Hi I'm Sarah!
Design + marketing obsessed, dog mom, San Diego resident, and your website's new bff.
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What makes the best websites attract more views, clicks, and sales? What turns one website into a niche-leader while others sink into the dark depths of search results?

No matter what you’re posting or promoting, there are fixable issues that can turn off new visitors before they’ve had a chance to read a thing. While these seven issues might seems obvious, I still stumble upon sites screwing them up and losing potential sales daily.

The 5 W’s

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve discovered an amazing restaurant, clicked their website, and could not figure out where they’re LOCATED.

If you’re not sure what info should be on your website, the 5 W’s make it easy. They answer the fundamental questions people ask before they buy:

  1. Who owns / runs the business
  2. What they offer
  3. Where they’re located
  4. When store / products / services / events are available
  5. Why customers should choose them over others in their city or industry

Customers place importance on WHO they buy from along with what they’re buying more than ever. They make sure they align with company values, check for eco-conscious practices, and shop local. Weave this information through your website to create the trust and credibility needed for visitors to take action.

Did you know that over 50% of web traffic comes from mobile users? [source] Check your stats and I bet your data will be similar. This means it’s essential for business websites to offer an effortless mobile experience.

Your website should be easy to read, navigate, buy, and share all from a phone. If content is too wide, text too small, or links difficult to click, you could be losing every visitor you get.

Any time you make a site update, publish a blog post, or run a promotion, double check that your business website is effortless to use on a mobile device. Viewing your site through visitors eyes can help catch issues that keep potential customers from finding what they need.

One Call to Action per Page

What is the most important thing for visitors to see or do on your website? Are you opening space for two new clients? Hosting an event? Promoting your best-seller? Too many options can turn your business website into a maze rather than a map.

The best business sites guide visitors by presenting one clear call to action (CTA) per page. Whether it’s a sign-up button, a buy option, or a request for more information, focused CTA’s help users understand what to do next.

Every page should include not ONE, but many guideposts leading visitors to the main action: download, buy now, book an appt, etc.

Figure out what ONE action you want visitors to take. Then double check that your CTA’s lead visitors there from every page on your website.

Simple Navigation

Your site navigation is another spot where visitors may get stuck finding what they need. Too many options may lead them further away from your CTA or leave them too confused to click. The best business websites guide visitors through simple and intuitive navigation.

When choosing navigation links it’s important to consider your CTA, but also what most visitors are looking for. Check your analytics for this info. Is one blog post trending? A freebie? An event? Your best selling offer? Put those links front and center to give them what they want immediately.

Your navigation should always contain the most important items like services, products, events, or location info. Add items like legal, career, categories, contact, or about to the footer navigation.

Here’s an example of ClickUp‘s header (white section) and footer navigation (purple section). The header nav is showcasing their most clicked links and product info. The footer navigation includes product features, user resources, and search engine optimized blog posts like ClickUp vs all of their competitors. Items that fewer visitors need and don’t affect conversion rates as much.

Fast Load Time

In the early-2000s you had three to five seconds to catch a visitors attention. But with the amount of information and the ease at which options can be found, your website has to load in milliseconds.

A speed test can tell you exactly how long your website takes to load and identify issues. But you can also open your website on a desktop and mobile browser. Anything over two seconds is worth taking the time to fix.

A speed test can help pinpoint what’s creating that lag. By compressing images, minimizing code, and using caching techniques or plugins, you can create a speedy user experience. With fast load times, visitors stick around longer, explore more, and are more likely to convert into clients or customers.

Minimal Pop-Up Windows or Distractions

I just wanted a recipe and now I’m playing Duck Hunt with pop-ups on a blog post. I bet it happens every single day on most of the websites you view too. Bombarded by pop-up windows, cookie notices, and ads.

Which is why a distraction-free website can build trust within seconds simply by it’s lack of distractions.

Top business understand visitors come to their website for a reason and give them time to find what they came for. By minimizing distractions, they create a focused and higher converting browsing experience.

You don’t have to ditch your pop-up boxes altogether. In my experience, pop-up windows do out-perform in-page opt-ins or announcement bars. But you can use pop-ups in a less intrusive way by only displaying it as visitors exit. Once visitors move their cursor toward the tabs or swipe up on mobile, a pop-up will trigger to make an offer before they exit.

Instructions for the Next Steps

What is your audience looking for when they click on your website? That trending blog post? Your latest YouTube tutorial? Your best selling product or service?

Create paths to those popular or important items on EVERY page of your website moves visitors to action faster. Why make them search when you can point it out all over your website?

If you take a scroll through my site you’ll spot buttons and links to the Work With Me page all over. That’s my CTA and I want to make sure it’s obvious. Whether visitors come from Pinterest to read a blog post or land on my homepage, they’ll be directed to my services at least once.

Double check your website by using analytics data or heat maps to find where visitors are spending the most time. Then add links and info in those spots to guide visitors to the next step. It’s another element helping turn your website into a map!

Mark your calendar

Now that you have the list of elements for an effective, high-converting business website, make a note in your calendar to check these elements quarterly.

By prioritizing the mobile experience, focusing on one clear CTA, ensuring fast load times, minimizing distractions, simplifying your navigation, and addressing the 5 W’s, your website will help grow your business on auto-pilot.

P.S. If you’re ready for a new website or an upgrade let’s chat about how I can help!

7 things the best business websites always include

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