As a web designer with over a decade of experience optimising websites for conversions, I've seen it all when it comes to the mistakes businesses make online.
Many companies invest significant time and money into building a beautiful website, only to wonder why it barely generates any leads or sales.
The problem typically lies in a lack of essential elements that I know are proven to boost conversions dramatically. When done right, these website fundamentals act as a catalyst, transforming visits into customers at crazy high rates.
In this article, I will share the 7 must-have website essentials that all of my clients leverage to turn their sites into profit-producing machines. Consider this your conversion optimisation masterclass.
By the end, you'll have a clear blueprint to follow as you optimise your own website for maximum results. With the right foundations in place, you'll be equipped to capture more of the leads and sales your business deserves.
So whether you're a total beginner or a seasoned pro, grab a notebook and let's dive in! This is the stuff that high-converting websites are made of.
1. Clear Value PropositionA rock-solid value proposition is non-negotiable. It tells visitors why they should choose you over the bazillions of competing options out there.
Positioning this front and centre on your homepage it's the first thing people need to see. Use contrasting fonts, sizes and colours to make it stand out. Pop in some supportive images or graphics as well.
Imagine you walked into a busy restaurant with no menu. You'd have no clue what food they specialise in or if it's even worth staying. Don't do that to your website visitors!
Craft your value prop around the core problem you solve or the key outcome you provide. Get ultra specific about who you help, what you help them with, and how you're different.
If it's vague or buried on page 3, you're absolutely butchering leads and sales. Nail this section and you'll hook qualified visitors in a snap. It's your golden ticket.
Once you have a clear value prop, test different versions against each other. Run A/B split tests to see which wording, images and placement convert best. Refine it over time.
Remember you've got mere seconds to grab people's attention before they hit the back button. A compelling value proposition is your secret weapon to keep them engaged. Use it wisely.
2. Optimised Navigation MenuNow that you've reeled visitors in with a killer value prop, the next step is guiding them to the right pages. This is where your navigation menu comes in.
Your menu links should make it dead simple for visitors to find what they need. Include logical sections and category names. If you sell products, have dedicated links for each product line or type.
Steer clear of vague terms like "About" or "Services". Get specific. "Our Story", "Perfumery Products", "Work With Us". Give people that "aha" moment.
Also, don't clutter up your navigation with too many confusing links. Stick to your primary categories and service offerings. You can add secondary links in the footer.
Test different menu structures by reorganising the flow or renaming sections. Watch your analytics to see which menu setup leads to the most clicks and conversions.
Lastly, make your navigation mobile-friendly. Use an icon "hamburger" menu that collapses nicely on smartphones. With most traffic being mobile, this is crucial.
With a clear, convenient menu, website visitors will have no trouble diving into your content and finding exactly what they need. Removing navigation friction keeps them moving through your conversion funnel.
3. Prominent Calls-to-ActionYour website is one giant sales machine. To turn visitors into leads and customers, you need clear calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout each page.
Strategically place buttons, links and offers that guide people through your conversion funnel "Download our brochure", "Book your free trial", etc.
Make your CTAs stand out visually using contrasting colours, borders, animation, etc. This draws the eye towards taking action.
Craft your button copy around the desired next step, click for a free quote, register for a webinar, start a trial, buy now. Remove any ambiguity.
Test different button colours, wordings, sizes and placements to determine which CTAs convert best. Continually refine these based on hard data.
Also, include social proof elements near your calls-to-action customer logos, testimonials, reviews, etc. This builds trust and credibility for clicking.
With compelling, strategic calls-to-action, you'll seamlessly lead visitors down the conversion path you want. Don't leave them guessing what to do next gently take them by the hand.
4. Quality Hero ImagesHero images are the big, eye-catching photos or graphics at the top of key pages like your homepage and product category pages. They convey a powerful visual message and vibe.
Choose hero images that align with your brand identity and resonate with your target audience. Show real people using your products or services.
For homepage heroes, go with an emotive, conceptual image that captures the underlying customer problem you solve. Let the visuals do the talking.
On product pages, use crisp, professional shots of the actual products in context. Show people using or interacting with them.
