Your website is your best salesperson; it’s always working, it says exactly what you want it to, it can talk to multiple people at once and it (usually) doesn’t have any sick days. In short, it’s a powerful tool for your business.
From our experience over the past 8 years of creating high performing websites, we’ve extracted the best insights into an easy to follow guide below.
It’s no secret that building a high-performing website is tricky and complex. But it doesn’t have to be. There are only three key stakeholders that you need to consider in a website: your visitors, search engines and you as a business.
Websites that hit the sweet spot align and balance all of these stakeholders’ needs. Below, we outline some of the specific ways you can address these needs and get on the path to a high-performing website for your business too.
Websites that hit the sweet spot align and balance the needs of their users, search engines and their business.
Design and brand is important when it comes to your website, but more important is making the experience easy and straightforward for users. More often than not, visitors are looking for a specific piece of information or to complete an action. Excessive or distracting design elements will only overwhelm and make it more difficult for visitors to accomplish what they're trying to accomplish.
As a general rule of thumb for website user experience, simplicity works. Rather than ‘here is everything I want the customer to know’, begin your design and your content from a singular point in the customer journey, and make it easy for them to understand and then take action.
PSA: Achieving simplicity doesn’t happen right away and is often a continuous cycle of development and feedback.
Each page on your website should have one singular focus. This page at apple.com is only about the iPad mini. Once you scroll down the page the navigation fades off the screen so your attention is solely focused on the ‘magic of iPad’.
In the iPad mini example, you have to click on “iPad” to reveal the depth of options for that product line. Could you imagine what the navigation would look like if every product was there from the start? It would be one big distraction. Instead, Apple has opted to funnel visitors through product categories and then into specific product lines, making the site far less overwhelming for users to navigate through.
As humans, we have a tendency to follow others. We are of course all familiar with Psychologist Robert Cialdini’s findings in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Here are some real life marketing examples in action:
On the sign up page for Fender, to help interested parties convert, they display all the companies recommending their services.
On the homepage for Chime, they have a sneaky award from Apple and Nerdwallet.
And then as you scroll down the page amongst the benefits, you can see the many 5-star reviews rotating through.
Testimonials and ratings are very popular and useful additions to a website (or any marketing material for that matter). There are many ways that you can execute this tactic. The important thing is that you leverage the positive feedback you’ve received from your customers to show potential customers what value they will gain from what you do.
Bonus: another option that Demio uses on their homepage is a survey result, showing how frequently their users used their webinar tool. 32% use it daily.
Visitors won’t just magically arrive on your website. Instead, they’ll most likely come from another website and click through to yours. Easing that journey with consistency in design, user experience and content can go a long way to streamlining their experience.
For example, this ad for Pizza Hut on Facebook, on click through on the website, has consistency in name, image and design. There is no ambiguity here for the user about where they landed after clicking on the ad.
Once users get to your landing pages , make sure your value proposition clearly communicates what value you provide to your customers. Value propositions should be short, easy to understand, thought provoking and very clearly communicate how your offering is different to other direct or indirect alternatives. These are some great examples of value propositions:
A key factor in your website meeting your business needs is conversion. In order to get conversions, you need to ask for them and do so in a way that makes sense for where a user is in their journey. A call to action offers your visitor a clear next step if they decide they want to progress with your product or service and often take the form of buttons or links carefully placed in your content.
Here are some examples from big brands who apply a lot of science to their call to actions:
There is some great actionable advice on this topic and we recommend:
This is a large topic. We focus on Google because for our part of the world, it has the lion’s share of the search engine market. For this guide we have split Google into two areas: search engine optimisation and your website’s technical performance via their page quality assessment tool.
SEO is the work required to make your website appear ahead of others when people search for the things you do. The process to do this is multi-faceted and complex. In simple terms you are trying to be the best answer on the web for the query that a user has typed or spoken into the search engine. You do that by making great content your customers and future customers will love.
As we don’t have room in this post for 10,000 words to cover the topic, and others have covered it excellently, we’ll link you to the best sources so you can deep dive:
Google built a tool at web.dev/measure that can assess the quality of the pages on your website. Accessed from any browser with an internet connection, the tool presents how well a web page performs on: performance, accessibility, best practices, SEO, and if appropriate as a Progressive Web Application.
As a result of running the tool you’ll know how well your webpage is performing and what needs attention to improve. You can run this tool for your landing pages and those of your competition.
Here is how you can run the report:
1. Open https://web.dev/measure
2. Enter a url you would like to test and click run audit
3. Once the report has run you’ll see the results for that page. You are aiming for green across all of Performance, Accessibility, Best Practices and SEO.
If you are actively involved in online marketing and your important website pages are not all green, your marketing effort will not be producing the results it could be. A professional web developer will be able to help you to improve your scores.
If you want to know how your website currently performs, we’ve created a handy checklist that you and your team can use to self assess.
We’ve got a great track record of creating high performing websites for our clients, and, as they’ll tell you, the results are remarkable. If you know you are not getting the best performance out of your website or want a professional opinion, we’d be more than happy to have a no-obligation chat about what your options are.