44.5% of getting traffic to your website is about website content and user behavior—is your site up to snuff? On this podcast, we are tackling nine website must haves. These are the things that you need on your site to leave a lasting impression and to get visitors to stick around and consider doing business with you. Turn up the volume and let’s make your website visitors happy!

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Hosted By
Monica Maye Pitts
Monica Maye Pitts Chief Creative Officer

Basic Website Must Haves for 2020

44.5% of getting traffic to your website is about website content and user behavior—is your site up to snuff? On this podcast, we are tackling nine website must haves. These are the things that you need on your site to leave a lasting impression and to get visitors to stick around and consider doing business with you. Turn up the volume and let’s make your website visitors happy!

Transcription

Hello, and welcome to marketing with purpose. I'm Monica Pitts and today we are talking about websites again because I love websites, and we're going to tackle website must haves. These are the things that you need on your site to leave a lasting impression and to get visitors to stick around and consider doing business with you.

Unknown Speaker  0:30  

If you're a natural born marketer, you're one lucky son of a gun. If you're like most people, marketing, especially online marketing is about as appealing as standing in a police lineup. The mayecreate team of creatives has transformed websites and digital marketing from craptastic to fantastic since 2005. Our podcast, marketing with purpose makes sense of marketing so you can make purposeful decisions instead of carrying on with the same old crap you've been doing. And now your host, Monica Pitts, founder of mayecreate with another episode on how to make your marketing not suck.

Monica Pitts  1:08  

Now having the right stuff on your site and getting people to stick around benefits you in more ways than one. In a previous podcast, we

talked about how Google ranks sites number one, and we discussed that 44.5% of the SEO pie is actually derived from website content and behavior. So what are our responsibilities as marketers and as business owners to build that section of the pie? I mean, parts of it are achieved by SEO experts, but we're not talking about those parts today. We're going to talk about what you should have on your site to make your visitors happy and want to buy from you because that comes from you. Not some SEO expert. Before I dig in, I know we'll be talking about some intangible stuff today. And if you're a visual person, there are slides, video, and a nicely formatted blog post covering this topic at mayecreate.com. Now all of our episodes are transcribed and equipped with links to everything you'll need to like really digest the topic we're tackling today. So visit podcast.mayecreate.com to get all those extra nuggets of goodness. Okay, back to business. Website must haves. Now I get really excited about this stuff. So I'm going to try to keep it pretty basic. We can go in-depth on these things later on in other episodes. But for the sake of time, I'm going to cover these big picture. First thing, we need a mobile-friendly site. Second, real photos. Third, a snazzy homepage. Fourth, we need visual proof. Fifth, share testimonials. Sixth, explain your capabilities. Seventh you need contact information, eight an easy button. That's my favorite part, I swear. And then nine my second maybe favorite part also maybe it's my first favorite part, I don’t know is your voice. So let's dig in to all of those nine things. First and foremost, your website needs to be mobile-friendly. Google looks at mobile sites first before it ever looks at your desktop site. So it will prefer and reward a mobile-friendly website. It has to be mobile-friendly. I know that you can't see this, like as you're starting in the building process. But after your website is built, go through it on your mobile phone and really see how it works for you. And then even better, after you haven't been on it for like a few months, go back and do it again. You will find things that you never thought of before. And those are the things that your customers are feeling all the time. Having a mobile friendly website is like having good customer service. You're meeting people where they are. Almost all of my websites have a minimum of 30 to 50% mobile traffic. More and more mobile traffic picks up every single year. People are using their mobile devices to access the internet constantly. We all are and having a crappy mobile website is like saying, hey, customer, I don't really care. And Google's like, well, if you don't care, then I don't care about you. So it's super, super important, especially for business to consumer businesses to make sure that they have a fully working awesome mobile website. 

The next thing that we need to have is real photos. Number two is real photos. You're going to avoid stock photos whenever possible. People get to your website filled with stock photos, they're immediately turned off. They know it is not you. It's gross. Don't do it. Invest in quality photos, you're going to humanize your business this way. You're going to be approachable and more genuine you can build more trust with photos that you took on your iPhone, than you ever would by those stupid stock images, just stop using them. Now, we have a couple articles on our website about how to take good photos with an iPhone. And the reason that we published those articles is because you just need to be where you are, if you don't have enough money to invest in a professional photographer, that doesn't mean that you cannot have photos of your people, it means that you're going to take them yourself. And there are so many things that you can do with the phone these days. I'm not saying to never get professional photos taken. They're amazing. And they make a website tick like they're like, oh my goodness, I get so excited. Can you hear my voice how excited I get whenever I get to work with beautiful professional quality images, oh? But if you're not there, then you're not there. And it is not dishonest or unrepresentative of your business to show people where you are. It's great. So if you're a small company and you're just starting out, I want you to have real pictures of your people even if you shoot them yourself. No, no, don't shoot your don't shoot your people use a camera. Okay? Use a camera to take photos of your people. Oh, my goodness. Oh, heavens. Alright, so I digress. 