No gimmick stock photos or generic clips art. Hero images should be purposeful, not just decorative fluff.
Make sure your heroes are high-quality, optimised resolution so they don't get distorted or pixelated on different devices. Mobile responsiveness is key.
Test different hero images, especially on your homepage. See which ones have the highest visitor engagement based on scroll depth and time on page.
Like your website copy, images also "speak" to people. Make sure your visuals strengthen your brand story rather than just looking pretty.
5. Compelling About PageYour "About Us" or "Our Story" page has a crucial job building trust and likeability for your brand. Use it wisely.
Share your origin story and reasons for starting the business. Make it authentic and add a human touch.
Introduce your founders, leadership team and employees. Let visitors connect with the real people behind your brand.
Explain your core values, vision and passion points. Align these with your target audience values and motives.
Include photos, videos, graphics, logos and other visual elements to bring your story alive. Don't just have dense blocks of text.
If you have an office, show photos of real team members working there. If you operate virtually, bring that distributed culture to life.
Add client and customer testimonials to strengthen credibility. Back up your claims with real proof and social validation.
Update your About page regularly as your business evolves. Refresh visuals, team members, achievements, etc. Show your growth story.
With an engaging, value-focused About page, you'll build rapport with visitors and come across as real people worth doing business with. Don't miss this branding opportunity.
6. Useful Blog ContentHaving a blog on your website provides valuable inbound marketing. But the content must be truly useful for readers.
Aim to publish regular educational articles, tutorials, case studies, and other formats that teach people something helpful.
Tie your posts back to your products/services and how they can benefit audiences. But avoid overly promotional "salesy" copy.
Interview experts, thought leaders and customers. Give their insights and stories. This lends credibility versus just touting yourself.
Optimise posts for SEO by including targeted keywords in headings, body text, image names, etc. This helps people find your content in Google searches.
Promote new blog posts through your email newsletter, social channels and paid ads. Don't just expect people to stumble upon them.
Curate a nice mix of text, images, graphics, videos and quotes to engage both visual and text-focused readers. Vary your content formats.
Measure which blog posts resonate most through shares, comments, traffic sources and conversions. double down on what works.
Informative, reader-focused blogging keeps visitors coming back for knowledge and perceiving your brand as an industry authority. Just avoid self-promotion overload.
7. Prominent Contact OptionsDon't make it hard for visitors to contact your business. Prominently showcase phone, email, contact form options throughout the site.
Have a "Contact Us" or "Get in Touch" page detailing all contact channels phone, email, contact form, social media, physical address, etc.
Include contact widgets in website headers, footers and sidebars to keep options visible. Don't just tuck them away on one page.
For service businesses, consider a real-time chat feature. This allows instant contact with sales/support staff when needed.
Set up call tracking numbers and analytics for your phone number(s). This helps you measure the volume and quality of calls driven by the website.
Test having different contact options on specific landing pages or CTAs. See what channels your audience prefers for conversion actions.
Promptly respond to all contact requests with friendly, helpful assistance. This improves conversions from website-driven leads.
Consistent, positive contact experiences strengthen your brand as reliable, accessible and people-focused. Remove all friction in the process.
The Proof is in the Website PuddingA stellar website is crucial for any modern business. It's your digital face, voice and first impression. Craft and optimise it with your ideal customers in mind. Align the look, feel, messaging and functionality to their needs and desires.
Keep simplifying and clarifying both site navigation and content. Remove anything that distracts or confuses. Lead visitors smoothly through an experience that educates, engages and persuades.
Test new pages, layouts, copy, visuals and flows. Measure results. Double down on what resonates, then keep improving. Your website is never "done" if you want to stay competitive.
By providing real value and solving problems through your website, you'll magnetically attract your perfect audience. They'll develop trust in your brand as the go-to solution for their wants and pains.
So take the time to brew up an amazing website blend that leaves visitors satisfied yet thirsty for more. The proof will be in the pudding of your conversion rates and bottom line revenue growth. Cheers!
Small Business Web Designs
Sydney-based web designer, working hard to support and grow Australia's small and medium sized businesses. We bring big business to small business.