Design your website with a purpose
Every website has a purpose.
That purpose can be to sell products like Amazon, or the purpose can be to inform like Wikipedia. In the case of B2B marketers, that purpose is typically to generate leads.
So if every site has a purpose, then every page on that site should support that purpose.
So why is it that we see so many website designs with dead-end pages and content that have no clear function other than to spew content and words in people’s faces?
Let your website flow
There is a website design/UX principle called “flow”– the direction you want visitors to follow when they visit parts of your site. Your website NEEDS it, whether through the layout, design or from a rich engaging site that encourages exploration, creating a flow for your website is not optional.
You accomplish an effective flow through a comprehensive URL and menu structure and through clear calls to action, or CTAs.
A good way to think of this is like an upside down pyramid. The top is for the large idea such as the solutions that your business offers, which should be appropriately titled “Services” in your menu and should be very clear and easy to see on the site. You want visitors to check out the services you offer so direct them to this page!
Let’s say one of your services under is software implementation. This would be the next level down in your pyramid as we continue narrowing the focus and lead funnel. Software Implementation should be very clear to navigate to when a visitor is on the Services page. Don’t use a hyperlinked text, that doesn’t call attention. Use something like a button, or a tile or an image with “Software Implementation” as the text. Text is not a call to action, an icon is.
The next level down from there would be a page that lists the specific types of software you implement, again using bold icons to direct traffic to these pages. Let’s say one of these is Salesforce Implementation.
When a visitor clicks on that call to action, they would go to a page that describes what you do, or how you do, or what sets you apart from competitors when implementing Salesforce.
And lastly, on that page would be a final CTA, let’s say for example a form the visitor can fill out to get more information about your Salesforce Implementation.
This is a very clear path for a visitor to follow: The visitor needs a solution to their software problem and the language on the site and the menu structure make it easy to understand that you offer software solutions. More specifically, Salesforce Implementation is one of those solutions and you guide visitors to a page about that topic and then finally to a lead generating form.
The purpose of the site is to generate leads, this path supports that goal and each page on the site supports that purpose.
What’s the point?
Anytime you add a new page, or menu structure to your site, you should be asking yourself “what is the goal of this path and pages and how am I going to achieve that goal?” If you do that, your visitors are more likely to convert into leads.
If your messaging is not clear, if there is no structure to your site, and if your CTAs are weak or invisible, your visitors will not convert even if they like the services you offer simply because there is too much friction between your site and the visitor.
Think about it; if you’re looking for something, say on on ramp, don’t you follow the signs for the appropriate interstate on ramp? You don’t want to drive around aimlessly do you?
A little bit of thought into an effective website design will actually save you work in the long run. You will avoid writing and designing unnecessary content and you will have to do less SEO work to get your website to rank on Google. Plus you’ll have happier visitors who are more likely to convert into client or customers.
Your site is a roadmap to your company’s service and products. Treat it that way!