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Your Business Doesnt Need a Website, What You Really Need is a Platform

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Build a Platform that Get You Found

Talking about blogs and contents, makes me realize that what we currently want is something that allows us to manage and control our contents. Not so far from it do we really care about our strategy before to build a website? Or do we really know what kind of persona we would like to find us? Building a website should have as a primary goal to set up a homepage that guides people through your contents and products. Like you who is reading this blog, you are reading this contents because I’m looking to get found from you and that’s Inbound Marketing.

Important Things to Consider Before to Build a Website

Step 1:  Define the Goals

This is the most critical step to the process. You have to identify goals that you want your homepage to archive for your site. The two broadest goals would be to explain what the website is about and where someone should go next.

Other goals could be to display what’s new or take some sort of specific action.  You should try to put number with the goals. For example, you want a 50% click through rate on your top of the funnel call to action and a 25% click through rate on your middle of the funnel call to action.

Step 2:  Content

Write down your business’ value proposition. Your business’ most relevant and descriptive long-tail keyword will be in your company’s value proposition. You should optimize and write your homepage content around that keyword.

You should write the content of your homepage around your value proposition. You need to have some text on your homepage, but you shouldn’t have too much. A good way to do this is to use headlines, links and bullet points.  Make sure this is a good amount of whitespace surrounding the text and that text is consistent with the design of your other website pages.

You should try to place almost all of your homepage content above the fold, so no one needs to scroll down to see it. Use columns to display the content on your homepage. MarketingSherpa recommends that you have fewer than four columns on your homepage.  The content on your homepage should include many links that send people to specific website pages, so you can educate and provide them with content that is relevant to their needs.

Step 3:  Optimize

Your homepage needs to be optimized around one long-tail keyword phrase.  Like we discussed in step 2, take the long-tail keyword in your value proposition and use that as the primary keyword in your page title, meta description, headlines, content, images and links. Don’t try to optimize the homepage for more than one keyword. If you have space in the page title, you can add your business name. e.g. Inbound Marketing Software | HubSpot

Step 4:  Header

The header is one of the first things someone will see on your homepage. You need to include several pieces of information in the header, such as your logo, phone number, and courtesy links.  Other things you can add to your header, or experiment with, are a call to action, your business email, certifications, or accreditations that build credibility. You can also include a login link if appropriate. You should keep your header consistent across all your website pages.

Step 5:  Menu

The menu of your homepage should be large enough to see clearly, be easy to read, and should look the same across your entire website.  When designing your menu, step back five feet from your monitor to see if you can still read the menu.

Your menu is there to organize all of your content and products and it should help people find what they’re looking for if a call to action doesn’t resonate with them. Make sure you use descriptive, yet short, menu headings.  Don’t have more than eight menu headings or it will be overwhelming and not clear where someone should go to find something.

Step 6:  Calls to Action

You have less than five seconds to grab the attention of people visiting your homepage. Calls to action are the most critical thing to have on your homepage. You need to have several calls to action that are relevant to the different audiences visiting your homepage. Not all the calls to action need to go to landing pages. If they don’t go to a landing page, the page you’re sending visitors to needs to have additional calls to action.

Don’t use rotating calls to action because only a small percentage of people will see more than the first one.  You should have three or four very clear calls to action that will appeal to the majority of your website visitors. Create a survey to send to a list of people that have converted on your site and ask them what they were looking for on your site. Use that data to set up and place your homepage calls to action.  Survey Monkey is a great free tool to use to create surveys.

Step 7:  Social Media

Social media is a major player now and you need to prominently display your relevant social media icons. You should have the “follow me” icons in the top right of your header.  You should also experiment with placing social sharing icons on your homepage. Create a call to action to follow your company on Twitter or LinkedIn if that’s one of the goals of your homepage. Don’t do it just because it’s the easy way out.

Step 8:  Footer

Not many people that come to your homepage will see your footer. The hope is that the visitors took some action before the scroll down to see your footer.  Still, you need to have one and it should include your legal company name, copyright year, address, email and phone number.  You can also include links that might be the same as your calls to action, or links that will take people to the right pages on your site.

Step 9:  Test

Ask employees at your company to look at your homepage for five seconds. Then ask them to tell you what they remember about the homepage.  You want to see how much people remember so you can adjust how much content or how many calls to action need to be on your homepage. You can do this same test with leads and customers, and ask them if they feel like they found what they were looking for. You should test call to action placement, type and anything that relates to your homepage page goals.

Source : HubSpot

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