We all know website design isn’t just for looks. Creating an optimized website means taking the time and effort to plan ahead, which can pay immense dividends in SEO and lead conversion. Here are some great examples of excellent, modern website design.
What makes a website successful?
There are a myriad of components to a successful website, including:
SEO. Search Engine Optimization. Although the biggest companies can afford to pay Google enough to land them the #1 search result, for the vast majority of companies, it takes a concerted effort to achieve meaningful SEO.
Lead Generation. The longer a person browses a website, the more likely they are to become a lead. 55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 Seconds on the first page of a website. A well designed website can increase browsing time and be an invaluable asset for pipeline growth.
Brand Awareness. A great website has great personality. Branded online experiences allow for users to interact and engage with your company. In the best-case scenario, these positive experiences will turn normal viewers into promoters of your company who are loyal to your brand and even share it with their own peers.
Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.—Jeff Bezos
Industry thought leadership. If you make your presence known in the right spaces online, word will spread. By participating in forums, maintaining a consistent and relevant blog, and having helpful social media channels, you will be surprised how many leads you can generate.
Incorporating Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is an approach focused on attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant and helpfu—not interruptive. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.
The buyer’s journey is the process buyers go through to become aware of, evaluate, and purchase a product or service. The journey has three phases: awareness, consideration, and decision.
Inbound marketing is all about attracting customers to you and communicating with them on their own terms. There are 4 pillars of the inbound strategy: attract, convert, close, and delight. With an inbound marketing strategy incorporated into your website, you want to excel at each of these pillars. Each pillar represents an opportunity to move a lead through each of these opportunities and, ultimately, close into a customer. If you want a great Inbound website, you need consumer-centric features.
Traits of Successful Inbound Design
Beauty in simplicity. Functionality is a vital part of any website, but if navigation is clunky or there isn’t enough of an aesthetic element, users will leave. (clean CTAs/Landing Pages, use of white space)
Organized for each stage of buyer’s journey. Your site visitors will benefit most from content that meets their needs at each stage of the buyer’s journey. For example, in the awareness stage, the consumer discovers that she has a goal, problem or pain point that needs to be addressed. This user is likely to pursue research and educate themselves on their problem, so eBooks and checklists are best here. In the consideration stage, case studies and demo videos help leads compare solutions. In the decision stage, free trials and 1-on-1 consultations seal the deal. The most effective websites contain all of these offers, and naturally guide the right leads to the right resources.
Optimized for SEO. With so many millions of keywords to parse through, it can be difficult to get the Google search engine to promote your site. A great strategy for website SEO is the use of long tail keywords. A long tail keyword is a very targeted search phrase that contains 3 or more words. It often contains a head term, which is a more generic search term 1 or 2 words in length. When people search for specific problems or solutions, they are more likely to see websites with longtail keywords embedded within the site.
Video. Video marketing has exploded in recent years and is simply a must-have for a successful online strategy. After all, 87% of online marketers use video content. Using videos at different levels of your sales funnel can drastically increase lead generation. Top of the funnel videos can be fun content showing your company’s personality or thought leadership videos. Bottom of the funnel content is an FAQ or an instructional video.
Example #1: Type A Machines
Type A uses buyer cards on the homepage of their website. These are clear buyer persona indicators, and lead to different areas of the site which target the specific interests of each respective persona. Stating exactly how they help and who can benefit demystifies the user experience and leads the site visitor exactly where they need to go. There is an aesthetic mirroring of CTA’s on the bottom corner of each half of the screen.There are lots of different offers/testimonials/information for each buyer stage.
Example #2: Evernote
Evernote’s website offers a clear call-to-action and an intuitive CTA hierarchy: the primary CTA is for buying in and becoming a customer immediately, then you have the option of learning more and hearing testimonials. Finally, there is a Go Premium CTA, located right next to the Login button. The use of parallax scrolling and background video makes for an elegant homepage. They also maintain a very good blog, keeping content relevant and consistent, which proves they are thought leaders in their industry.
Example #3: Wistia
Wistia is a leader in the Online Video Platform space, and their website’s look and feel definitely supports that. With lots of moving parts and a fun company culture, the site is welcoming, yet sleek. The “welcome back” homepage redirect, if this isn’t your first time using the site, is a clever way to change the offered content and keep users engaged. The navigation is active and easy to use. The website just feels like a living and breathing tool.
There are lots of components to a well-designed, inbound website. It’s nearly impossible to hit every nail on the head. As long as you think about your customer’s goals and pain points and offer solutions on their terms, you will have success.
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