10 Tips for Building and Optimizing Your Company Website
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At least 60 percent of the sales process happens prior to a sales engagement. This means your company website is likely to be the first place visitors encounter your brand when they are searching for a product or service. Not only does a good website build credibility, but it also gets a company noticed. To put your business in the best light, whether creating a new website or optimizing an existing site, here are 10 tips to keep in mind:
- Ensure that your site is easily navigable. Page navigation is critical to the user experience, so the layout of your site should enable visitors to quickly and easily locate the information they care most about. Nomenclature and being intuitive to use are important, too. Use names that clearly describe specific areas of your website, and provide global navigation to facilitate exploration.
- Provide visitors with a simple and appealing design. Have a straightforward layout with plenty of white space and no clutter. Include easy-to-find contact information. This seems like a no-brainer, but often companies miss the mark here. Use professional photos and easy-to-read fonts. Be bold and concise with headlines.
- Develop unique and engaging content. Provide content that demonstrates how your company’s capabilities and successes stand out from the crowd. Identify the primary key messages that you want visitors to take away about your business. Share your company’s personal story or background, along with what makes it unique. Offer customer case studies and testimonials that effectively demonstrate your value proposition.
- Build your site for multi-device compatibility. Responsive website design can help ensure compatibility across all devices and the most commonly used browsers, automatically adapting layout to fit a variety of screen sizes and user interface devices. With over 114 million smartphone users in the United States, it is important to think mobile, ensuring that the site works well with both smartphones and tablets.
- Structure your website for search engine optimization. Develop a short list of keywords most relevant to your business, industry and location, integrating them within prominent locations of your website. Remember that search engines crawl a page from top to bottom, so to optimize your site, make sure that the URL, page title, header tags and body copy contain the ideal keywords for that content. Ensure that metadata for all pages within your site is unique and pertinent to the content on that page.
- Use video to enhance the user experience. If a website relies too heavily on text to convey all of its messages, visitors can quickly become overwhelmed with information. Photos and videos offer an alternative means for providing information in a simple and easily digestible format. Make sure that video is suitable quality, and do not overuse it to the point that it becomes a distraction to other information that you want visitors to see. Resize and reformat this media to ensure fast page-load times.
- Tell audiences what you want or need them to do. Ensure that a call to action is clearly visible on each page. The “contact us” button should be included within the global navigation so that it’s accessible from any page.
- Get social. If your company has a presence in social media, be sure to inform your website visitors by prominently displaying social media icons within the global navigation.
- Internal Linking. Internal links are links that go from one page on a domain to a different page on the same domain. These types of links are useful because they allow users to easily navigate a website, preventing them from getting stuck on a particular page without options for additional navigation. Internal links also help establish information hierarchy, and they help spread ranking power around websites.
- Test and update! During and after website development and implementation, it is critical to test all pages and functionality thoroughly, using multiple browsers and devices to effectively identify any errors prior to launch. Also remember that a company website is never “done”—it should grow and change as technology and user behaviors change.
When designed and programmed well, a website can help you grow leads and develop new business opportunities. Whether designing the website yourself or seeking third party support, following these tips can help you make the most of this important business tool.
About the Author:
Mark Rentschler is the marketing manager at Makino, Inc. He has served within the manufacturing industry for more than 30 years, and has been with Makino since 1995. Mark has been recognized as a Top 25 Digital Marketer twice in the last three years by BtoB Magazine. He is passionate about helping manufacturers succeed in all aspects of their business, from highly competitive manufacturing processes to effective marketing practices.
1 2011 Study from Google and CEB titled “The Digital Evolution in B2B Marketing”