content about pitching sales.
- Use creativity. Make your content stand out from your competitors. Do this by sharing your unique expertise and perspectives. Also, if competitors have similar information, find a way to make yours more valuable. For instance, if a competing store has a “wall of text” article on a topic, add to that information and present it in a different format.
- Research. Don’t just whip out articles for the sake of publishing content. Instead, invest time and effort in research. Become the expert on every topic you discuss. If you have multiple authors contributing to your site, make sure they all do their research before they start.
- Blog. One of the best ways to give depth to your business is by blogging. This gives you and your team a way to demonstrate your expertise and authority in your industry. It also gives people a chance to learn a lot about your business, brand, products, and services.
Essential Elements of a Website: Credibility and Social Proof
Shoppers want to have confidence in the people with whom they do business. So, use your website to demonstrate that you’re honest and competent.
More importantly, you need to show the world that you’re committed to customer service and satisfaction.
Recently, Forbes broke a story about the increasing problem Amazon has with fake reviews. In the past, we’ve seen similar stories about fake reviews on Yelp, Travelocity, and other popular websites.
Why do business and brands use fake reviews? It’s because they know that social proof adds to their credibility and boosts their sales.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not telling you this so that you’ll try your hand at fake reviews. Instead, I’m telling you this to help you understand the power of reviews.
Why reviews are an essential element of your website
Let me further illustrate this:
- 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. They do this with online and offline stores. When they search for reviews, will they see your business? What will the reviews say?
- 88% of shoppers trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation from a friend. If your customers talk about your business online and say good things, that’s good for sales.
- Customers will spend approximately 31% more with a business if that business has excellent online reviews. Essentially, if you have good social proof, you’ll sell to more people at a higher dollar amount per transaction. I’m saying that your selling costs will decline.
Now, what about credibility? Has your business earned any awards or achievements? Have any of your team members achieved industry-related accomplishments or milestones? If so, make sure you feature them on your website.
Esssential elements of a website for credibility
Also, remember the following factors that impact credibility:
- Spelling and grammar. If you misspell words and misuse punctuation, people will doubt your credibility. Poor spelling and grammar communicate (1) a lack of education and intelligence and (2) carelessness (you don’t make the effort to proofread material that reflects on your brand).
- Readability. Even your highly educated website visitors want to have an easy, pleasant experience on your website. So, make your content easy to read. Also, search engines such as Google use readability as a ranking factor. Aim for a Flesch Reading Ease score of 60 or higher.
- Minimize ads. If you use ads to augment your websites’ profitability, keep them to a minimum. Sites that appear to exist primarily to serve ads tend to feel spammy to visitors. Too many ads can cause search engines to demote your site in search results.
- Contact information. Have you ever visited a business’ website and it didn’t include that store’s business hours, phone number, or location? Inspire confidence by making sure everyone knows who you are, where to find you, and how to contact you.
- SSL encryption. Have you ever visited a website only to see a red warning near your address bar? It could take the form of an unlocked padlock or the words “Not Secure.” Does that inspire confidence? SSL encryption (HTTPS in your URL, not HHTP) scrambles the data exchanged between your visitors’ web browsers and your website. That prevents hackers and other onlookers from stealing your visitors’ personal and payment information.
- Validation. If a media organization or publication has featured your business, make sure you provide links to that information.
I Need Help!
If you’re a small business owner, we feel your pain.
You already wear many hats such as accountant, purchasing manager, supervisor, sales rep, and customer service agent. No wonder you struggle with managing your website!
ABS Marketing, LLC can help. Our professional marketing team functions as your in-house marketing department. We have all the talent and expertise needed to help your business grow.
We can ensure that your website includes the above 3 essential elements of a website that drive traffic.
You don’t have a website? No problem. Our web developers have the creative and technical expertise to create, deploy, and manage a world-class website for your business.