Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur and are not happy with your website's performance?
This eTip is all about making the most of your website for your business. If you want to see more of a return from your website, then I've got 6 must-haves that are just for you!
So what are these 6 things you must have in order to have a high performing website? Keep watching!
6 Essentials For a High Performing Business Website
1. Consistent & Professional Branding
When people see your website, does it look consistent with your social media? Your website and social media should have consistent branding across all platforms.
Consistency is the key here but it needs to look professional. An amateur looking website will not attract the right kinds of clients.
First impressions are extremely important so it does not matter how great you are if the way it's presented looks cheap or unprofessional.
Make sure you do not design something that's just for you. You might be a huge fan of a color or design but if it's not something that would appeal to your clients, then it should not be on your website.
We use purple a lot ourselves but we know it's good for our business so keep in mind you may be putting people off if you're the only one who is a fan of a color or design element.
2. White Hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Do not underestimate the power of good SEO.
With SEO you are making sure your website is not only something search engines will index and (hopefully) display to users but that it's done right.
You are competing with other websites for the same key phrases users enter and your goal is to be at the top of those results when searched by your target market.
Many people lack understanding of SEO even though it's extremely important. You're competitive with many other websites. If you do not have good white hat SEO, then no matter how good your website is, users will not be able to find it.
Look at essentials in onsite SEO like having your keyphase targets in things like the title tags, meta data and the URL.
A great example is if you're selling a book. Many people will list the URL relating to their book as xxx.
What you should do is have a URL like this: xxx / title-of-book
The title will likely be intuitively connected to your content with good keyphrases in it and Google will be able to read that.
You can even add the keywords you want to rank for elements like image naming and alt tags too.
Make sure you have your desired key phases set and then include them in the onsite copy. All of this is the set up for SEO so Google knows what you want to rank for.
This part of the industry is daunting so do not be afraid to reach out for help from someone who does professional search engine optimization. But watch out for overseas scams, do your due diligence first, and only proceed once you're comfortable.
Look for someone who will understand your business and work with the branding, website development, and SEO together since these all work best when they are working together.
3. Responsive Website
A responsive website means your site will display well on phones and all smaller screens.
Years ago websites only had to display well on desktop computers. Now that smart phones are common, it's important to have a website that can display well on one.
With responsive design your website will change its display while maintaining the same information, making it easily usable on a cell phone.
Designers sometimes opted to have two separate websites that would have been detected by the device and would display the appropriate one. With this though, there were two websites to maintain and update.
With responsive design the template changes so you remove the redundancy of having to do everything twice. Google places a lot of importance on mobile usability so it's a really good idea to get a responsive website if you do not have one already.
If you do not know if your website is responsive or you need help making it that way please get in touch and our website developers will make sure your site displays properly and performs well on mobile devices.
If you do not think your potential clients use smart phones then think again. Over 50% of people are on smart phones when they're searching online so please get in touch if yours is not optimized for mobile devices.
4. List Building and Follow Up
List building is in place because if a user comes to your website for the first time, there is a small chance that they'll convert right away. The odds are slightly better if you offer something in the way of e-commerce.
Because users are more likely to convert after their first visit, you want to give them a way to find their way back. An email newsletter subscription is a great way to that.
To build your list you can try offering something for free like a download of a free how-to guide that requires the user to enter their email address in order to receive it.
This could be anything: An audio file, video series, or PDF report. The point is to provide value in exchange for the user committing to giving you their email.
Then stay in touch with your list to cultivate the know, like and trust factor with this, providing them good reasons to come back.
5. Solid Marketing Message
A lot of entrepreneurs make their website all about them. 'I do this' 'this is me' 'this is what I do'.
Unfortunately for a user this can leave them asking: what about me?
A website has to reassure a visitor that they've arrived in the right place. Your messaging should clearly state what problems you solve and that you are there to help.
Use terms like "You" and "Your" rather than "Me" or "I". Hiring a professional copywriter is a great idea because they understand the intentions of the visitor's needs coming first and can make what you do exciting, which helps convert them into a paying customer.
Creating excitement is not easy to do so a great copywriter is essential to making sure you get your website visitors excited about you and what you provide.
6. Make It Easy To Reach You
Make the process of contacting you as easy as possible.
If you have an online store you need a customer service phone number prominently displayed. It's typically placed in the top right side of the page.
Even if you do not have an online store and you're providing a service or something else with a "Now" button, the service number reassures the user there is a real person behind the scene in case they need help.
Establishing trust is key so providing them with ways to contact you if necessary is essential to establishing trust. You will get more site visitors to commit to you and your business once trust is established.
Many entrepreneurs are worried about having their phone number out there but at the end of the day you need one so whatever you can do to provide one is a must.
Also have a good contact form. This and a phone number are essential to establishing trust with your potential clients.
Have a CTA (Call To Action) that leads users towards their destination. If your conversion is qualified by a contact then lead users on each page towards the contact page. Use buttons and text telling them to click and easily get in touch with you.
These are the must-haves for your website.
There are many more things to cover but these 6 are the essentials for success. You may think you have some of these covered but if you're using a prefabricated template or an all-in-one solution, you may have something too bloated with excess code to index well and it could actually be working against you.