When people begin researching a big life change, the first thing they’re likely to do is a Google search. And following that search, if all goes well, they’re landing on your website—essentially your digital front door.
Your next step is to prove to them that your site is a valuable resource that is answering their questions. That’s how sites get bookmarked and links passed along—and that’s a step in the right direction to getting you more leads. And better yet, you attract high qualified leads because your content speaks to the type of prospects you want as customers and who equally want to choose you for their business.
If your visitors don’t see the value in your website as quickly as possible, they’re likely to look somewhere else. The key is to give them a meaningful experience, with all the right elements to stick around. Here are a few recommendations to get started.
1) Lead with your unique value proposition (UVP)
Your UVP should be one of the first things a visitor encounters on your home page, without scrolling down. Think of a website like a newspaper: the UVP should be above the fold. If users quickly understand why your brand is the best solution to their problem, they’ll stay longer and dig deeper.
There are different ways to get your UVP across quickly and clearly, but it can be as straightforward as combining a compelling image, a title, an intro blurb, and a short list of benefits that conveys what your brand does and shows why you’re better than the competition. Want to get even simpler? A compelling UVP placed before your call to action can have great impact for conversion.
2) Provide pathways
Your visitors are now convinced they are in the right place. Help them navigate. Highlight links to your most valuable content up front, such as trending content, a video spotlight of your location, or an upcoming event. By prominently displaying helpful links, you’ll pull visitors deeper into your site. The better the content you offer them when they get there, the longer they’ll stay. Keep in mind, though, to limit the number of links—you don’t want to provide too many and overwhelm users into not knowing where to go next. Potentially, your Google Analytics proves that the majority of your users first visit a specific page after landing on your home page. Help them get there faster by calling that page out faster and more clearly.
3) Create content
Not everything on your site should be about the hard sell. Become the “go to” source for information. Create guides, blogs, and articles that meet the needs of your clients. The more useful the articles are, the more likely they will be passed along to other potential customers. Depending on the content, this can build a sense of community or position you as a thought leader, which will make your site a place users will return to and share.
4) Use videos
Good video isn’t easy, but it can be more compelling and engaging than photos alone. Short topical videos are a good way to engage users who don’t want to commit to longer overarching videos. Also, search engines love video. Be sure to highlight people, families, and your staff. People engage people.
5) Avoid “stock”
That means avoid stock photos, stock videos, and even stock language in the form of clichéd terms, acronyms, and overused phrases. Watch out for terms that make sense to your staff but not to your customers. And show them real facilities, residents, and staff. If you instead opt for stock, users will wonder why.
6) Keep your social media current and vibrant
After putting all of this work into your website, don’t let your social media fall short. It’s important to be consistent, creative, and social. For useful tips, read our three-part blog series on social media.
7) Make it easy to contact you
It sounds simple, but different people communicate in different ways. Provide phone numbers, email communication (with a quick turnaround), and a live chat capability if you can. And promote this contact information throughout the site, including, of course, in the main menu.
8) Speed is still paramount
Spending the time to provide all the right elements on your website is lost if your website loads slowly across any device. Monitor your website speed and consider implementing advanced loading techniques that get the most important elements loaded first, so your users can engage and not bounce.
When tackling your digital experience, there’s no need to take on everything at once. Create a list of elements to inspect and start with one piece, make the adjustments you can, then move to the next. Check in regularly. And each time you implement little tweaks, the less there will be and the bigger difference they’ll make. As always, measure the impact of your changes so you know what is, and is not, working for your visitors.