By Steve Hoag

website best practices


There are many things that must come together for a great business website. Design, development, and copy are three primary components. It’s also important to focus on the nitty gritty details of each. Your website is about getting the user’s attention, keeping it, and converting that into a sale. So what specific best practices should you focus on when looking at your website? Take a look under the hood.

Great use of landing pages and calls to action

Landing pages are a great way for quickly communicating what your product does and why someone should buy it. They are simple and very effective. Landing pages also serve as one of the best ways to capture information on leads through simple forms. One of the latest trends in online business is inbound marketing. This focuses on providing free content to drive traffic and lead captures. Landing pages are a core component of this, but can also be used separately. Your primary focus should be on quickly and clearly defining what you have to offer and drive the user to a product info/buying page from there. Besides this, your website should have call to actions throughout every page. You don’t need flashing banner ads everywhere. A call to action can come in many forms. Use a variety of methods like hyperlinks within copy, a large image on the home page etc. Just make sure that the user knows what decision or action he/she should take, and a compelling reason to do so. If you have special deals advertise those!

A clear and compelling value proposition

A value proposition is at the forefront of what will convince a consumer to purchase your product. Focus on simplifying your value proposition when deciding how to communicate it on your website. Treat users like they are five years old. That doesn’t mean treat them in a patronizing manner. It means that your value proposition should be so simple and compelling that a five year old could understand it. Complexity drives users away. No one likes having to read a page of copy and still not understand why they should buy something. A user should know why they should purchase something within 30 seconds of being on your site. Use images, simple tables, and bold what they should focus on. Many users skim pages, so simple and effective communication methods work best.

Intuitive navigation that guides users through the buying process.

Every website should have a compelling narrative for users to guide them through the buying process. An important component of this is intuitive navigation to facilitate the flow of the website so that users are never confused on where to go next. Again, focus on simplifying and streamlining. Endless tabs and buttons to click on can end up hurting more than helping you. A user should clearly see how and why to go from point A to B, and then to buy at C. A great trend in websites is page-less design. Many social media and small businesses are using this to quickly and effectively guide the user through the buying process and website. You should check out examples for this, because it’s a great example of intuitive navigation. While this strategy may not work for large enterprises, it’s still important that you focus on streamlining and simplifying your navigation if you choose a different tactic.


View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Wednesday, March 12, 2014 3:37:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C enterprise web trends website


Wednesday, March 12, 2014 4:21:19 PM
View User Profile for shirish

Thank you for sharing this.

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