Set a Website Strategy that Accommodates More Visitors
When you sit down to design your website it's important to think about the overall purpose of your website, and just as importantly the purpose of individual pages. When I talk to potential clients I often ask them the simple question, “What do you want users to do when they visit your website?”. And often I get the same answer, “I want them contact me”. While getting a user to contact you is the ultimate goal of any website, it doesn't just happen. In reality it takes careful planning and hard work, and should always be considered a work in progress.
When you design your website you need to consider that not all visitors are ready to contact you the first time they visit. Many visitors are just there to gather information for a decision they are going to make in the near future. In cases such as this it's important to make a lasting impression on these visitors so when they are ready to purchase/contact they think of you and your company.
How To Make an Impression
Making a lasting impression on website visitors isn't about flashing lights and cool sounds. It's about clearly showcasing you well thought-out, beneficial content and giving users a clear path for easily accessing that information at their convenience. In a previous article Give Your Website an SEO Audit and Increase Your Search Results we discussed how every page on your site is a potential landing page, so its important to set up page specific goals for individual pages that eventually drive visitors to your ultimate goal of contacting your company.
As an example, take a look at the “About Us” page on your own website. Does it accurately describe your company and its expertise? Have you distinguished yourself from other companies in your industry? Does the content on the page seem well thought-out and up to date? Or is it just a copy of the “about us” text from your company brochure that was made in 2004? If your not offering valuable content on your site, it is likely that a user will move on to the next site. An aspect of design strategy that is often over looked is directing your visitor to the next step. Look at your about us page again, after you finished reading through the content on the page were you directed to go anywhere? Were you as a user given any indication of what the next step would be? Don't be afraid to direct your users through the website. Clients, rightfully so, always seemed concerned with what will be visible to an average user when they first visit a webpage, but often they have never give a thought to what is visible to users after they read through the content on the page and the screen is focused on the bottom of the page.
Take a look at the “About Us” page on our website.
As a user when you reach the bottom of our About Us Page you are offered a variety of individual page goals such as: social medial connections, newsletter signup, blog articles, telephone, and email. It isn't always about getting users to send you an email or call you the first time they visit your site. It's about giving them the choice of how they would like to interact with your company to get the information they are seeking. And when they are ready they will contact you!
If you need some help creating goal specific content for your website take a look at some of our previous blog articles such as Simple and Easy Content Planning Strategy and Building An Online Marketing Content Strategy for some helpful information.
Alternate Individual Page Goals
Let's take a look at our previously stated goal, “I want users to contact me.”. Since most website visitors don't usually contact a company the first time they visit their site. What clients should really set as their goal is, “When somebody is ready to purchase my services I want them to think of my company.”
So how do we achieve this? We have talked extensively in blog articles about offering users valuable content, so that goes without saying, but we also need to offer visitors options for accessing this valuable content, so that even when they are not online visiting your site they are reminded of your company and the expertise you offer. If we take a look at some smaller more focused goals for individual pages we can find a variety of different ways to stay in of potential customers.
Specific Page Goals:
- Get users to sign up for the monthly newsletter
- If users sign up for your newsletter, you can demonstrate you expertise to them every time you send out a newsletter
- Get users to visit your blog
- Your blog is a great place to showcase your expertise, and give visitors valuable up to date information, increasing the chances they will visit your site again in the future
- Get users to subscribe to your RSS feed
- When users subscribe to your RSS feed they will constantly be updated when you publish new articles
- Users may also publish your RSS feed on their website or blog as well helping to drive more traffic to your site and promoting your expertise
- Get users to watch a video
- As the say goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Getting a user to watch a video about your product or service can have a lasting impression on visitors
- Get users to bookmark your site
- Offering unique and valuable content increases the chances that a user will bookmark your site and visit again
- Get a user to connect on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, ect...)
- The rise of Social Media has given potential customers the unique ability engage with a company before deciding to make a purchase, engaging users in a variety of different mediums increase the chances that they will contact you when they are ready to purchase
- Potential and Current Clients can use Social Medial to Promote your company so engaging customers in these mediums could lead to more business.
- Get a user to download an informational packet
- Give users the option to download packets of information can help keep your company name in front of them even when they are not online.
- Packets of information can be easily shared with peers
While our ultimate goal is to get visitors to contact us, setting up alternate goals on individual pages will help ensure that visitors eventually reach our ultimate goal.