May 31, 2017
by Lori Shecter
7 Musts for a Better Website
#1: Make your homepage memorable:
Make ’em stay and make ’em want more. And more. Here is a few samples of great homepages and calls to action.
Other important homepage/landing page features:
Landing pages are the pages that people first come to when they find your site. Potential clients find you in several ways:
- they already know your company so just go to your URL,
- they google a keyword and your site comes up,
- you are advertising a certain offering and they come to that page.
Pages that are set up specifically for advertising should have the following elements”
- A way for people to contact you
- Lead captures- Forms
- Calls to action
This was original a 25 page guide from HubSpot. Content was great, but took too long to read. Here’s my condensed version: 7 musts for a better website!
#2: Get found by Search Engines
Search engine marketing is not rocket science but it is a time-consuming process which is why most business owners and companies have a hard time handling this themselves. But here are the top ways to improve your SEO:
- Content is king. You can’t just have a website, set it and forget it. You must have frequent updates through your news or blog channels. The updates need to have the keywords that you focus on. For example, this article is about growing business with your website. The picture below shows you in the code of We Are Immediate this keyword. Make sure your keyword is in your article.
- YouTube: YouTube when properly named and tagged, is great for SEO. Why? Because Google owns YouTube. Make sure you put your KEYWORDS in the Title of your video, and then the URL and telephone number of your company in your post description.
- Backlinks: Sharing your content on all your social media channels, or posting answers to questions on Quora, Manta, or other registries gives links back to your website. Google loves backlinks.
- Technology: Your website should be built with a content management system like WordPress, Drupal, Umbraco, etc (there are over 200) that have places to add the keyword to the page. The image above shows you an h1 tag in the back end of WordPress.
- Google tools: You should have a google webmaster account. Your web development company should generate a sitemap that automatically submits all the urls of your website to google.
- Google for Business: Make sure you have Google for Business set up. This is often the first search result that appears after paid search.
- Last SEO tips: If you are launching a new website, make sure you have 301 redirects. This means if a page was named www.unitedlawyersnyc.com/about-us but your new website name is www.unitedlawyersnyc.com/about, 301 redirect will tell Google to repoint the old URL to the new one. This is important because Google keeps old URL’s for up to three months before they disappear.
Mobile is starting to be more important than desktop design. Your Google analytics shows you the amount of traffic coming from mobile devices versus desktop devices. If you are in the process of having a new website developed, make sure your design team designs both a desktop and mobile version of your website so you can see both the design as well as the navigation function. In addition to our own mobile experience, we really love Bryan Cave’s law firm mobile experience.
- Other design trends include:
- Full-screen imagery,
- clean crisp fonts,
- uncrowded top navigation (no more than 4 or 5). Many companies now use a “hamburger” button on their website.
- Visible search box: Navigation is almost becoming extinct – everyone is used to one-click locating when it comes to finding stuff on a website. The image above this section shows you perfect clean search.
- Social: Who are you and what do you represent? Your potential customer wants to know what your company or firm stands for, and who the people are behind it. Featuring blog posts or personal profiles on your homepage can be the beginning of a wonderful new relationship.
- Consistency: Your site should feel like you are on the same website no matter what page you are on. Don’t change fonts and colors from page to page.
- Imagery: Using clear and powerful imagery, no matter if you offer products or services is critical for users to feel the quality of your company when they come to your website.
If people can’t find what they are looking for, they will give up and leave. Important factors in a site’s navigation include:
- Keep the structure of your primary navigation simple (and near the top of your page).
- Use breadcrumbs on every page (except for the homepage) so people are aware of their navigation trail.
- Don’t dig too deep – in most cases, it’s best to keep your navigation to no more than three levels deep.
Will people know you do within a few seconds?
- Information: Is it what they are looking for?
- Your strengths: Why should they choose your company?
- Calls to Action: Do they know where to go next?
- Are you a destination site: Will they come back frequently because you have good suggestions?
- Show them what you’ve done. Have success stories and testimonials.
- Video: Pictures are worth a 1000 words, video worth 1 million.
#6: Content is both King and Queen:
Offer unique content. People love this and so do search engines.
- Write for humans, not search engines. People don’t read like robots.
- Provide value and educational content that helps others.
- If you pay companies to write for you, make sure you do your research. Some write well, others do not.
- Keep content fresh. Having news that’s two years old still sitting on your homepage gives your site an old look.Blogging is without a doubt one of the most important assets to any inbound marketing strategy and it’s a perfect complement to your website.
#7: Here are some reasons why you really need a blog:
- It creates fresh content and more pages of content, which is great for SEO.
- It helps establish you as an industry authority and thought leader.
- It helps drive more traffic and leads back to your website.
- It’s a great channel to converse and engage with your audience and customers.
- It’s a great way to get valuable inbound links!
Blogging isn’t as difficult as you think. There are plenty of blogging tools you can use to get started. If the ability to create content regularly is your main concern, there are inexpensive blog writing services (called Content Marketplaces) like Zerys and WriterAccess that will help you get started.
If you are looking to redesign your website, we are happy to have a 30-minute consultation. Call us: 212-929-9980. Or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.