I cannot tell you how many phone calls, emails and web inquiries I get on my website or a client website from SEO companies who promise to make a website number one in Google. I wish I had as many phone calls, emails and web inquiries that ask me “How can I communicate with my potential customers better?”. SEO is often over hyped and sold as the Vitamin C that will prevent colds and cancer. In reality, exercise (good content once someone gets to your website), is much more effective, than throwing time and/or money at a problem you don't fully know or understand.
I am not anti-SEO (it has its place and value), but I am more pro-user experience. SEO can enhance traffic, but if you are sending people to smelly old fish, you won't get them to eat it up and recommend it to others.
Some of the best and most successful websites I have built are only ONE page! A few of them have gotten their owners so much business that they have no desire (or reason) to expand them. These are not your typical sales pages where you can scroll and scroll with multiple offers and calls to actions, but simple one page sites that often fit in a normal browser window.
Websites are sometimes treated like printed brochures. Often a company's website is all about features & benefits which the business thinks that viewers want, and need to know. Viewers want to get to KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST you. You do that by talking with them, and not at them. To do this, you have to give them the following answers… “Am I in the right place?”, “Who are they?”, “What do they do?”, “What do others have to say?”, and “How do I get in touch with them?”.
- Home – Is it super clear what it is what you do or sell, or are you purposely trying to make people guess… so they dig deeper into your website? It should be obvious and totally clear what your business does and the solutions it provides. Next you should provide breadcrumbs (or a trail) of what you want them to click next for more information. Using the Home Page to try to tell the whole story is a mistake. You have between 10-30 seconds of attention, and if you make them scroll or hunt for information, you will see a much higher Bounce Rate (people leave your website from that page).
- About – This is where you give viewers some insight into what experience you have, or what is the history of your company. What makes you qualified to be a solution of choice? It can be experience, philosophies, or something fun that defines your brand. (KNOW) This could be where you showcase your staff, your facilities, and more. You may need additional pages to define your history, mission and vision statements, certifications, awards, news & interviews and more.
- Products or Services – Make this page simple and clear as to what you have to offer the user. It should state a clear purpose of what problem your offering(s) solve, and why you are the right solution. Use additional pages or downloadable PDFs to dig into more details or feature and benefits. (LIKE) Don’t try to over explain. Make it concise, compelling, and encourage them to did deeper… either through additional pages as mentioned prior, or a call to action to “Contact Us”.
- Testimonials – How do past or current clients feel about your offerings? The more emotional, heartfelt, and descriptive… the better! Length is not as important as how the emotion of the reviewer, moves the new viewer. When these testimonials come across as real and sincere, they can go a long way to getting people to take the next step… Contact You! (TRUST) Tip: Testimonials can be found in a lot of places. The best ones come unsolicited from places like LinkedIn, eMails, letters and more. If they are in online properties like LinkedIn, you can copy and paste verbatim (unedited). If they come from other sources, it's a good idea to run them by the sources and get a written confirmation that they approve its use.
- Contact Us – This is the coup de gras, or finishing blow, of your website. Unless your website is ecommerce, your goal should always to make someone contact you so you can hear their needs or wants, and address them in a way no website can. Speaking of which… Don’t just hide your contact information in the contact page (treating it like a scavenger hunt). Put it on the header and in the sidebar of every page. The easier you make it for people to get ahold of you… the more often they just may do it!
I am not diminishing the need to have a well designed or programmed website, but giving people what THEY expect… is monumental to getting them to do what YOU expect.
What constitutes success in your world? Could you make a one page website that meets your needs? I would love to hear your comments?