Your website plays a crucial role in your business. It’s your online home, a power-machine that speaks about who you are and what you do best when you’re not around. And when this machine is properly “oiled”, it can do magic for your business!
And by magic, I mean:
Now, that all sounds amazing in theory, but the real question is… where do I start?
Building a website can be exhausting (it took me over a year to build mine because I kept putting it off!) and with so much information, inspiration, and resources out there – you can easily lose focus on what truly matters.
But I’ve got your back, my friend! You see, I know first-hand the overwhelm of building a site, and I’ve seen too many times the disappointment when new clients reach out because their current site isn’t converting.
That’s why I’m sharing with you today 9 essential elements you absolutely must have on your website, regardless of your industry!
And what’s even more awesome is that these are super actionable and easy-to-implement steps that you can apply to your site to elevate your business to new heights!
When your visitor lands on your homepage, they’re in what’s called the “Above the Fold” section – the area they see before they scroll. From here, you only have a couple of seconds to grasp their attention before losing them. In fact, if you lose a visitor in these first few seconds before they get a chance to interact with your site, the chances of them coming back are close to zero… so you need to use these seconds wisely!
Since we’re on the topic of CTAs, you should know that your Call-to-Actions shouldn’t be limited to just your homepage. In fact, every single page on your site should end with a CTA.
You live in a big mansion with lots of doors, rooms, and corridors. Now you, as the owner, know this place by heart. You know where everything is, where the bathroom is, the kitchen, etc. But what if someone came over to visit you? You would naturally guide them and show them around, because otherwise they would be completely lost and would end up aimlessly roaming through the corridors of your grand mansion.
Same goes for your website.
Your visitors « roam » through the pages of your site, only following the clues that you’ve left them: your navigation menu, your redirects, and your CTAs. Therefore, instead of letting them get lost (and often leave) at the end of a page, give them a little nudge with the help of a clear CTA of where could they go next!
People connect to people, not things. That’s just a fact. So whether you’re a service provider or a product maker, your visitors would love to know who’s behind the business!
A client of mine said that she got booked because of her website photo! How awesome is that? Her lead just felt an instant connection and loved the energy that radiated through her picture, and she just knew she wants to work with her. Isn’t that amazing?
So make sure to share a friendly image of you or your team looking at the camera on your homepage, so that they can see that not only do you look good on paper (or online, in this case) but that you’re also friendly and fun to work with. This will help your establish a stronger relationship with your visitors, before they even reach out to you!
If you’re anything like me (and the majority of people out there) you will always read reviews before making a new purchase (and probably spend way too much time doing that). But it’s our human nature to trust the opinion of others. For example, we’re much more likely to read a book/watch a movie/go to a restaurant if a friend of ours speaks highly of it – this is also known as “Social Proof”.
That’s why testimonials are crucial for your business. In fact, my first 2 years in business were purely based on referrals and testimonials…and I didn’t even have a website! That’s how powerful social proof is
If you don’t yet have any testimonials, reach out to your past clients/customers for some feedback. If you already have a couple of great reviews, scatter them throughout your site to share the experience your past clients had, and build social proof with your site visitors.
Add testimonials to your « Action Pages » (pages where your visitor is likely to make a decision to work with you), such as:
While we all wish every site visitor could become a client or customer, unfortunately only a fraction of them do. So how can you continue growing your relationship with them until they’re ready to take the next step? By making them a part of your tribe!
The best way to do that is by collecting their email addresses, so you can keep in touch in the future. These are called “Lead Captures”.
People don’t usually like giving out personal information, so make sure you offer them a ton of value on exchange through a freebie download, email course, video tutorial, exclusive content or a gift. Get creative and think about “What would my clients really benefit from right now that they can effortlessly apply/use?
In most cases, the end goal of a website is to get our visitors to contact us – so we need to make it as easy as possible for them to do so. I know, it seems obvious, right? But you’d be surprised how many sites I’ve come across where I can’t find any contact details whatsoever.
Make sure that your contact page is clear and your visitors know exactly what to do. If in doubt, ask people to visit your Contact page and give you feedback.
When creating a Contact Form, there are a couple of golden rules to follow:
As you can see from my contact page below, I actually offer two different ways to get in touch: you can either fill in a simple form with an enquiry (right) or, if you’re interested in working with me, you can complete a more extensive Brand Application by clicking the button on the left.
This allows me to save time and filter my messages in advance, as well as collect all the necessary information from those interested in working on a project together.
Not a lot of business owners add a Q&A section on their site. But what I’ve found is that this section helps greatly with conversions and filtering your leads – to ensure those that do come through your inbox are most likely ready to commit!
Chances are, as your visitor is reading through your website, they have tons of questions popping through their head. And if they can’t find an answer to it, you end up with an inbox filled with repeating questions, or leads that abandon your site because they didn’t get enough clarity and didn’t wanna bother reaching out (yup, it’s a cruel online world!)
So, instead of forcing your visitors to search for an answer or waiting till you get back to them, be proactive and add a Q&A section to your Service and Contact pages to anticipate their questions.
Not sure what to add there? The easiest way is to survey your past clients and ask them what questions they had before working with you, or ask some people to go visit your site and see what additional questions they have (I find Facebook groups in your industry to be really great for asking this sort of feedback!)
“How do I rank on the first page of Google?” Oh, I hear this one a lot.
SEO is a complicated thing and while this post isn’t about SEO, if there’s one thing that you can implement to make Mr Google happy is to have continuously new content on your site in the form of a blog (this includes podcast episodes and video shows too!)
By having a blog on your site, you’re able to share your expertise and give a voice to your business. It’s believed that 57% of websites that share content on their sites on a consistent basis end up generating over twice as many leads from it. Now, who doesn’t want that?
A blog also allows you to cross-share your content and drive more traffic to your site. For many of my clients, their primary source of web traffic comes from their blog that they share on social media and other platforms related to their industries.
Similarly, websites that share a social media feed on their site are able to create a stronger ongoing relationship with their visitors on another platform. Your website viewers won’t visit your site every day, but if they like you, and decide to follow you on social media, you will be able to reach out to them more frequently and continue building their trust.
I’ve recently started putting a lot more effort into my Instagram because I realised that most of my visitors prefer to digest their content this way and love seeing the behind-the-scenes of our agency.
And since most of my web traffic comes from Pinterest (since we constantly share all our blog content there), I wanna ensure that my Pinterest visitors also follow me on Instagram after viewing my site. A small IG feed in my footer helps bring their attention and ensure we stay friends!
So, think of which social media platforms your website visitors show up on, and give them the opportunity to connect with you on a more intimate level!
Anddd there we have it my friend!
The 9 Crucial Elements You Need to Have on Your Website.
How many out of 9 did you manage to check off? Whether it was just 1 or all 9, well done! The fact that you’re reading these words right now already tells me that you’re serious about making your website work for your business. And better yet? You’re equipped with the knowledge of what does work. For that, I applaud you!
I hope you found this blog helpful! If you did, I’d love + appreciate it if you shared this with your friends and fellow entrepreneurs who would value this too!
And if you have any further questions, suggestions, or would just like to say “hey” – I’d love to hear from you over on Instagram @One6Creative (Which you’ll know now, is where I hang out the most!)