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April 04, 2013 By Hendrik-Jan Francke

5 website ‘must haves’ to generate leads and increase conversions

Some big, some small—these features are all must haves!

An effective website is an important marketing tool that helps build brand image, generate leads, and increase conversions. However, relentless changes in web standards and technologies make effective websites an investment that tends to quickly go out of date. Improve the effectiveness and sustainability of your site by implementing these key features.

Mobile Optimized Site

Mobile optimization is no longer optional

If you are feeling even slightly ambivalent about optimizing your site for mobile, let’s look at some statistics:

  • U.S. mobile market penetration reached 55% in January, 2013. Meaning 129.4 million people in the U.S. alone own a smart phone. (comScore)
  • 61% mobile users will take their business elsewhere if they encounter a poor mobile experience. (Google)
  • 31% mobile users use their device most often to browse online. (Pew)

Implementing a mobile strategy builds brand image, increases accessibility, expands reach, and makes your site more sustainable in the long run. While there are several options to explore when deciding how to reach your mobile audience, one of the most rapidly adopted and effective methods is responsive design.

Responsive design intelligently optimizes site design and content to the user’s screen width. And Google recently advocated responsive design for mobile SEO value! Read more.

User-oriented design

“Don’t make me think.” Why? Because websites are marketing tools and and expecting people to meet you half way isn’t going to work. All content must constantly remind users what this is about and motivate them to keep reading.

Don’t tire your reader
When users (your audience) have to exert too much cognitive effort to reach their end goal on a site, they are much less likely to complete their task; less leads, less profit.
User-oriented site architecture, functionality, and design increases total site conversions by creating an easy and positive user experience. Setting the foundation of your site with a logical navigation and easy-to-understand functionality will increase conversions because users will more easily complete their goals.

Clear call to action (CTA)

Don’t mince words when it comes to your CTA. Clearly and succinctly inform your user of what you want them to do, and how to do it, and the benefit of their action. Relevant, specific calls to actions can dramatically improve the conversion rate of your site. Consider the following two CTAs:

  1. Get your membership
  2. Find your gym & get membership

While the first CTA is clear and conveys value, the second is more defined and delivers a more relevant benefit by adding location. There are some really interesting case studies on conversion rate optimization for CTAs that you can integrate into your own marketing.

Fast Load Times

Speedy page load times are becoming more essential as more users become accustomed to the benefits of 4G and fast network speeds. Page load speed not only helps provide a better user experience, it affects your bottom line. Amazon discovered a 100 ms increase in page load time decreased sales by 1%. Site speed depends on a number of factors. (1) Your developer can ensure your site’s codebase is compliant to and optimized for the latest web standards, and (2) a reliable hosting vendor can provide you with fast server. you can help you increase site conversions and profits.

Easy to update CMS

The power to keep your site’s content current and respond to the needs of your audience is an essential component to the long term success of a site. Keeping content fresh tells visitors that you are ‘with it’; it demonstrates you take the time to maintain the content of your site and deliver users valuable information.

A well designed CMS will give you the power to make quick and easy updates that seamlessly integrate into your site’s design and functionality. From processing customer sales and inquiries to keeping up with your blog and content marketing efforts, your CMS is a driving force in the sustainability of your site.

In conclusion

Take a good look at your website. Does your site have these 5 essential features?

If not, it’s time to start planning your next website.

Resquest a free screencast or call us at 1.302.250.2339 to walk through a brief evaluation of your site and discover your options for a redesign.

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