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6 Best Practices for your interior website pages
Marketers atalk a ton about the importance of good homepage design. but if you are doing inbound marketing well, your homepage won’t usually be your audience’s starting point when they visit your website.
Typically, it’s your blog poasts and content offers that will pull people in and get them to start travelling across your site to learn more. This is how inbound works for you, on your website, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. So if your homepage is going to be bypassed more often than not, you need set up your interior pages to show your visitors what they are looking for, and to drive them down the conversion pathway.
Now, I’m not referring to blog posts and landing pages; they have their own unique functions and best practives. Your interior pages are another beast altogether. Your website’s interior pages are there to inform and guide, so you need to take care in how you plan and build them out. Here is how…
One sigle Goal.
While your homepage may have the space to address multiple needs, questions or personas, your interior pages work to refine their content to address a sigle purpose. For instance, a homepage that showcases all of your services at a glance vs. an interior page that features only one of those solutions.
Learn How to easily create mind-blowing content with our free eBook. If you have more than one goal on a single page, things can quickly become cluttered – visually – while the message you are trying send your visitors may get lost. Thake the time to plan out what you want the core focus of that page to be, and craft everything else around it – copy, images and graphics, content offers, and calls-to-action(CTAs). Allow your goal to serve as the starting point for everything that will end up on that page. Keeping the spotlight on one sigle pain point or topic will give you the freedom to share as many or as few details as needed to help your visitors see that you have the answers they are looking for.
All other webpage elements aside, your main focus is the copy itself. What is the message you need to get across, and what is the knowledge you are trying to share with your audience? The content is why your visitors landed on a particular page in the first place, so make sure you provide them with the information they came looking for. Meanwhile, the length of your content should be based on your persona. How much are they willing to read? What do they need t know, and how detailed do you need to get?
If you need to write a lengthy couple of paragraphs for the purposes of clarity, do so, but prioritize the content that people are coming to that page for. Even with long blocks of text, ther are ways to call out important details. Simply providing extra white space around key infro, or making sure that the most pertinent info is placed at the top of the page, will help ensure your audience sees what they need.
Also, don’t go overboard with bolding or italiczing things. (Because if everything is important, nothing is, right?) However, do use those points of emphasis where applicable if they help the reader to further understand your content.
Please note that I wrote offer – there is no plural. And for good reason. Just as your interior pages should only have one goal, you shoud really limit your use f CTAs and big content offers – ebooks, case studies and the like. let’s say you have a page that focuses on your company’s key srvice offering. A good content offer for this page would be relevant to the topic, but also well-placed. It should be an offering that your audience will b eready to accept or learn more about at that point in their jiurney.
If you have too many content offers, how will your audience knwo which one is the correct next step that they need to take? As much as your website visitors want the freedom to explor at their leisure, they also crave direction toward an obvious action. So telling them to do multiple things at once can be off-putting and confusing.
If you are truly stuck between two equally amazing content offers, smart CTAs can help you give your visitors options, while not overwheling them with too many at one time.
Images and Graphics.
You don’t have to go nuts with the sotck photos. In fact, please don’t over do it and showcase 10 extra-cheesy stock photos for no reason other than to take up spcae. But images do have a purpose. They help to show what kind of company you are – your business’brand. Are you photos serious with cooler tones, or are the bright and colorful? Do they give your visitors a feel of what your offcie and team are like?
Icons and othe rkinds of graphics can serve this purpose as well. Photography and graphics both give you a chance to present your company’s brand they way you want t – crsp and modern, like Squarespace, or fun and quirky, like Dropbox. It’s all in what graphics you choose and how you use them.
Sarch engine optimization is the dash of salt in a fresh batch of cookies. You won’t see it when all is said and done, buy you will knwo it’s there when you have done it right. And when it’s not done well, the results are bitter and sure to put a frown on your face. Always take the time to strategize how your pages will be optimized, from keywords and meta descriptions to headlines and URLs.
Building out your plan of attack first will help to save you headaches down the line, during page development, and also afterward, when your boss wants to knwo how the page you build is performing. Decide early on what long-tail keywords you are going to focus on, so that you can be sure they will actually be found within your content. Plus, ther is nothing worse than telling your copywriters to shoehorn ciritical keywords after everything has already been written. (Hello, awkward keyword stuffing.)
And keep it natureal. While it’s great to please Google, your real job is to write for the visitors who are coming to your website. Google only wants your audience to have th ebest possible experience on your website, after all, so make your focus all aobut the people.
Rather than risk being redundant, I stopped myself from adding the word “relevant” to the beginning of each of the above titles. That said, I want to be clear that all of the things that you place on any web page need to ultimately be relevant to the persona you are trying to reach.
Inages, copy, CTAs and keywords all need to be in alignment with your key goal for that single page. All of theses elements serve great purposes , but to make the most out of your website – your tireless, 24/7 employee – align their functionality to work in unison and take things to the next level.