Moving on to the next thing. So the third thing that we need is a snazzy homepage. Snazzy very technical term, right?

So think of your homepage as your new office. This is where people first get an impression of what your business is. You want to wow them immediately. So, you see all kinds of slideshows, huge big images at the top and video on home pages. Those are very trendy right now. But I also have a lot of clients who are just like, you know what, I'm totally over this. I don't want it and that is okay too. Really what your homepage needs to do is it needs to launch people into the site. It's a way for them to easily see oh, here's what's available on this site and then go where they want to go quickly. So it's not only a place for them to start their journey into your website and start getting to know your company, it's also your first opportunity to take them where you want them to go and grab their attention on what you want them to look at. This is your opportunity. So don't waste your homepage, don't just put up one picture with your logo in the middle of it and be like click to enter. Hmm, that's not good for anybody. It's not good for Google, it can't read that picture and it's not good for your visitors either. Give them what they need. 

So the fourth thing, let's see if I can count. The fourth thing is visual proof. Now, visual proof is different for every business. It depends on what you do. So if you are like me and you design things for a living, then you're going to use lots of pictures. You're going to have a portfolio on your site because you're going to show people how awesome you are because you've worked with all of these great companies. I think that if you don't have the ability to use images, you can still have visual proof. You can showcase studies, you can show statistics. I mean, if you're a construction company, the number of days that you have been accident-free is an amazing statistic, the number of years on average that your employees stay with you is a great statistic. So just showcase your good work and your capabilities and your experience. What I like people to think through is who is going to be coming to my website, what do they need to see in order to know that I can do what they need. So you identify the types of businesses or the people that you work for and then you show them I can solve this problem for you see, I did it for somebody else. And it keeps your content fresh. It gives your visitors a reason to return and it build out your website with more content. 

So there's more ways for people to find you out online. One way that you can share visual proof is through testimonials and testimonials, I believe is number five. So you're going to build rapport through these testimonials. You're showing people that other people like you because part of the sales process is becoming popular with them, right? So you can name drop as well because as people go to your website and judge whether or not they want to work with you, remember, you want them to be able to see themselves as one of your clients, if they can see a client who likes you, that is one of their peers, and they're going to be far more likely to choose to work with you unless they really hate that peer. You understand what I'm saying? So you're gonna place your testimonials not just on a page, but you put them throughout your site where they can apply to the content on the page. We can learn a lot from eCommerce websites. Although every single one of us do not sell directly online, we are selling something right via a service or a concept. And imagine if you went out to Amazon and you were trying to buy bedsheets and the featured products that they suggest to you were pots and pans and all of the testimonials and product reviews for that page were all about pots and pans. But you're trying to buy bedsheets right? It's not the same. Like you're not going to read about those pots and pans and be like, ooh, I want these bedsheets. Hmm. That's what we're doing when we're just like, randomly not thinking about the content that we're putting on every single one of these pages. We want to tell a story to people. And part of that story can be testimonials and can be that soft sell of another person telling the story for you about how great you are to work with and how awesome you are and how you solve people's problems. 

The next thing that you're going to put on your site number six is your capabilities. Now, I say capabilities because not everybody has products. Not everybody has services, but all of us do something that is sellable. Right? So we're going to explain our service offerings, you would link to the work that you've completed that you have over in your experience, and show finished projects to validate that you can do this and that you have the follow-through. Photos are super important and I already mentioned them earlier. One thing that I encourage you to do is have a page for every single service on your website. And a lot of people skip this, they're like, well, I want to save money. I want to save time, it doesn't really matter. People don't want to read about all these services, Monica, but here's the deal. If you're a landscaping company, and you also do snow removal, but all you do is talk about landscaping. Then the snow removal, people won't know you do it. They won't know you do it because they don't just assume that every landscaping company does snow removal. And when they search for a snow removal company, your name is not going to pop up. So let's say that you haven't educated all the people that you currently do landscaping for and you haven't told them that you do snow removal. So they go out to Google, they Google search for snow removal, and your website does not show up. They do not consider you for the service, even though they know you. Now, if your website did show up for it, they'd be like, oh, look, Joe does snow removal too. He's a great guy, he does great landscaping, I'm gonna hire him. If you don't have a page for each one of your services, then Google will probably not know that you do all of those other things. So a page for each service it is with lots of words on each of those pages. Like try for 1000 I know it sounds crazy, but as a woman writes like 20-page essays for a living I know you can do it, just talk about what you do. And then Google will see that you do it and show it to other people. So you're gonna focus on those key search terms that people might be using. And then also share service-specific testimonials, as we just talked about on those individual capabilities pages.

