3 Things Your Website Needs
The process of creating your website often goes something like this: decide which platform to use, purchase your domain, start creating your website, get stuck on what your website is supposed to include, worry that you’re missing something so you include everything.
It’s one thing to know you need a website, it’s another thing to know what you need on your website. Because of our confusion, we often throw in everything we can think of so we don’t miss anything. But the problem is that what we need most is often missed.
Let’s break it down into the 3 most important things your website needs to be effective.
1. Concise Value Proposition
When someone lands on your website’s home page, can they easily identify what you do and how you can help them? If they can’t identify the value you are offering them within the first few seconds of landing on your website, you’ve lost them.
What you do is obvious to you—it’s not obvious to your website visitors. We need to spell it out for people right away.
Whether it’s a tagline with your logo or a one to two sentence introduction at the top of the page (or both), you need to clearly communicate your message so people will recognize right away if they are in the right place for the right help.
2. Clear Call-to-Action
If you’ve communicated how you can help, your next step is to clearly invite your website visitor to receive your help. This is done through a clear call-to-action (also known as a CTA) button.
This button may invite the visitor to download a resource, make a purchase, or contact you. Whatever the action, the invitation should be specific and the button should stand out visibly.
In Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller, he suggests making your CTA button consistent in design wherever you use it and using it often. If your button to download your free guide is blue, then make sure it’s blue on every page you promote the sign up form.
Suggested placements for your CTA are at the top right corner of your navigation and at the center of your main page above the fold. (“Above the fold” means at the top of your page, ideally before scrolling.)
We don’t want visitors to come to our websites without taking some kind of action that will move them towards becoming a subscriber or customer, but we need to be bold in telling them which next step we want them to take.
And remember: if our ultimate goal is to help people, we must show them how they can access the help we offer.
3. Clean Navigation
A mistake I often see—because we think we need to include everything under the sun on our websites—is too many links in the navigation. Each one is screaming at your website visitor for attention, which creates excess noise and confusion.
Clarity leads to action, confusion leads to inaction. By allowing too many options in your navigation, you are confusing your website visitor and diluting your call-to-action.
Think of your navigation as stepping stones on the journey you want to take people on. Consider which page you think they should visit first; then decide which one would help them go deeper after that first step.
Your navigation should have no more than 3-5 links—or stepping stones—to take people from visitor to subscriber or customer.
If you implement these 3 things to your existing or new website, you’ll reduce confusion and increase action taken on your site. And ultimately, if you want to make a living and change lives with your message, you must help your readers to quickly and easily identify their next step.
These strategies help you and your readers.
Don’t have a website yet? Want to make sure your website is designed strategically, without the stress of doing it yourself? Contact us to learn more about our website design services. We would love to help!