Your website design needs to keep up with a fast-changing universe, despite the relatively young age of the internet. It was only a few years ago it became the general consensus that every business should have a website…though there are still a few that choose not to believe that. For a while it was fine for most business websites to simply provide an overview of their company and it’s services or products as well as a contact page. Now, however, people are more familiar with the Internet, they’re most likely active on social media, and they expect to interact with websites.
The good news is that you don’t have to build a crazy expensive site to allow for engagement. The bad news, if you want to think of it that way, is that you have to give quite a bit more time and thought to your user base and what form(s) of engagement they would benefit from. While you’re at it, don’t forget to think about what forms of engagement your business would benefit from.
Here are a few standard elements that you can add to your site to make it a little more engaging.
Most businesses that are active on social media are aware that they should have a link to their own facebook/twitter page which allows for easy access to follow them from their website but most don’t think about (or are unaware of) also including a “share” feature. This sharing tool can be valuable to any business, regardless of their level of activity in social media. It will allow viewers to share a link from your site on their own social media feed, or easily pass your page along to someone they feel would benefit from seeing it. It’s viral marketing at it’s best!
I’m not talking about your old school contact form that has way too many required fields and is the only way to get in contact with anyone at your company. I’m referring to a form that would be more beneficial for your prospects/partners and fulfills a specific need. Some examples might be Request a Quote, Ask a question, Give some Feedback, Say Hello…the possibilities are endless. The key is to think about the needs and wants of the viewer on each individual page and finding ways to keep them engaged with you.
We’ve been talking about blogs for years but they have become more and more important as the competition online continues to increase. Not only can they establish your expertise but they can also be a key component in your SEO strategy and provide a valuable place to have conversations with your prospects, clients and partners.
Newsletters are old school too but are a great way to stay in front of your viewers. Just make sure that it’s easy for people to subscribe. Don’t require an extensive amount of fields to be entered just to subscribe to your newsletter. Reduce the barrier to entry as much as possible. It’s also important to strategically place sign up forms throughout your entire site, and possibly even list a few topics that may be covered in your newsletters as well.
Get a YouTube channel and start making videos. It’s great for SEO and it’s an easy way to get viewers to hang out on your site for a few minutes. If you don’t think videos make sense for your business, get creative. Take a tour of your office to introduce your staff, show a tutorial of your service or product, or highlight some customer successes.
Ever fallen down the great rabbit hole of the Internet? I think we all have at some point. The trick is to create that rabbit hole on your own site so that you are continually directing your viewer to another page. All you need is relevant and interesting content, a clear idea of what your viewer might want to see next, and an intuitive navigation path to get there.
Comments are no longer just for blogs…and if you have a blog, you absolutely want to allow your readers to comment. Give your viewers a voice. If you allow your audience to make comments on relevant pages you will end up providing more valuable information, which will get you more valuable leads. It also shows that you listen and value feedback. No matter what type of business you have, all clients value a good listener.
The goal of every website should be to attract, inform and engage. The key to achieving all three pieces of that goal is to think about all of the potential visitors to your site that will be most valuable to each one of them. Most companies have been attracting and informing customers with their web sites for years. Now it’s time to engage with those clients through more strategic web design (and that’s our job).
Are you considering a web design or redesign?
The effort poses many questions: What will make my site better and more effective? What do I absolutely need to take into account for my end users? Are there serious SEO issues or new search engine rules that I should watch out for? The following free eBook answers the most crtical questions related to a successful web redesign project:
- Key elements and features “must-haves” for your homepage.
- Critical steps to protect your SEO and content during a site redesign.
- Steps you can take to improve your site right now while the redesign project is underway.