The next thing you're going to have is contact information. I know, I know, it sounds so rudimentary, you're like, I can't even believe that you're sitting here telling me that I need to put contact information on my website. But here's the deal. You need to have a phone number. You need to have an email link. You should probably have an email form. You have to have your mailing address, you need to have your physical address. I know it sounds crazy, but there's people who don't have that stuff on there. So consider if you're the type of company that people need a call right away for a service, putting your phone number up at the top of your website. That way it will also show up on mobile. And if it doesn't show up on mobile, like I said, you're gonna check it on your mobile device. Go ahead and make sure that your phone number is the very first thing that they see on that page. Because if they want to contact you, they need to be able to click and call right now. Now, you can also put it in the footer. And that's great, too. I love contact information in the footer. That's one of the other places I'm going to look for it. And then the third place that I think you need to put it is on your main navigation bar. Now that may sound really old school. There's some people who are like, well, I've got my phone number up at the top, and I've got my contact information at the bottom. So why do I need to have a contact page? Well, the deal is, is that some of us old fogies, myself included, we're used to seeing a contact page on every single website and that is the first place that we look when we need to contact somebody. I don't scroll down to the bottom of the page and dig through the footer information. I look for contact and I click on it. And that is a way that you can accommodate people make it stupid simple for them to find and contact your company, don't make them dig for this information, it is not nice. And if you have a contact form, that's pretty cool because it means that you can prompt them to answer questions that they might not normally answer. So you can have a more qualified conversation with them the very first time that you reach out to them. Contact forms are great too, because they also save your information in a database if you have them set up correctly so that if you lost that email, you can go back out and you can find that information and reach out to that person later. 

So the next thing that we need is an easy button. Mm hmm. So an easy button is actually probably the most complicated and fun part of your website. What I mean by an easy button is you really need to put yourself in the shoes of your viewer. What do they need to make a decision about whether or not to work with your company? What do they need to decide that your solution is the right solution? For them, that is the easy button. Talk to your sales people about it, talk to your tech support about it. Talk to the person who answers the phone. Really think about what do these people need as they're going through the buying cycle. Now, for some people, it could be ways to access information. For example, I have one client who does camps for kids. When we researched we realized that people search for day camps and overnight camps separately. So we separated the camps into two categories, day camps and overnight camps. We also realized that people searched a lot by name of an area so they wanted to know day camps near Rolla, Missouri. So we gave them a map that has a pinpoint of every single camp location on it and we also have been have a listing of all of those underneath. So when they first get to the page at a glance, they can see right away, look at all these camps is there one that's near my city, and then they can scroll down, see the different camps are available, if that's the way that they want to read it, they've got the price right there. We're trying to make it as easy as possible for people to find the right camp to send their kid to. Another example, online, quote forums, these are awesome. Now people fight me on these so hard. They're like, Monica, I do not want to give people a quote when I have not spoken to them. And I'm like, well, here's the deal. If you'll give it to them, they'll take it online, and they will give you their information for it, no problem. And then what you have is a lead and you would have nothing otherwise because if everyone in your industry is expecting people to call to get a price quote, and you will allow them to fill out that form online and get it, they will give you their information and you can follow up. I mean, it's as simple and as complicated as that. If you have a quote form that you fill out to tell people how much something costs, then you just need to break it into an email form that calculates things and spits out a price at the end, then you get people's information to follow up with and start the sales process and

they get what they really wanted. Another thing you can do if you've got tons of information, let's say that you've got this huge Help Section or lots and lots of resources. So one of our clients is at the University of Missouri and they have tons of different graduate programs there. I mean, tons and tons and tons. And people need to search for them in many different ways. So you could allow people to filter by letter by type of degree program, is it doctoral? Is it a master's degree? Is it an undergraduate degree? Is it on campus? Does it just happen online? And then let them find what they're looking for. Also, let them search in a search bar. How are people going to find what they need to find within you website, allow them to do it that way. Think once again, right back to that example of how eCommerce works. Think about how much of a pain it is to sort through stuff. When you're shopping for Christmas, and you're like, no, no, no, no, I only want to see the shirts that are girls size medium. That's it. That's all I want. I don't want anything else. But how hard is it to get there? Right. The other day, I was just searching for outside toys. And it was that difficult. I'm like, why is it so hard Walmart. Why? You know, and anyway, so learn from that and allow people to sort through your information in the same way. And another way that you can give yourself an easy button. One of our clients is the Boone County Fire Protection District. So part of their responsibility is to post the things that are going on their initiatives and board minutes, all that kind of stuff, they have to post them publicly. So they post them through their website, they put them right up there where anybody can get to them. And then the media needs to get this stuff too. So they have a signup form for the media to sign up to get an email anytime that one of these items is added to their site that allows them to just add that information in one place. And it automatically formats an email that sends out to all the media people, save them time. And it allows them to meet all the criteria that they need to have. And then last but not least, if you are offering classes or something of the sort, allow people to register online. Make it so there's only a certain number of people who can register. For example, one of our clients is a kid's Yoga Camp. Well, not every kid can go to every camp because they only happen at certain times, certain dates, and also for certain ages. So we allowed people to be able to sort by age and also sort by class so that way those parents could easily register for their kids online. Before she was taking all of these applications in through email. They weren't saving into a system, her teachers had to figure out what they were doing. And even taking role was difficult. So moving that all into your website using a system, you can make it so you don't have as much work. She was like, Oh my goodness, I just saved hours every week just by putting this on my site and letting the site organize it for me. And you can do the same thing. You can make that easy button work for you and for the people that you serve. Because this system for her,

