By Daniel Griggs, founder & CEO of ATX Web Designs

As the founder and CEO of a website and mobile app development company, I see too many new companies making the same mistakes when it comes to website design and online marketing.

In this digital age, most everyone understands you need a website to promote your product, but not all websites are created equal. I view a lot of websites that are glorified business cards -; they contain a company description and contact information, but they lack a strong pitch, emotional appeal, clear calls to action or interactive features. 

Your website is not your business card -- it’s your best salesperson.  

Here are my top three tips for designing a website that is client-focused and actively works for you around the clock to generate leads and increase conversions. 

1. Don’t brag about yourself. 

Believe it or not, people are generally thinking about themselves. When users visit your website, they want to immediately assess the value it has to them. How does this product or service apply to them? Is it useful? Do they need it? 

Business owners might be tempted to brag about their companies or focus on their accolades, but what end-users really want to know is “How will this product or service make my life better?” 

A good salesperson first gets to know the customer’s needs and then talks about the product or service -; not themselves. Your website should do the same. Try scanning your website and note how often the content refers to company achievements and how often it refers to the customers’ needs. If your site doesn’t make any mention of your customers and their pain points, you’ve got some adjustments to make. 

For example, a website for a mattress company could lead with something like “Award-winning mattresses designed for ultimate comfort,” but a more effective, client-centered approach might be: “Tired of tossing and turning all night? We’ll help you get your best night’s sleep yet,” and then go on to list common conditions like insomnia and arthritis that a quality mattress can help address.

2. Call out your specific audiences.

When a user visits your website, they should feel like the content and design specifically applies to them. In general, people will visit a company website for one reason: They have a problem and they need a solution. Your website should lead by identifying your users and identifying their problem, quickly followed by the solution you offer.

Saying “We build websites” is very different than saying “We build websites for startups and digital companies looking to launch or expand within the next two years.”

3. Create a seamless flow that leads to a call to action.

Attention spans are short, especially when it comes to online browsing. A user will often leave your website within a few seconds if they don’t find the content relevant or don’t understand how to proceed. 

The trick is to build a website flow that matches your audience’s needs and objectives and leads them to a clear call to action. Identify the potential entry points to your site (advertisement, organic search, social media, etc.) then determine your users’ expectations and objectives. Design a flow that will lead them to the appropriate action. Eliminate friction -; or sticking points where you lose user buy-in -; by giving users a clear path, minimizing directions and simplifying options.

Here are some simple ways to create a seamless flow: 

  • Repeat your central call to action in each section of your website (e.g. ,“Click here to register” or “View payment plans”). 
  • Minimize content, features and options to reduce decision fatigue and friction.
  • Guide users down your web page with visual cues (such as graphics and photos) that prompt them to keep scrolling.

By following these tips, you can easily create a website that acts as your best salesperson and establishes an effective marketing funnel to increase conversions. This approach can also be applied to your mobile app, social media and online marketing strategy.

Remember, at the end of the day, your website is about your users and how to best capture their interest and attention. Save the business card for your next networking brunch and put your website to work.

Daniel Griggs is the founder & CEO of ATX Web Designs, the industry's best web design and SEO company.

Published on: Sep 26, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.