Today embarks our day one journey through website must haves and their components to help your pages do what they are meant to do…get your target audience to buy from you! Being a website designer I feel like I run into a lot of the same questions.
“Why aren’t people buying my stuff?”
One common problem I find is that the pages are crucial to a sale are either A) Not on the website or B) Very hard to find. Both of these lead to your target client moving on without purchasing from you. No, bueno friend, no bueno.
We are going to take the next few days to talk about website must haves and make sure your website is in tip top shape for bringing in your target client.
First, we need to figure out what you are selling. Is it a service? Is it a tangible product? What ever it is, first off you need to ask yourself who needs this? Who do I want to buy this? Who do I envision is going to come to my page and buy what I have?
Next let’s overview some very popular options for a sales based website:
- Blog (must be an updated regularly)
- Shop/Services (depending on what you are selling you may have BOTH)
Out of those listed you should write down the ones that you believe you need.
Tip: if you are a service based website you should have every one of these listed on your site. If you do not want to list your pricing on your site and want people to email you you can take off the Shop option.
Day 1 | Home Page
Your home page will be the first page we talk about. This is a very important page because this is your customers first impression of you & your business. If it looks like junk, they will run faster then this guy right here
Now it is time to break down the elements that you will want to consider for your home page.
Main Menu(s): At the top page/website you have your main menu. This is where you need your visitors to go while going on your website journey. There are usually places to put 2 other menus-secondary and footer. The secondary menu can be off to the side or under the logo. The footer menu will list pages that are important and may be a mixture of the main menu and secondary menu. The footer menu will be found at the very bottom of your website. I like to use the footer menu to help lead my visitors to click on more pages. More then likely once your visitor scrolls to the bottom of the page they will see the footer menu and then click to keep going from that menu.
Logo: This should be one of the first things a new visitor sees when visiting your site. Right in the middle is most common but you may have it to the left or the right of the main menu. This gets your brand engrained in their brain right off the bat. Don’t leave your visitors guessing if they are at the right site. Make sure your logo is right there for easy viewing.
Welcome section: a great place to start when you are designing your home page. A little blurb welcoming the visitor as well as what your business is about. This is not a word vomit! This is a brief “Hey there!” and then move on. If you write a whole bunch and people usually get overwhelmed and scoot off to the next site and don’t even think twice about you.
Call to actions are buttons, images, or areas in which you then designate where the visitor goes next. It is common to see these in groups and usually are 3 areas of your site that you want all visitors to know about and use to get them to buy your product or service.
The image above shows how this site used their Call to Action buttons. This site wants everyone to go to 1) learn about the Lifestyle and 2) Learn all about essential oils. These highlighted pages will for sure get the target market clicking to see what is on those pages and hopefully those pages will continue to direct them where they want them to ultimately be going “buying from them”.
Email Sign Up Form: this is a form that you can begin to capture email addresses to those that visit your site that want to hear more from you. This list is GOLDEN and needed if you want to really grow through the use of your website. It is ok if you do not know how to use this list. But getting a list going is crucial. We will not cover the actual list today but getting started there are a bunch of forms you can use to start collecting addresses. Squarespace makes it very easy to connect either Mail Chimp or Google Docs . You can also use other platforms and embed the forms right into your site. Another popular form is JotForm and you can then embed the form you create right into a page.
Over all, your home page should be a grand invitation to snoop around. See what you are all about. Your home page is your store front. Think about walking down a road and you see a store you have never been in and you want to go in to see what they have. What drew you in to the store. Was it the curb appeal, was it a giant sign out front? Maybe it was a cute outfit that you want to try on in the window. Your menu at the top should go in order of how you want people to go through your site. Your home page is that for your website. Your logo should be a reflection of you. Your call to action buttons should be your main pages you want people to stop and you should always have a way to get email addresses and get in touch with you. We will talk about the contact page on another day but make sure you have a way clients can get a hold of you. Your home page is your store front. Think about walking down a road and you see a store you have never been in and you want to go in to see what they have. What drew you in to the store. Was it the curb appeal, was it a giant sign out front. A cute outfit that you may want to try on? Your home page is that for your website.