The Anatomy of a Site That Drives Results
Your website is one of the most important assets you have; it is the central hub from which you provide information about your business, products or services. For most business owners, the ultimate purpose of a site is to generate profits by increasing sales revenue and acquiring more customers. To drive marketing ROI, web design principles dictate a proven formula for building these bottom-line driven sites. A good blueprint for success is based on the Inbound Marketing principles: Attract, Convert, Close, and Nurture.
The goal here is to turn strangers into visitors- attract as many potentially qualified visitors to your site as possible. A strong overall internet marketing strategy is paramount to help you leverage the necessary activities that will ensure you are in front of visitors when they need you. Keyword research, web page content creation, on and off site SEO, SEM, blogging and social media marketing are effective ways to drive traffic to your website. To ensure the most profitable website possible, you’ll need an expert to help you plan and execute a strategy for creating a site that is high quality, engaging, and relevant to the interests, goals, and challenges of your target audience. If your web design meets these important criteria, your site is built to attract.
The objective here is to convert visitors to qualified leads. The key web design principles that need to exist to accomplish this goal include: focused, purposeful landing pages, well-placed, compelling Call-To-Action buttons, and thank you pages. The calls-to-action are meant to entice a user to delve further into the site to explore receiving something of value and interest, sometimes in the form of information, white papers, webinars, or eBooks. When a visitor is ready for direct contact with the business, an effective call to action might be: Request a Quote, Schedule a Consultation, Speak to a Specialist or Buy Now. These calls-to-action then lead directly to a form, where visitor information is captured or a purchase is made. Visitors at this stage can be referred to as qualified leads or customers in the case of a purchase on an ecommerce site. Once the registration, sign up or buy now process is complete, these visitors are led to a “thank you” page, where they are either provided with a link or download to receive the information they requested, or a message telling them that you will be in touch promptly. If all these conversion elements are built effectively during the web design process, your site is built to convert.
The intention here is to transform the qualified lead you have identified in the conversion process to a paying customer. This stage is the essence of a website that has been designed to be profitable. External initiatives like email campaigns and CRM efforts are important factors, but from a design perspective, you must ensure that the buying process is seamless. The prospect should not feel “sold” to; your objective is to guide her through a process where she is simply purchasing something that she knows has use and value in her life. For ecommerce sites, ensure that all structural elements are in place, payment gateways are in order, and the purchase process is simple and easy. Most of the work has already been accomplished in the Attract and Conversion phases, now just ensure all design elements are in place to close the deal.
Now that the prospect is a paying customer, the job of your website is far from over. In fact, your goal should be to continually nurture and entice the customer to return to your site for valuable and engaging content that will result in loyalty, upsell opportunities, and positive word of mouth generation. It is crucial that you keep your site updated with timely and evergreen content that will continue to entice and enthrall existing customers and prospects.
A profitable website design is a must-have in this digitally focused marketplace. Aesthetics alone are not sufficient. Your site must be built from the ground up to drive bottom line results. A design whose anatomy consists of all key elements of the Inbound Marketing methodology to attract, convert, close, and nurture prospects and customers will translate into increased revenue, customer acquisition, retention, loyalty, and ultimately profits.
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