A website is more than just a place where your customers can find information about your company. It's an opportunity to engage and convert them into loyal buyers. It's essential that your site has what it takes to attract and retain visitors.
If you are wanting to grow your business online then you need to have a strong presence on the web by starting with a solid foundation. This includes having a well-designed, user-friendly website site that loads quickly and provides a good experience for your visitors as well as quality content that will entice people to come back and stay longer.
Inbound marketing is a strategic approach that focuses on attracting customers to your site through relevant and helpful content. Once they're there, you need to convert them into leads and then customers. And finally, you need to keep them coming back for more.
Sounds like a lot, right? Don't worry, read on to see the crucial elements you need on your website to help with your inbound marketing efforts.
Essential Elements You Need for an Effective Inbound Website
One of the most common pain points we hear is “my site looks outdated”. While we all know it’s the content that helps visitors to your site make a decision about whether or not they want to do business with you, the first impression of your business is how your website looks and makes a visitor feel.
To create that first connection, your website needs to have a modern design that looks good on all devices. With over half of web traffic now coming from mobile devices, it's more important than ever to have a responsive design. This means your site will automatically adjust to fit the screen size of any device. A responsive design is essential for providing a good user experience and ensuring your site is easy to navigate.
The user experience (UX) of your website helps a visitor follow a pathway to conversion based on your inbound marketing messaging placement. We can build a better website by identifying potential “friction” points that may prevent a visitor from continuing through your site.
Your inbound website should be easy to navigate and easy to use. Visitors should be able to find what they're looking for quickly and easily. Fancy hover effects and animation should not interfere with the user experience. Ohs and ahhs won’t pay your bills but showcasing your calls to action will. If your website is difficult to use, people will likely leave without taking any action.
There are a number of things you can do to improve the UX of your inbound website:
Going back to fancy hover effects and animation that can add extra weight to your page load times. Always remember that your website needs to load quickly. If it doesn't, people will likely leave before it even has a chance to load. In fact, studies have shown that a one-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
There are a number of things you can do to improve your site's speed that don’t require the need for a developer:
The core of your inbound website needs is your powerful message through high-quality, engaging content that's relevant to your audience. When it comes to content, the focus should always be on the question. What question are you trying to answer with your content? What problem are you trying to solve for your audience? The more focused you can be, the better. That's because when you know what question you're trying to answer, it becomes easier to come up with ideas for content and to make sure every piece of content is helpful and relevant.
Question-focused content is also a great way to attract visitors and convert them into leads. By providing valuable information that helps them solve a problem, you'll show them that you're an authority in your field. This will help build trust and credibility with your audience, which can lead to more sales down the road.
In addition to blog posts and articles, your inbound website should also have a learning center of premium content. This is content that goes beyond the basics and dives into more detail. It could be an e-book, white paper, or video tutorial. This type of content is gated, which means visitors need to exchange their contact information to access it. The goal is to generate leads from this valuable content.
The difference between an “informational” website and an “inbound marketing” website? Including calls to action (CTA) for different stages of the buyer’s journey.
A CTA is a piece of content that encourages your audience to take a specific action, such as signing up for your newsletter or downloading a white paper. CTAs are an essential part of inbound marketing and can help you move your visitors further down the sales funnel.
Including CTAs on your website is a great way to generate leads and convert them into customers. But not all CTAs are created equal. In order for a CTA to be effective, it needs to be relevant to the page it's on and it needs to offer something of value. For example, if you have a blog post about inbound marketing, your CTA could be an offer for a free e-book on the topic.
Different stages of the buyer’s journey will require a different type of CTA such as “schedule a consultation” for those in the decision stage or “download my ebook” for those in the awareness stage trying to understand their problem.
Make sure your CTAs are visible and easy to find. They should be placed in strategic locations, such as above the fold or next to relevant content. And they should stand out from the rest of your page so that visitors can't help but notice them.
Your inbound website should also have lead capture forms to collect visitor information. A lead capture form is a form that asks visitors for their contact information in exchange for something valuable, like an ebook or white paper. This information can then be used to follow up with leads and nurture them further down the sales funnel.
When creating lead capture forms, it's important to keep them short and sweet. The more fields you have, the less likely people are to fill out your form. So, only ask for the information you really need, such as name, email address, and company name.
In addition, make sure your forms are placed in strategic locations on your website. They should be visible and easy to find, but they shouldn't be too intrusive. A good rule of thumb is to place them above the fold or next to relevant content.
Your inbound website won't be effective unless people can actually find it. That's why it's important to optimize your website for search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making your website more visible in search results. The goal is to rank higher in search results for relevant keywords and phrases.
There are a number of things you can do to optimize your website for SEO:
Another way to generate leads from your website is to offer live chat or chatbots.
Live chat is a feature that allows you to communicate with your website visitors in real-time with a real human. It's a great way to offer customer support and answer any questions your visitors may have.
In addition to customer support, live chat can also be used for sales. You can use it to engage with leads and nurture them further down the sales funnel.
Of course, not every business has an available person to man the live chat but you can still create an engaging experience and deliver relevant answers and content through the use of a chatbot.
Your website should have a clear and prominently displayed value proposition. This statement helps create that very first crucial connection that your website visitor has landed in the right place and you may be the answer to solving their pain points.
Your value proposition is a statement that explains what your business does and why someone should use your products or services. It's important to display this statement towards the top of the page so a user understands who you are and what you do and gives them a reason to continue scrolling down your page.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your value proposition statement:
Last but not least, make sure you are guiding them to the next step of their journey (tying back into that call to action).
If your primary goal is to get a visitor to schedule a consultation, make that step very clear. Take it a step further and let them know what happens after they reach out to you for a consultation. (Another great way to continue your inbound marketing efforts and provide a better user experience!)
If a visitor isn’t quite ready to schedule that consultation, provide other “next steps” such as providing valuable information in the form of an ebook, checklist, template, etc that helps them better understand their problem or the different solutions available for solving their problem.
And of course, make sure your contact information is easy to find. If you’re a local business that wants walk-in traffic, include a phone number, physical address and a map to make it easy to get in touch with you. The last thing you want is for someone to be interested in your products or services but not be able to get in touch with you.
When it comes to creating a successful website, layering in foundational elements that boost your inbound marketing creates a better experience for your visitors. One layer of inbound marketing is about creating a website site that's helpful and engaging for your visitors, and that's exactly what you need if you want to see more leads and customers coming through your door.
The process of creating an inbound website can take some time and effort, but the payoff is well worth it. With a little patience and a lot of hard work, you can create a site that will help your business thrive.
For more information on creating successful business websites, get in touch with us today!