A sleek, modern website is becoming more and more important in outpacing your competition.
If your website looks like it came from the era of AOL and AskJeeves, potential customers will take one look and Google their way out of there.
So what does a successful, modern website look and feel like? Well, for starters, it should at least hit the following:
We wrote an entire blog post about the importance of speed to a business’ website, especially if you’re operating in retail e-Commerce.
The takeaway? Every millisecond counts. For every 100ms you make a customer wait for a page to load on your online store, you lose 1% of revenue. Dang.
By 2021, over half of all online sales will be made on mobile devices. You want to make sure you’re ready for that.
Provide original content
Unique content drives organic traffic, which is the best kind of traffic. Plus, it’s one of the cheapest ways to bring people to your site.
When we started creating hundreds of original blogs for our client Carefree Dental, their website traffic went up by 384%.
Be easy to read and navigate
Your website isn’t just a piece of art (although it should be beautiful) — it’s a tool to help visitors find what they’re looking for. Make it easy for them.
Turn visitors into customers
A well-thought out business website provides a flow for users, where they’re funneled through a sales process by their own decisions. The key is to make each decision easy and intuitive for them.
When we changed Carefree Dental’s website to better match our understanding of what the customer wanted, they saw a 120% increase in sales.
But that just gets you up to speed with the online business landscape of 2018.
What about 2019?
Technology changes fast, and the internet even faster. Are you prepared for the year ahead?
Read on to get ideas for updating your website to prepare for success in 2019 and beyond.
A Clear (and Quick) Message Cuts Through the Noise
The average attention span is dropping to less than that of a goldfish, according to at least one study from Microsoft.
That means you don’t have a lot of time to capture the imagination of a new visitor to your business’ website.
The more effective you can make your homepage at telling the story of your company, the more successful you’ll be at winning over new customers.
That includes imparting what you do, how you do it, who you’ve successfully done it for in the past (hint: it should be people just like the potential customer you’re trying to convert).
Wondering how to do that? Our next tip will help.
Goal-Oriented Pages Should Cater to Each Customer’s Needs
One of the best ways you can achieve clear and quick communication to your site’s visitors is by making specific landing pages for different types of customers.
Say you own an ice cream company, and one of your specialties is vegan ice cream. A lot of people aren’t vegan, so they probably don’t care too much about those products.
But a vegan will care a lot, because a decent vegan ice cream can be hard to find. But by the same token, a vegan customer doesn’t care about your delicious dairy-laden options (although we certainly would).
So instead of trying to cram everything you do onto one landing page and then driving all your different audience personas to it, make separate landing pages for each.
That way, when you decide to run an ad on Facebook touting your vegan ice cream, you can point it to a landing page that pushes that message home.
Plus, every page on your site (including those custom landing pages) should have one specific goal and be designed to achieve said goal. And the more specific you can make the goal to be, the better you can design the page.
The goal could be to have them give their email address in exchange for a free sample or a coupon. That way you get their contact info for future marketing, and they have a chance to try your vegan ice cream for themselves.
But exactly how do you get users to agree to the conversion you’re pushing them toward? Our next step will tell you how to do just that.
Beautiful Content Drives Your Message Home
Okay, so your vegan ice cream lover is on your site’s landing page that’s catered to their interests. Now you want to make sure they sign up for your email list.
You may be thinking you need some long-form content to convince them that your vegan ice cream is so good, it’ll make them cry.
But that would break our quick and clear rule above.
Visuals (coupled with short, simple text) are a strong way to communicate the quality of your product or service. Why? Because the human brain is very image-oriented. In fact, it processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text!
A professional photograph of your gleaming, sumptuous vegan ice cream coupled with a message that says simply, “The Best Vegan Ice Cream You’ll Ever Taste”.
In a millisecond, your user’s mouth is watering. Add in a few photos of customers and their raving reviews — 4 more seconds used up, and your user is already warmed up and ready to act.
Now a pop-up offering a coupon in exchange for an email appears, and boom! Goal achieved within the 8 second goal.
You my friend, are now ready to sell some alternative ice cream. But there’s just one more thing before you make the sale: email collection.
Email Collection is Key
Collecting an email address is maybe one of the most important ways to grow your online business.
When you collect an email address, you establish a long-lasting link to your customer.
A majority of people have now had the same email address for over a decade. And a lot of them will probably hold onto it for a lot longer.
You can use email campaigns to target specific types of customers with the knowledge that they’re already interested in what you offer. You can notify them about new products, sales, offer coupons, and more.
Your website can be one of the best ways to rake in those valuable email addresses. But how do you do it?
Offer something in return with a clear call-to-action (CTA).
At BKMedia Group, we might offer an original eBook that provides tips on how to, for example, update your website in 2019 (insert wily face emoji here).
Your offering will depend on what your business does. You could offer a free educational whitepaper, a coupon, etc.
The point is to build your email list to help you grow your business. And we know what we’re talking about here.
For example, when we took on the challenge of growing our client’s email list, we applied everything we know about email marketing and guess what?
We tripled the size of their list in just 6 months.
Getting Your Website Ready for 2019 and Beyond
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all these updates, don’t fret. We’re here to help.
Designing websites — whether it’s an update or a new site from the ground up — is a huge part of what we do.
That means that not only can we help you get your website ready for the future of the internet, but we can also help make sure that people will find it through our SEO best practices, online advertising, and more.
BKMedia Group can handle every aspect of your company’s digital marketing needs. But it’s got to start with getting your website up to speed.
We’re ready to get started today, if you are.