Marketers today realize the importance of inbound marketing to promote their business brand. A key component in the inbound marketing methodology is having a website that allows you to convert visitors into customers.
The first stage of inbound marketing is “attract,” which means you need to create relative, informative content peppered with the keywords your potential customers would be using. That content is promoted across various social media platforms and in your email marketing campaigns – all with the ultimate goal of attracting people to your website.
Once you’ve attracted people to your site, you have to give them a reason to stay and to take another step toward engagement. This fulfills the “convert” step in the inbound marketing methodology. And it’s a critical piece in ultimately generating new customers. But driving quality traffic to a website that wasn’t designed to convert the traffic defeats the very purpose of driving visitors to the website in the first place.
So what does your website design need to achieve so it’s doing a good job of converting visitors? Here are five elements to consider in an inbound marketing website design:
- Does the content on the website tell visitors who you are? A well-designed website should communicate who you are and what you do as soon as a visitor hits the homepage. Visitors also should easily find additional information such as eBooks, white papers and videos.
When visitors land on your homepage, they should get a very clear picture of what makes you stand out in your industry. The message should be positive and distinctive. Avoid phrases like “We’re the best” or “We do more with less.” Every business says that. Your message should be original.
- Does the content on the website speak to your ideal potential client or customer?
We’re often asked about how to create content customers and prospective customers truly want to read. The answer is simple, but it does take time and energy to execute: Research, research and more research.
Creating a buyer persona is an excellent way to understand your prospects. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. Essentially you’re creating a complete story for a customer you want to reach. Do this by interviewing current customers, looking for trends and doing marketplace research. This process will help you understand the behaviors, wants and pain points of your ideal customer. Then, you can create content that speaks to those behaviors, challenges and concerns.
- Does your website have a call-to-action (CTA)? Once you’ve attracted the right customers you need them to take action. A CTA is an action-oriented offer, such as signing up for an email newsletter, downloading an eBook, starting a free trial or signing up for a free consultation.
A call-to-action should be brief, but attention-grabbing and appealing to your potential customer (remember that buyer persona?). As you’re creating your website design, incorporate the CTAs in the sidebar, on the blog and other areas where they are readily visible, but also fit logically on the webpage.
- Does your website have a blog? If you haven’t incorporated a blog into your website design, you’re missing an important aspect of inbound marketing strategy. A blog allows you to provide that relevant and useful content that will attract customers to your website and give you the chance to convert them into customers.
Blog posts should be education and informative – not a sales pitch for your product or service. They also should incorporate appropriate keywords, making them easily found by search engines and people searching for information online.
- Is your website mobile friendly? Report after report shows us more and more people are searching from mobile devices, including phones and tablets. If your website doesn’t read well on a mobile device, you’re leaving money on the table. Any website design today has to be responsive so users can easily access your information from their smaller screens and with their thumbs.
Your business website is critical to your inbound marketing strategy. Even the best content ideas and carefully crafted buyer personas will do you no good if your website is stuck in the stone ages. Take a look at your current site, and if it’s missing any of these five elements, it’s time for a new website design that puts inbound marketing at the core.
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