Your website is the central hub for your business' marketing efforts. No matter what form of advertising or promotion you're using, more than likely all roads lead to your website.
It's where your prospects and customers go to get information about your company, products and services. In most cases it's where the sales process really gets started and in many cases it's where sales are closed.
When people visit your website, they're looking for information so they can solve a specific problem or need. If you can't show them (usually in 10 seconds or less) that they've arrived at the right place to get that information, they'll leave and go looking elsewhere. The ability to quickly address a prospect's need is just one of several key characteristics shared by highly effective websites.
The 7 essential characteristics of a great website (2016 Edition)
A quick glance at your website analytics will more than likely show that the highest percentage of your website traffic comes from Google's organic search results.
When a webpage is properly optimized, it helps Google better understand what each page on your website is really about. Google is constantly working to improve it's search engine so that it shows the most relevant answers each time we search for something.
When businesses don't take the time to optimize their web pages for Google they're leaving tons of free traffic on the table (and for their competition).
Mobile responsive design
Did you know that more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers? That means that more than likely, your potential customers are viewing your website on their smartphones.
Responsive design means that the elements on a page, such as the navigation, images and text adjust depending on the device being used to view the website. Mobile responsive design makes it much easier for your website viewers to explore your website using a mobile device.
Ever visited a website that seems like it takes forever to load? Most people don't have the patience and hit the back button. It's definitely not a good idea to turn people away before they've even had a chance to visit your site. Great websites load fast because they're not filled with bloated code, and aren't weighed-down with unnecessary and improperly optimized images.
Everyone wants a beautiful website because it gives customers a fantastic (and usually first) impression that you're running a professional business.
Great websites are designed by individuals and organizations that have a keen eye for design and have expert knowledge of the technical and marketing aspects of building successful websites.
Easy to navigate
The web is still kind of an open place where there's no strict adherence to standards. There are millions of websites with many different ways to navigate.
The best websites make it easy for visitors to quickly access the specific information they're looking for.
Filled with (relevant) information
The web was initially created so that people could share information with whomever was interested. And it's still that way today.
Content such as blog posts, white papers, e-books, product information pages and guides help to answer your customer's questions. By providing high-quality educational content, you're adding value to their web experience and building trust.
Captures and nurtures leads
Great websites offer content that's specific to every stage of the buying process. They also split that content into open and gated content types.
Open content is visible by everyone and is usually shorter in length and more generic with the type of information that it provides.
Gated content features specialized, in-depth content that's more time consuming to produce and more valuable to your audience.
It's gated because a website visitor has to provide personal information such as an email address, name and phone number (or more) in exchange for access to the content. It's the best way for you to capture leads, build a list and nurture relationships with your prospects and customers.
3X more leads than traditional methods
Inbound Marketing yields 3 times more leads than traditional marketing methods. It involves producing relevant educational content geared toward your target audience and promoting it using cost-effective channels such as search engines, email and social media.
Costs 60% less than outbound leads
Inbound Marketing provides a much more cost-effective, digitally-based lead generation program when compared to more expensive methods such as direct mail and telemarketing.