Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur who is unsure about your website’s performance? After all what good is all that money, time and energy spent if you’re not receiving any customers from it? Any small business or new blogger will tell you it’s darn near impossible to get decent traffic to their site in the first several months even if your site is optimized properly. Your website should be a goldmine to you. Below are the 7 things your website or blog must have in order to provide you and your business with a significant return on investment.
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With so much competition out there your clients are searching for you but they don’t want too look hard. If you’re not showing up on the first page in the top sections, let’s face it! You pretty much don’t exist:(
The following tips are vital for making your website perform and stand out from the competition. If you want to see more traffic, leads, prospects, and conversions from your website then read on.
7 Must Haves For Your New Website
1. Consistent & Professional Branding
When people see your website, does it look consistent and cohesive with your social media branding? Or are the messages conflicting? Your website and social media should have consistent branding across all platforms. Don’t confuse your audience. Be clear. Consistency is the key here and it needs to look professional.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money but an amateur looking website will not attract the right kinds of clients. First impressions are extremely important. Your website is your online STOREFRONT. Make sure you don’t design something that doesn’t represent your product or service accurately.
WordPress offers thousands of themes and plugins which is perfect for bloggers and website owners of all types of businesses.
2. White Hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Don’t underestimate the power of good SEO. With SEO you are making sure your website will show up in the organic searches. This takes some time. You are competing with other websites for the same key phrases users enter and your ultimate goal is to be at the top of those results when searched by your target market. White hat SEO refers to the usage of optimization strategies, techniques and tactics that focus on a human audience opposed to search engines and completely follows search engine rules and policies.
For example, a website that is optimized for search engines, yet focuses on relevancy and organic ranking is considered to be optimized using White Hat SEO practices. ZNetworks Group is a prime example of a company who performs White Hat SEO techniques including using keywords and keyword analysis, backlinking, link building to improve link popularity, and writing content for human readers.
Remember, humans can ‘read’ and interpret images but search engines cannot.
All images on your site need to be labeled appropriately with ‘alt tags’ (descriptions) for search bots to read them and index them correctly or they won’t know what they’re about.
Many people lack understanding of SEO even though it’s extremely important. You’re competing with many other websites. If you don’t have good white hat SEO, then no matter how good the content your website contains, your audience won’t be able to find you.
LinkFool is a link building service that helps get more visitors to your site if you’re struggling with SEO. They specialize in small business owners and start ups who don’t have time to mess with Google’s picky algorithms.
Look at essentials in onsite SEO like having your keyphrase 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 pertaining to their book as www.example.com/book
What you should do is have a url like this: www.example.com/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.
Make certain you do proper keyword research. This is vital in understanding what keywords people are searching for.
You want to make sure you have a keyword tool that can offer insight into thousands of keywords but be easy to use. I use the Jaaxy keyword tool for this. Google also has a free keyword tool but I find this very confusing. Jaaxy is simple and can whip up keywords with a high search rate but low competition.
As mentioned previously you need to definitely add the keywords you want to rank for to elements like image naming and alt tags too.
Make sure you have your desired key phrases 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.
3. Responsive Website
A responsive website means your site will be Mobile friendly and display well on phones and all smaller screens. 80% of consumers search on their phones! Years ago websites only had to display well on desktop computers.
Now that everyone including 5 year olds have Smart Phones, so 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.
Google places a lot of importance on mobile usability so you need to build a responsive website if you don’t have one already. There are plenty of mobile plug in options available.
Google has a Mobile Friendly Test you can take to make sure your site is mobile friendly.
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 they’ll convert right away. The odds are slightly better if you offer something in the way of e-commerce like a Shopify site offers – provided you offer products or retail goods.
Because users are more likely to convert after their first visit, you want to give them a way to find their way back. Shopify has everything you need to easily build and create a fully functional e-commerce store and it’s one of the easiest ones to set up.
An email newsletter subscription is a great way to build your list. To build an email list try offering something for free like a download of a free how-to guide, a resource library, free printables, an eBook, eCourse, PDF or informative guide that requires the user to enter their email address in order to receive it.
Other options include a video series, coaching or consulting, webinars, a membership or a PDF report. The message is to provide value in exchange for the user committing to giving you their email.
Make certain you stay in touch with your list to cultivate the know, like and trust factor with this, providing them good reasons to come back to you.
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 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”. My favorite acronym to remember is: WIIFM – What’s in it for me?
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 isn’t easy to do so a great copywriter is absolutely essential to making sure you get your website visitors excited about you and what you provide.
6. Make It Easy To Contact 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 normally placed in the top right side of the page. Even if you don’t have an online store and you’re providing a service or something else with a “Buy Now” button, the service number reassures the user there is a real person behind the scene in case they need help. Because as we all know there’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to get in touch with a live soul!
Establishing trust is key so providing them with ways to contact you if necessary is essential to establishing good business. 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. If you don’t have the staff to manage calls yourself there are plenty of decent virtual call centers out there who do an excellent job of having friendly, live people taking your messages for you.
Always have a good contact form and messaging option on your facebook page. This and a phone number are essential to establishing a positive connection with your potential clients.
7) 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, social messaging and text telling them to click and easily get in touch with you.
If interested in developing more social marketing strategies read this Beginners Guide to Social Media Tactics!