Refine and Repeat
Your entire webstie – homepage, landing pages, blog posts, interior pages is all just a continual work in progress. Even after you have spent months having it redone, it’s important to keep your website fresh with new content and to not let it sit and gather digital cobwebs.
Use analytics to see what’s workign and what doesn’t. Tools like HotJar can show you whether people are engaging with your content, and ones like Google Analytics and HubSpot can show if people are clicking CTAs to download your premium content offers.
Take advantage of the plethora of tools available across the internet to see how can make your website even more successful. Even better, continually refine your site and all of the above best ractices as your online marketing strategy grows and develops over time.
How to Bring Your Boring website to life
As technology contines to advance and more companies become competent at using it to market their product or servies, it becomes more critical to have a website that really perofrms. Consumers are not only looking to company websites for information, but utilizing online sites to schedule appointments, make decisions about wher they will work and do business, buy products, and more. What used to be the benchmark has become the norm. This means it is time to establish a new goal post; what can you do to set the bar high in your industry?
The downsides of a Dull website.
Because consumers are using a company’s website to make decisions about who they work with, a dull website can be detrimental to the success of your company. Accoridng to a survey conducted by BrightLocal.com 66% of consumers believe that credible companies have a good website and are more liekly to trust and do business with vendors that have a quality website. Accoridng to these survey results, then, your web presence is a direct reflection of your credibility. This is perhaps the most personal hit you take when your website is dull. Other downsides of a boring website include ;
Subpar lead generation results. A dull website will drive your customers right into the arms of your competitors (especially if your competitors’ websites are up to par where your is lacking). The fasters way to lose leads is to fail to provide a quick, simple way for potential clients to contact you.
– Decreased exposure. Your website has to be both informative, relevant, and credible in order to show up on the first or second page of Google’s search results when potential customers run related queries. If your website does not have enoguh quality content paired with a preferrred domain and other important factors, potential customers may never see it in the first place.
– A bad reputation. If the news on your web page is outdated, consumers assume your company is behind the times and lacking innovation and growth. If your webstie is difficult to navigate, confusing, and not user-friendly, buyers assueme your company is inefficient and perhaps even not interested in or focused on the needs of new consumers. If your website fails to provide easy meas of communication, customers may believe you will be unresponsive in a business relationship as well. There is a direct correlation between the quality of your website’s presentation and its impact on sales. Typically, the opportunity cost of having a boring website outweighs the actual cost of a full website facelift. In other words, businesses simply cannot afford to keep their dull, outdated website. Instead, they are better off investing their money in crative and original web design that will bring them the right customers.
Do a test run. Consider the questions most consumers are looking to answer when they visit a website. where are you located? What do you do? Who will I be working with? Are you credible? How much does it cost? How do I get a hold of you?
In some industires, customers may also visit your website in search of quality, informative content and an expert opinion. Customize the list of questions for your industry and take another look at your website. How many of these questions can be answered with one click or less? How thorough are the answers? Ask a friend to do the same; they may be able to identify inconveniences that you miss due to your comfort and familiarity with the site. They can also provide you with helpful feedback regarding design and layout.
The Pros and cons of an In-House Web Design Team
The primary pros associated with developing your own in-house team include the team’s brand knowledge and the assumed cost svings over outsourcing a full rebuild. However, consider the following factors.
What does the talent pool in your region look like? How competitive are area employeres? This may impact your ability to recruit and maintain talent as well as the expense involved in both.
What is the total annual cost of the team when you calculate things such as benefits, training, and office space? In many cases, maintaining your own team may not prove o be cost savings in the long run when you consider the overall financial lialbility.
What long-term inverstment will berequired to keep your in-house team current on changing trends and technologies? Because technology is always changing , it is important to factor in the cost and feasibility of ongoing training.
Who should you hire? It is unlikely that any single hire could handle all aspects of your rebuld; they migh do well with design but not code or vice versa. Even small companies may need to budget for at least two hires if they are not ready to outsource.
How a Better Website Attracts higher-value Clients
The final component that many marketers and web designers neglect to consider is who your website is designed to attract. If you craft a compelling-enough website, you can target higher -value clients and grow your businees exponentially.
Most websites are designed to attract all sorts of customers, however they are not particularly good at weeding ou bad-fit clients. Although, if you hire an expert to design your website to target more desirable prospects, you can find better buyers who are easy to work with, who understand the value of the services you provide, are willion to pay a premium price for your services, and want to partner with you long-term.
These clients are often looking for a professionally designed website that shares expertise and extensive knowledge on niche topics. They also want to see live examples of deliverables you have created for other clients, which can help your buyer envision the potential outcomes from an engagement with your company too. The right web development company knows what high-end audiences want and how to provide it with solide web design.