5 key ingredients for a performant, lead generating website.

January, 2021

by Adam Boother

9 min read

Fundamentals necessary to ensure your website not only looks great, but returns an ROI too.

Creating a marketing website isn't just case of putting some content together and then finding a team that can design and develop a shiny new website that showcases your brand. There are some fundamentals that are required to ensure your website performs and, therefore, is an asset to your business once it makes its way into the digital world we know as the Internet. By performs, I mean it 1: provides a great experience to anyone who visits the site and 2: generates leads for your business.

Below are 5 stages required for an all-around successful website:

1: Content strategy

As the old saying goes, content is king. Content creation is hugely important to the growth of your business. If your content is unclear or simply not telling your users what they want to know, you'll have a hard time keeping them engaged. Below are some key points our copywriters consider when creating content:

1: Define your target audience

Knowing your target audience will give you a clear path to create relevant content that's valuable to your users. This in turn will help to ensure your content meets users’ expectations, increasing the likelihood of that user fulfilling your goals for them.

2: The "Five Ws" (and one H)

The "Five Ws" (and one H) refers to a collection of questions which will help to unlock key answers for your content. Who? Who is the audience. What? What is the message? When? The timing of the process to create the content. Where? Where will the content sit? Why? Why are you writing the content? and How? How should you structure the content? Finding the answers to these questions will help to ensure your content strategy covers all bases.

3: Search engine optimisation

Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is a hugely important consideration when creating content. Feeding relevant keywords into your content will help users find your page in search engines and, in turn, increase traffic to your site. Choosing the right focus keyword is an important consideration too, so our copywriters carry out some keyword research as part of the content strategy stage.

2: Design strategy

As I mentioned at the start of this post, when creating a website, there is a lot more to the design stage than a designer just taking your brand assets and mocking up a few pretty pages that will shine some light on your brand. The website is being designed for its users so, as such, it’s vital to consider the users experience at the centre of every design-based decision.

One of the key points our designers scope out before jumping into their design toolkit is the user journey. What are the potential journeys users will be looking to take around the site? What are the most popular devices used on the existing site? What is the best layout for the sitemap on both mobile and desktop devices? Solving these questions will ensure users can find what they want to find in the places they expect to find it. One way we get answers to these questions is by looking at data from the customers current site via tools such as Hotjar and Google Analytics.

Another proven technique is to put social proofing content at the forefront where possible, whether that's awards the business has won or testimonials provided by happy customers. That coupled up with clear 'call to actions' can often lead to a healthy user conversion rate.

3: User experience (UX)

So, you've created your content and design off the back of clear strategies. This is all for nothing if your website then offers a poor experience to your users. User experience can be defined as “how a person feels when using a product". If your website is easy to use, has a quick load time and the user can find what they're looking for with ease, we can say that it has good UX. Below are three important factors we consider vital to a great user experience:

A clear user journey

Ensuring the user journey is easy and smooth throughout your site is absolutely vital to keep your users engaged and happy. Lots of considerations come into this, many of which are tackled in the two stages mentioned above.

Accessibility

There are lots of key points to get right here. Is your website optimised for all devices and easy to use for all? Is it easy to navigate? Can your visitors find what they’re looking for right away? Has your website been developed with semantically correct HTML? Ticking off each of these is vital, not only to provide a good user experience but also to keep in Google's good books.

Speed

Speed is yet another vital piece of the puzzle and something a high percentage of your users won't accept if you don't get it right. According to a 2018 research by Google, 53% of mobile users leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Couple that with the fact that mobile generally accounts for over half of website traffic worldwide, and you soon realise your website needs to be quick. In order for it to be quick, you need a savvy development team who build the site using the correct tools for the job.

4: Search engine optimisation (SEO)

You can have the perfect website that ticks the boxes for the three stages above, but if your website is not optimised for search engines, the likelihood is you are losing out on a huge amount of traffic and therefore potential income. A study conducted by BrightEdge showed that a whopping 51% of traffic came from organic Google search results. Compare that to 10% from paid search and 10% from social channels and you soon see the benefits of optimising your site for search engines.

The task of optimising your website for search engines isn't a 'one off' task though, it's a process that requires an expert in the field to carry out ongoing research and regular tweaks to your website content and structure.

Seeing as each of the three stages above help to achieve a higher search ranking (as well as the host of SEO techniques such as backlinking, optimising URLs etc.)  our team of experts are well equipped when it comes to creating a website with search engine optimisation forming the basis.

5: Automation

The final stage probably points more towards the 'performant' reference in the title for this post, as having automation within your website can prevent double entry and create smooth workflows between all of the different tools you may use within your business.

So, let's look at some examples:

  1. Do you have a mailing list available for your customers, with a 'sign up' section on your website? If so, that should hook up to your marketing platform, whether that's Mailchimp or any of the other marketing platforms on the market.
  2. Do you use a CRM to store data? Whether that's an estate agency storing their properties in an estate agency CRM, or a software company storing customer data in an inbound marketing CRM. The process of syncing that data between your website and your CRM should be automated.
  3. Do you share your blog articles on your social channels? Again, this could be automated when you first publish the article.

We've integrated with many of these services via their APIs, producing a smooth integration between our customer websites and these services, as well as saving our customers precious time that they can then spend on other tasks vital to their business.

Conclusion

There we go, these are fundamentals we put in place when creating or revamping digital products, to ensure they excel in all the vital, necessary areas.

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Require a bit of help with any of the above?

We're tried and tested in each of these stages, working them into digital products is what we do.
Call 01295 267 762 or email [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you.

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