10 Must Haves for an Effective Website
Welcome to this edition of Core, an industry newsletter with news, nuggets, and information on best practices in business-to-business technology marketing and public relations. With it, we hope to share information vital to any organization looking to generate revenue and accelerate growth.
In this edition of Core we explore ten must haves to ensure your website delivers maximum impact.
1. Maximize Search Engine Presence
A company can build the best website in the world, but if nobody can find it, it’s not going to help business. Research shows that when users are looking for information online, 70 percent of the time, they start by doing a search. Therefore, having a high ranking presence on major search engines like Google or Yahoo! is essential. Optimizing a website for search can start with including top keywords in the body copy, headings and hyperlinks.
2. Focus on the Audience
Most companies have a number of target audiences, and they all want different things. The first step is to determine the profiles of key constituents – are they CFOs, engineers, purchasing managers? Once that is determined, target the top three to five audiences with pages dedicated strictly to them.
3. Create Relevant Content
Make the content of the website resonate with the audience by relating to them in their terms and their values. The web is a more personal medium than any other marketing media, so strike an appropriate tone. The most effective content is engaging, comfortable and conversational – talk to the visitor as if they were in a face-to-face meeting.
4. Develop Strong Calls-to-Action
Calls-to-action, especially on the homepage, are a great way to generate leads. Therefore, brainstorm calls-to-action in the preliminary stages of website development to ensure they are ready when its time to launch the site. Effective calls-to-action may include:
- Sign up for the company eNewsletter
- Register for a webinar
- Request a relevant white paper
- Download recent industry survey reports
5. Stay on Message
Ideally, a message can be summed up in a single phrase or idea that sets a company apart from the competition. Since messaging is the most important element of a site, be consistent throughout the website. Plenty of sites have messaging on the home page – like the headline – but other pages sometimes revert to bland platitudes about customer service or product features.
6. Give Pages Meaning
While a company’s overarching message is consistent and apparent in all content, each page should highlight a different aspect of a product or service, or give further credibility to the company. In other words, ensure each page exists to accomplish an important objective.
7. The Importance of Analytics
The ability to track website visitors is a critical component to learning more about the visitor and to measure which pages are doing their job best. Analytics provides visibility into how long visitors spend on the site, what pages they visited, where they came from and which pages they spent time on.
8. Request Some Information
Often, the end goal of a website is to generate leads. In this case, the primary purpose of the website is to drive visitors to the request information page or register for an event or special offer. In the B2B environment, visitors are more likely to provide accurate contact information for desired content. Minimize the information you request from the visitor to only what you need to follow-up.
9. Plan for Growth
When building the website's information architecture and message, be sure to plan for future company growth. For instance, even if you only have one call-to-action today, plan the website for future, multiple types of calls-to-actions.
10. Testing and Quality Assurance
The last step of any website project is testing. To test, view the site in different web browsers, re-read the content and click on all the links. Also, ensure that you test older browsers such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Firefox and Safari. Also, ensure that you test on older browsers such as Internet Explorer 6. Each browser displays in slightly different ways. Be sure to re-read the content and click on all links to ensure successful testing and quality assurance.
To hear more tips and advice, check out Arketi’s podcast 10 Must Haves for an Effective Website at www.arketi.com/minute.
10 Must Haves for an Effective Website was developed to provide insight into designing and developing a successful website for B2B technology companies. If you have any questions, ask Arketi – we’re always glad to help.We created Core with the goal of enhancing your marketing and PR practices. We hope you enjoyed this edition.