Propellant Media has dealt with quite a number of clients over the past month and we’ve noticed website optimization and creating the best website user experience has come up again and again. You should expect that creating the optimal website shopping experience will remain an evolving opportunity for companies looking to turn searchers and shoppers into partners and customers. As you structure your websites, here is a process that will allow you to think through the wireframes and architecture of it. This scratches the surface of the many elements that can be incorporated, but this allows you to think through the process with the mindset “how are we addressing the problems or interest of the searcher (customer).”
Audience segments remains an important area in crafting the ideal website that converts. It’s not enough to develop a website based on the products and services you provide. We must think about all of the audiences we are looking to capture and create landing pages that add value and speak to those audiences. For example, a law practice may provide foreclosure defense as a service, but what are the audience segments that service could reach? Corporations, families, commercial real estate owners, investors….. We want to create content and information that speaks to those audiences.
As you think through your website, you probably won’t have all of the audience segments you can think of, but you will try to address frequently asked questions and concerns directly related to those audience segments. For example, if you are an ecommerce seller of products you have personally manufactured, you should consider a landing page that addresses retailers, wholesalers, and distributors (if that’s a channel you are looking to tap into). Before creating the website, think through those audience segments and you will capture many more interested searchers who reach out to your company.
Product/Service Landing Pages
Product and service landing pages are evident. Business owners and executives will work with their technology and website developers to create a website that highlights the company’s products and services well. But many times this information is placed as a summary on one landing page. This has some major implications: first it makes it difficult for the shopper to find the information they are looking for versus placing it in a menu style at the top, left hand side, or bottom of the website; it slows down the shopping experience for the multiple users who will visit your website; and the most critical is it will hurt your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts because the landing pages for each subdomain are not separated by product or service. Remember to think through the products and services you provide and ensure they are built out into separate landing pages.
The purpose of a physical storefront is to attract shoppers from a particular customer target group and entice them to buy. Picture a furniture store. The furniture is categorized in sections from living room to kitchen. Representatives are placed strategically around the store to answer any questions the shopper may have. There are sticker prices on the furniture so the shopper can make a decision faster. Discount ads are strategically placed around the store to make it easier for shoppers to make a decision and entice them to buy. All of these attributes are critical to the physical storefront. The same holds true and is even more important for the website. Websites can serve a different end conversion. For that reason, our job is to guide the user with call to actions in order to get them to perform specific actions on our website. The psychology of call to action buttons is if you do not ask them, they most likely will not perform the action.
These are a few of the actions shoppers and website visitors can perform after they’ve landed on the website:
- Call A Phone Number
- View This Video
- Click On This Link
- Request A Free Assessment
- Send Us An Email
- Download Our Whitepaper
- Message Us
Do not assume the searcher will naturally perform one of these functions. Make it easy and simple for them to perform one of those functions with call-to-action buttons placed strategically throughout your website. Make certain the buttons standout so their eyes are drawn to the end conversions. Do not overdue it or else they will be distractioned and your website will come across too sales like.
Text, Photos, Videos, and Buttons
Text is critical to the life blood of a website, particularly from a search engine optimization standpoint. But we are now at a point where we must tie in photos, videos, graphics, and buttons throughout the site to break up the monotony of so much text. Photos that are interesting to the shopper further entices them to read more. Buttons have a tendency to break up the text so it is organized better. Videos remain a strong engagement mechanism in of itself. Remember to add these elements to your website whether you are redoing a website or creating a new one. As you think through the wireframe checklist of your website, think about the particular videos, photos, and graphics you want to place throughout and try to capture these elements prior to developing the website.
Social Proof (Press, Portfolio & Reviews)
Credibility remains the core of why people perform the conversions on websites. If you don’t show you’re a credible source or that there’s trust in your brand, the shopper will go elsewhere to find it. Showcase your recent press mentions. Put a summary of your portfolio or past clients on the homepage and give your portfolio its own landing page. Make certain you’re placing testimonials and reviews on your homepage. Many of these elements strike at the heart of why people move from one stage in the conversion funnel to the next. Without them, the chances of shoppers and searchers converting goes down.
There remains many more areas of crafting the optimal website with the proper wireframes, but these core elements allows business owners and marketing professionals to think through the process more strategically.
by “Justin Croxton”