Customer Experience News & Trends

9 must-have marketing elements: Does your website have ’em all?

So you say you’re driving lots of traffic to your website. Congratulations. But don’t start popping champagne bottles just yet. The battle’s only half over. Your website still needs to be optimized to convert those visitors into customers.

Is yours up to the challenge?

Ultimate design checklist

It’s up to the challenge if you can say your site contains each of the following essential marketing elements:

  • Descriptive headline. You’ve got about four seconds to answer, “What does this site offer?” But don’t take that to mean you should talk about your company. Instead, your focus needs to be on the value customers receive by doing business with you.
  • Brief benefits copy. Product/service features are great, but it’s more important to describe how what you sell benefits customers — i.e., what problems do you help customers solve or what kinds of increases in performance can you provide? Also, keep in mind that no one’s going to read a large block of text. So write two to three sentences max.
  • Above-the-fold call-to-action. While it’s OK to place calls-to-action below the fold if you need to, you must have at least one above it. Customers need some indication right away as to what they’re expected to do on your site. Remember: Scrolling creates friction, and friction kills conversions.
  • Features. After you’ve stated the benefits of an offer, it’s time to list its features to round out prospects’ understanding of what you do. Bullet points often work best for this. (Note: To keep your homepage from becoming overcrowded, you’ll want to consider listing features on an inside product page.)
  • Trust icons. You’ll need to show customers something that proves your claims can be trusted. Ideally, this can be accomplished using customer quotes or testimonials, logos from client companies or a listing of industry awards.
  • Supporting image. Use an image to help describe what you offer. Short videos are great, too. But whatever you decided to use, make sure it’s clickable — and make sure you’ve created it. Stock photos serve almost no useful purpose other than to break up text. That means the photos or videos you use should be of your products or customers.
  • Resource center. The length of the typical buying cycle is increasing. Prospects are taking their time to carefully vet potential purchases before making a decision. So you’ll want to give them a place on your site where they can go to learn more.
  • Content offer. Since most prospects aren’t ready to pull the trigger on their first visit, build your lead nurturing database by offering an informational e-newsletter or white paper in exchange for their email address.
  • Social media icons. A strong social media presence is vital to not only building customer loyalty, but getting fence-sitting prospects to come down on the side of doing business with your company. Prospects go to sites like Facebook and Twitter to see what customers are saying about companies in real time — and to see how responsive they are to customer concerns. So you want to point customers to vibrant social pages discussing your products.

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