Websites are amazing when you understand what goes under the hood. With a bit of coding experience (or simply doing the research for the right plugins) you can turn a bland website that would look and feel like many others into one that’s unforgettable.
Another thing worth mentioning is that by including the critical elements (ones often under the “best practices” moniker) you can do wonders for growing your community, improving your search ranking, and improving your income.
This post will highlight six of those critical elements that would be beneficial to any website that wants to maximize their potential to be an authority site in their niche.
1. A Memorable Logo
Your website logo plays an important role in brand recognition not just because it has the name but that it becomes associated with an experience.
Consider drinking from a red can of soda. Now add the Coca-Cola label to the side and you will have two entirely different experiences.
Spend a little more than $5 for logo design. Once you have a logo you can be proud of it’s going to be everywhere from business cards to email signatures so get it right from the beginning.
2. An Email Opt-In Form
What good is pushing out all that wonderful content if you’re not going to retain any of the people coming to your site? It would be like opening a shop and not even trying to converse with an individual as they came through the door.
The email list is essential which is why it’s always brought up.
Not only do you need an email opt-in form but it’s got to look good and entice visitors to sign up whether that’s giving it some flashy graphics, killer copy, or some form of a freebie. Pull out all the stops to make your opt-in the best it can be and you’ll have a heck of a lot more ease operating your business since you’ve now got a list.
3. Easily Accessible Social Buttons
People want to be social.
When they see something cool or read something fascinating they want their friends to see it too. We love sharing and just so happens that we have these social platforms in place to do so but having someone copy a link, then go to the platform, and then submit is just adding lots of unnecessary steps.
Make sure your site has social buttons people can easily find whether it’s floating off to the side of the content, at the top, or right before the comments. In fact, put the social shares in all three areas if you have to because you never know when someone is ready to share so you might as well strike the iron when it’s hot.
4. A Clear and Compelling Call-to-Action
All business websites needs a purpose (like selling a product or service) and all of these offers needs to have a clear and compelling call-to-action to get users to begin (and hopefully complete) the conversion funnel.
The call-to-action needs to be right in their face (but without being too pushy). Everything about the site should reinforce their decision to follow through with the call-to-action.
Test the daylights out of this element ‘til no tomorrow. A small tweak could lead to a huge bump in click through rates which in turn could bump up your conversions.
Trust is earned, fair enough, but it can also be conveyed.
- Got covered on a major news site? Be proud of it and display that logo.
- Got nominated for an award in your niche? Put that badge up there.
- Got some big named clients? Let ‘em see who you’re working with.
People assume trust through these endorsements. They see a strong brand and associate it with yours. They feel at ease working with you because they know the people they trust already do. Use that in your design and watch how easy it is to get people on board when you name drop some of the big players in your niche.
6. Findable, Digestible Content
Without content your site is just a static business card that’s forgettable. With content you give people a reason to dig deeper into the site. You give them a reason to take action. You give them a reason to trust and accept your brand.
The content needs to be readily accessible and easy to digest.
Let people get in. Absorb the content. And make up their mind. Don’t overcomplicate things when it comes to your content but don’t be mediocre, either. Talk and convey ideas like an expert. Become an authority in your niche. Use that content to seamlessly drive people to your call-to-action. Make them think “if this is the free stuff they’re giving away then I definitely need to see what the paid stuff says”.
The list could go on and on but as long as you have these six elements you will have more than enough to succeed in your niche. Once you have these elements all it takes is a bit of tweaking, optimization, and creativity to make it your own so remember to build on a foundation of best practices and then take it to the next level by injecting the elements with your branding and style.