Hey! I’m Marissa, a freelance web designer and digital marketer. I love working with clients to take the overwhelm out of getting their business online. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my blog!
6 elements you need to include on your website
Starting your website design from scratch can be a daunting task. Whether you’ve hired someone to build it for you or you’re going down the DIY route, it’s always best to have an idea of what you’d like in mind.
There’s also a big difference between a website that looks nice and a website that really moves the needle in your business. If you want your website to keep users on your site for longer and make them want to get them to get in touch, buy your product or take action, there’s some crucial elements you should make sure to include on your website.
Make sure you include these items on your website to keep your users interested
Not sure where to start with your website outline and content? Work through the following points for your site and you’ll have a great starting point.
1.An eye-catching first impression
When a user land on your homepage, they’ll form an opinion of your site within 0.05 seconds, which then determines if they’ll stick around or not. You should very clearly show exactly what you do and possibly also give them a call to action. Let’s think about these two examples as headers on your homepage:
- ‘Helping you become a great leader’
- ‘1:1 coaching for smart business owners’
Which one is more immediately indicative of what you’ll expect to look at on this website? The first example is descriptive, but doesn’t indicate exactly what this website and business will do for the user. The second example is much more clear about exactly what this business does and what you’ll be able to expect from them. A good call to action sub-heading would be ‘book your call now’ or something direct like that.
If you look at Jenna Reid’s website, you’ll see that it’s immediately clear exactly what she does with a clear call to action:
Sometimes this can feel like you’re really spelling out (almost to a much too obvious level) exactly what you do, but that’s just what your website’s users need. And if you want to have an amazing website, you really should be putting their needs and wants first.
2.High quality images
This is a big one. Use high quality images that properly show you, your team, your products, your work…whatever it is that you do, make sure you have great images! You can hire a photographer to take your images for you, or use stock images if you need. It works well to do a mix of both, but having your own photos professionally taken will make a big difference. Good visuals appeal to everyone, and high quality images also help your overall credibility. Use stock photos if you really need, and if you do, make sure they’re relevant to your business.
3.A clear message
Your message across your whole site should be crystal clear for your users. The more brain power they need to use to figure out what you do and exactly how you’ll help them, the less interested they’ll be in getting to the bottom of your home page (never mind through the rest of your website).
A common tendency is to try and pack everything in and include way too much; we all want to stand out from the crowd! So we add way too much information, reasons why we’re better than our competitors, or reasons why people should choose our product or service. In reality, people want to understand what you do, how you can solve their problems, and exactly how they can buy from or contact you. If you focus on this, your website will be much more user-friendly as well as have a higher conversion rate. There’s always room in your blog/email newsletter/social media posts to share everything else that you want to get out there!
Testimonials and reviews are worth their weight in gold. They build your credibility, show the results you’ve achieve for other customers or clients, and instill a healthy dose of FOMO with your users. Have a few on your homepage and then spread the rest out across your site. Collect these as you go and continue to add to them as you grow. (Bonus points if you make them into nice graphics to share across your social media channels too!)
On the Gran’s House website, we included testimonials throughout their website for a nice effect and great social proof. If you’re able to include links to your reviewers website or company, that goes a long way to helping with credibility too!
Having clear navigation on your website is a must. Make your page titles concise and short, and don’t leave people with nowhere to go when they get to the bottom of your pages. Including links to your social media channels, a subscription form for your email newsletter, or a sitemap in your footer helps direct your users to the next place you’d like them to go and the path you’d like them to take through your website.
6.Blog and/or portfolio updates
You’ll want to link internally on your website to other pages and articles; this makes for a good user experience as well as helping your SEO. Having a section on your homepage that links to your blog or portfolio page that will be regularly updated is a great idea. Having fresh content on your site also goes a long way to helping your SEO, and your visitors will appreciate updates as they return to your site.
Important elements to help your website stand out
At the end of the day, having a great website that looks awesome and is easy to use forms the basis for how others will see your business and how effective you’ll be at running your business online. Working through this list of items when you’re getting ready to build or redesign your website will go a long way in helping you build credibility with your audience.
If you’d like to chat about your build or you’re thinking about having your website redesigned, you can get in touch with me here.