saves her time as a entrepreneur and it also helps the people who want to register their kids for camps. Because now it's easy. They are used to registering their kids this way for things. 

Okay, so the last thing, the ninth thing that I was going to talk to you about, I'm going to talk to you about is your voice. And this one, oh, man, like I said, I get so excited about this one, because this is the one that I feel like people just, they don't do very well at, they start talking about themselves and they just start saying the things that everyone else says, and they sound like everyone else, and they are not differentiating their company from the pack. And that is one of the things that are going to make people want to work with you. So you need to do you. Stay true to your company, and don't just tell people what you think they want to hear. One of the things that we did at mayecreate years ago was well, first off, I sat down and I read the content on our website, which was brutal, because it was terrible. And I sounded just like everyone else. Seriously, it was like we were just adolescent web designers running around. Anyway. So yeah, read the content in your website and do it not like oh my gosh, I wrote this. And so I should love it, read it and be like, does this really sound like me? Because, man, ours did not. So, one of the things that we are is we're real. We're kind of funny and snarky in our office, we say things like, if you think your website's crap, so does everybody else. And so we really latched on to that. And I decided, hey, you know what, we are going to talk on our website, the same way that we have conversations with people in our office the same way that we have conversations with our clients. We're going to have the same message all the way through snark, not snark, if it offends you, don't work with me, right? And that's the deal. You don't have to work with everybody. You want to work with people who are like you, people who share your values. People who will appreciate you for the type of work that you do and the quality of work that you have. You don't want people who just are going to take advantage of you and don't really value your services. That's not what you're in it for and you can set the record straight starting on your website by talking about yourself as who you really are. And now, it's so funny because as soon as we started this messaging on our website, people would email us and be like, this is crazy your website is hilarious. I love it. And then we started putting it in all of our tradeshow banners and people just stop in front of our booth and they're like, what, that is so funny, and they take pictures of it, and they send it back to their boss, which is awesome. So use your voice. Another example of this that I really, really love is there is a taxi company in my town called taxi Terry. And on the back of every single one of his cars, it says powered by God. And I saw this driving down the street and I'm like this is awesome. It is so awesome that he is embracing this. I mean, you may not be a God fearing person. I'm probably like the least God fearing out of everyone. But, um, I mean, I point this out not as an example of how to pay homage to your God, but as a supreme example of how to stay true to yourself like, it has a company with Christian values and he feels so strongly about it that he puts it on the back of every single taxi that drives around our town and I love it. So you don't have to put your religion on your website. But you do need to put the things that make you unique and authentically you on your website, so that way people can be drawn to you for who you really are. So those are our website must haves. I say these needs to be mobile-friendly. Need to have real photos. You need a snazzy homepage, you need to offer Visual proof, put testimonials on there, talk about your capabilities, share your contact information all over the place, make sure you've got an easy button. That's that functionality that's going to keep people around and also speak in your authentic voice. Now, just a reminder, before I let you go to digest this intangible stuff, we have visuals available on our website, we have slides, video, and a beautifully formatted blog post that covers the topic at mayecreate.com and all of our episodes are transcribed and equipped with links to everything you'll need to really digest this topic that we're tackling today. So visit podcast.mayecreate.com to get all those extra nuggets of goodness. Now, I know you're busy, you've got other things to do. So go forth and mark it with purpose.

Unknown Speaker  26:50  

Thanks again for listening to marketing with purpose. Head over to mayecreate.com, ma ye CR EA t .com. Yeah, you heard me right. Ma ye create .com for podcast notes and more resources to grow your business. Don't let your marketing suck. Get your pride on market with purpose.

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