Websites serve a variety of purposes. From working as a calling card that lets people know more about you and what your organization offers to a full-fledged information resource where you can establish credibility and provide information for people, to a working revenue center where you provide eCommerce and transactional functionality for your audience – websites are the premier way to get in front of your audiences in modern times.
However you structure your site, the ultimate goal should be to get people to connect with you.
Working on websites for as long as we have, we have found that there are five common things that every website needs. These simple updates or tweaks can make a huge impact on how your website works and what actions people take once they arrive.
1. Introductory offer: Have you ever heard the saying, “Let’s date a little before we get married”? Most websites hop right to the “Bottom of the Funnel” offers and miss opportunities to court visitors a bit before going for the “big ask”.
What items of value can you exchange to help build a relationship before you ask your connections to take a bigger step? Can you provide materials that nurture that exchange to contribute to an even more powerful, longer-lasting engagement in the future? This is what we call the “Bond Phase” of engagement and it’s all about creating opportunities to engage with your audience over time to strengthen your connection.
2. Stakeholder-focused narrative: Most websites suffer from this problem, they position themselves as the hero in the narrative instead of their stakeholders.
This is REALLY common as most of us feel the need to sell ourselves at the onset of any relationship. We talk about how great we are, how we can swoop in to save the day, and how we are the answer to all the readers’ problems.
But what if you spun that messaging a bit to place your stakeholders as the hero in this journey and your organization as the guide?
Frame the narrative to demonstrate your understanding of their current state of frustration and the vision for a way to guide them to a future state of aspirational bliss.
We are all the hero of our own story. To really create connections that foster strong relationships, stop trying to be the hero in your audiences’ journey.
3. The 7-second sniff test: People are pretty distractible. Studies show that our attention spans have shrunk to the point where one has to get one’s point across in about 7 seconds in order to “buy” another chunk of time investment.
If you aren’t answering the questions: “Who is this for? How does it make their life better? How do they get it?” in the first 7 seconds of your audiences’ interaction with your site, then you are missing opportunities.
Your site’s initial messaging should be solely focused on captivating your audience immediately, in order to get them to invest more time and dive deeper.
4. A Call To Action: You have gotten someone to visit your site, framed them as the hero, and identified how you can support them. They are excited about taking the next step, so now what?
The goal of your site should be to inspire people to connect with you. Lead them to that outcome by designing calls-to-action throughout your site to ensure that your visitors take the next step.
This is actually relatively straightforward – simply tell the person what you want them to do. “Schedule a Call” buttons or “Download the Workbook” links tell your audience what the next step is and get them to take that action. Repeat your main CTAs throughout your site to reinforce the “ask” and ensure that your audience understands the next step in their engagement.
5. Contact Information: This is similar to the call to action and something that is so easily overlooked but can make a huge impact.
Having your contact information on every page can help people contact you quickly and easily. Remember, not everyone takes the same journey to connect with you. Some may be ready to get a live conversation started after merely looking at your about page or a blog post and want to get started immediately.
Having your contact information on the bottom banner across the site or at the top of your site allows people to take action when they are ready. If the only way to find you is to click on your contact page, you are adding extra steps to their actions. If you only have 7 seconds before they forget why they are on your page, make it as easy as possible for them to get started.
Remember, your website is one of the most effective ways to kick-start the process of building a strong relationship. Make sure that you optimize your site to get people excited, to take action, and to get in touch with you.
Want us to take a peek at your site’s “5 things”? Let us know and we can do a FREE website audit then review our findings with you.