At Main Street our customers generally fall into two major groups: churches/non-profits, and small businesses. Depending on the client, the main purpose of the website will usually be to attract new customers (small business), new members (churches), or new donors (non-profits). While we do have specific tactics for each group, the fundamentals are surprisingly similar.

Here are five steps to optimize your website and make it more effective – regardless of whether you are trying to get people to buy your widgets, join your group, or give you donations.

1. Get the right content
Who is your target audience? What are they coming to your site to find out? Is that information on your site? At the most basic level your website is there to answer questions for your prospects. Are you offering the information they are searching for?

2. Optimize for search engines
Think about the keywords your prospects are using to search for your site. Verify those keywords are prominent in your website copy and titles. Search engines don’t read photos or graphics. You must put your keywords in the text, titles, page titles, and photo captions to be indexed by search engines.

3. Optimize for mobile users
Over 50% of search engine traffic now comes from mobile devices. Google is now downgrading your search ranking if your website is not mobile-friendly. New responsive designs allow your site to display properly on mobile devices and desktops.

4. Link to your social media
First time prospects and visitors will view your website for the basic information, but they will follow your social media to see what you are doing next. Your website should include prominent links to your social media pages.

5. Offer clear next steps
Last, but not least — and perhaps most importantly — make sure your website offers a clear next step to your prospects if they like what they see. What do you want them to do next: call, signup, donate? There needs to be an easy way to take that net step to get the best results from your site.

If your website covers these fundamentals you should expect good results. From here there are many ways to tune your site message and structure to different groups (customers, members, donors), but that only matters after the fundamentals have been addressed.

Does your website cover these fundamentals? Call us for a free consultation if you’re not sure.