9 things your website needs to succeed

When it comes to your website, less is more. However, many business owners often cannot resist the temptation to throw every little scrap of information about their company on their webpage, as if success was measured in syllables and word count.

Not only is it a bad idea to bog down your website with too much information, you may find yourself dead in the water without these 9 crucial elements.

Here’s all you need to include:

•Your story: If your website is doing anything for you, it should be telling your story. Who are you? Why should a potential customer do business with you? Answer these questions in a compelling way and your website is already a success.

•Clear, easy navigation: There’s almost nothing worse than a beautiful website that no one can figure out how to use. Keep it simple and test it before you launch to make sure navigation is easy and intuitive. Also, don’t overlook the mobile experience, or you’ll be overlooked by Google search.

•Fewer words: People hate to read, especially online. Keep it short and simple. Tell them what they need to know and give them quick bullets to simplify things. If customers see a wall of text, their eyes will glaze over and they’ll skip your message. It’s not a bad thing if they read a little on your website and want to know more.

•Customer benefits: Your potential customers really only want to know one thing: What can you do for them? Don’t overpromise, but don’t cut yourself short either. Make sure it’s very clear why partnering with you makes sense.

•Obvious calls to action and contact info: Never miss an opportunity to tell customers what you’d like them to do next and drive them closer to an actual conversation with your sales team.

•Credible content: This includes company news, press releases, industry awards, accreditations and, of course, customer testimonials. Let’s face it, if the only one tooting your horn is you, customers tend to doubt your claims. But if you strategically place testimonials from actual clients who have used—and loved—your services, you won’t need to toot your own horn because they’ll do it for you.

•Video: Don’t miss an opportunity to generate emotional connections with your customers. Video helps to increase customer time on your site, and if the content is compelling, it can entice users to engage even more.

•Blog: Your business and your brand is built on your expertise. So leverage that by regularly publishing informative, relevant, useful blog content. This will help build your SEO rankings and position you as a thought leader in your space. Be sure to use social media to promote your blog posts, which further helps with relationship-building search rankings.

•Online marketing: If you build it, no one will come. But if you take time—and money—to market your website, they probably will. All of that great content on your beautifully designed website is pretty worthless if no one knows about it, right?

Was that helpful? Let us know what you think in the comments below.