How To Create The Perfect Website – A Guide
In our experience, many businesses struggle to market themselves on the web. Fortune 500s, non-profits, entrepreneurs, and mom bloggers alike all have areas in which they struggle. The number one piece of advice we can give to create the perfect website with any budget is to improve the clarity of your message.
People buy what they understand. Think about this in your own life. As a consumer, do you buy the food you understand on a menu or the food you don’t understand? What about shopping? What about books, or clothes, or new technology? If you have to read something over and over or ask a ton of questions to understand what it is, you likely won’t buy it.
In the digital space, you have seven seconds to capture your audience. That’s not much time. To create the perfect website, you must clearly tell people what you offer, why it’s better, and how to get it. That seems like a lot to tell someone in seven seconds, so how can you accomplish that?
Homepage Marketing Message
First, you should write your marketing messages at a second-grade level. No matter how complicated your business is, your marketing messages need to be understood by the average Joe. Save the nitty gritty details and technical language for content further down the pipeline, when you know a visitor is deeper in the sales cycle.
Next, your visuals and page layout should match your simple, clear messaging. If you have the proper messaging, that message will be short and to the point. Visually, the user should not be overwhelmed from your homepage. To create the perfect website, you should select photography or graphics that complement what you are saying – whether that’s a product shot, lifestyle image showing the benefit of your business, or even a video loop. Just make sure it accurately represents what you are selling or offering.
Perfect Website Examples
Let’s take a look at some examples. Ask yourself, do these three websites meet the seven-second rule? Can you answer what they offer? Why it’s better? And see how to buy it?
The Nest website is a great example of a clear homepage. In just a few words between a headline and subhead plus a button asking you to take action, you know that Nest is selling a thermostat that helps you save energy, and you can easily click “buy now” to learn more and make the purchase. The imagery is simple – product shots showing the different colors and screens available on the thermostat.
Evernote knows how to create the perfect website. Evernote is a tool that many of our team members, and probably yours, use. The homepage messaging tells you the benefit of Evernote – remembering everything. The messaging is customer-focused. It tells what YOU can do with Evernote rather than bragging about the product. The action to sign up couldn’t be easier. Simply enter your email, password and click the “sign up for free” button.
And finally, we believe in practicing what we preach, so let’s take a look at Safe Schools, a website that our team built in partnership with our client Scenario Learning. Once again, the hero messaging is simple and focuses on what the customer can do – make your district even safer with our award-winning K-12 safety and compliance solutions. The clear call-to-action is a free trial, which is in the hero space and also the navigation.
On the Safe Colleges website, another Scenario Learning solution, if someone isn’t quite ready for a free trial, they are able to download a free 12-point guide for a safer campus. Giving away something for free is beneficial because it allows the audience to learn more about your expertise in the industry and also gives you a lead since the prospect filled out a simple form.
Create the Perfect Website Checklist
We know that you don’t just want website visitors. You want to turn those visitors into customers. In summary, here is a quick checklist of homepage considerations for building a perfect website to gain real customers:
- Make your message clear
- Define the user’s problem
- Pick the right images
- Use a visible call-to-action
- Offer something for free
- Add a compelling video
- Include quick testimonials
- Invite them to opt-in with their email address
Now that you know how to create the perfect website, the best way to find out if your message is resonating is user testing! Embrace the “test and learn” method and conduct A/B tests on your website to continually optimize and grow your customer base.
Icons from Flaticon.com