Pretty websites don’t translate into sales. You need to design a strategic website.
When thinking of creating a new website, most people focus on making sure it looks great. While design is definitely an important part of a successful site, it is not enough. Pretty is not enough. You need strategy.
You want to design a strategic website because it will generate better results. As a business owner, you don’t want just a website. You want results — more bookings, more email subscribers, and more sales.
A website is not meant to sit there and look pretty. It’s a powerful marketing and sales tool with a purpose. More than likely that purpose is to get you more leads, and ultimately more customers. So every design element on your website has to serve that purpose.A pretty website is not enough. If you want leads, you need strategy. Click To Tweet
With this in mind, here are a few ways to design a strategic website:
- Write down your goals. Come up with 1 main goal your website must achieve, and then list 1-3 smaller goals that support it. After all, how can you come up with a strategy if you don’t know what you are trying to accomplish in the first place?
- Have a clear idea of who you are, what you are offering, and who you are offering it to. First of all, your website should make it absolutely clear what you do within seconds. People don’t spend a lot of time on a site, so it’s a good idea to use the most prominent areas of your pages to clarify the message.What problem are you solving for your visitors? How will they benefit from working with you? Make use of your headlines, images, graphics, logo, and tagline.Don’t forget, in order to speak to your audience and shape their perceptions, you need to know who they are. Spend some time determining who your ideal client is.
- Build trust with your audience. You want to show people there is a real person behind your website, someone they would want to get to know and eventually buy from. A good picture of you (even better if more than one) is a great way to start building trust and a genuine connection with potential clients. Make sure these are high quality or professional photos — selfies don’t cut it.
- Make it clear what you want your visitors to do next, and make it easy for them to do so. Use call-to-actions to create a website flow that fulfills the purpose of each page. Every page should have 1-2 CTAs at the most. Also, your homepage should include a CTA above the fold — whether it’s a button to sign up for your email list or a link to your services page.
- Use social proof. Testimonials will validate your expertise and encourage others to also invest in your products or services. People want to know they are in good hands, and learning how you helped others is a great way to build confidence in you. You can have a separate testimonials page, or sprinkle them throughout your site: the about page, the services page, and the home page.
- Show examples of your best work. If appropriate for your industry, have a curated portfolio of your top 6-20 projects. It is more effective to also describe the client goals and how you helped achieve them.
- Have an email list-building strategy. An email list is one of the most important marketing tools you’ll have for capturing and nurturing leads. Use a great lead magnet and place the sign up form in at least three different spots of your website (top, footer, sidebar, after each blog post, etc.). A great way to grow your email list is to offer content upgrades on several of your blog posts (read more here).
- Show Prices. Unless your product is an exclusive luxury item, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be posting your prices (read more here).
- Create your content with SEO in mind.
- Come up with a list of 5-10 keywords your ideal client would use to find you or a business like yours.
- Use a keyword planning tool like Google Adwords Key Word Planner or SEMrush to narrow down your list to 2-3 phrases.
- Sprinkle your chosen phrases throughout your website, making sure to include them in page titles, image titles, image alt text, the first paragraph of a page, headings, etc. The key is to naturally work these phrases in so you don’t appear spammy.
- Make sure your design and copy are on point — it still has to look good you guys. First impressions are everything. People will decided whether or not to buy from you based on their perceptions. You help them form the right perceptions through your copy and design. Read my blog post here. on the importance of good website copy.
What elements have you included on your website to help you convert clients?