7 Essentials Every New Website Must Have
Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur who is unsure about your website’s functionality, appearance and performance? After all your website should be your number one marketing asset. What good is all that time and effort spent if you’re not receiving any conversions 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 to look too 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.
*Update! At the bottom of this post is a link to an overlooked necessity a lot of bloggers don’t think of. That is the legal aspects of having a website, blog or online business. With these affordable legal templates created by an attorney you can ensure that your blog is compliant with the law and covered in case of any violations you may not even be aware of. Always better to be safe than sorry, and definitely worth the peace of mind!
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 after all is your online STOREFRONT.
Make sure your branding represents your products and services accurately.
There are numerous companies that provide inexpensive and stunning websites with numerous designs and themes to choose from that look extremely professional like WordPress, Squarespace, Wix or Weebly.
WordPress offers thousands of themes and plugins which is perfect for bloggers and website owners of all types of businesses.
If you need a stunning website custom designed for you or your enterprise contact us here.
For you DIYer’s you may find this post helpful:
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 and you need to think of it as a marathon rather than a race.
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.
Google has over 200 ranking factors that it takes into consideration when ranking websites!
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 which was created just for internet marketers.
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.
Get the Free Powerhouse Guide Checklist to SEO to be sure you have everything you need to rank higher in the search engines.
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.
Looking for an adaptive, mobile responsive website? Contact us!
Now that over 2/3 of the population does business on their Smart Phones, 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. Email List and Follow Up
List building or an email list 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 is a perfect example of a company that has created everything an online business owner needs to quickly build and create a fully functional e-commerce store and it’s one of the easiest ones to set up.
With Shopify you don’t even need your own products to sell! You can easily set up one and offer affiliate products from Amazon or drop ship items from Oberlo. Read the below post to learn more.
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, templates, a PDF report, swipe files or printables.
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 message 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”.
A popular acronym to keep in mind is: WIIFM – What’s in it for me – when it comes to thinking about your prospect or customer to be.
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 make sure you get your website visitors excited about you and what you provide above your competition.
6. Make It Easy To Contact You
Make the process of contacting you as easy as possible. With our attention spans less than a goldfish no one has the patience to go looking.
If you have an online business or 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 a store you may be providing a service or consultation.
A “Buy Now” “Free Consultation Now” “Learn More Now” button, reassures the user there is a someone or (something) behind the scenes in case they want or need further help and assistance.
This is why Live Chat has become so popular because as we all know there’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to get in touch with someone at 2am even if they are a robot!
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 as mentioned there is Live Chat or 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 or social share buttons are essential to establishing a positive connection with your potential clients.
7) Have a clear 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 your social media efforts aren’t bringing you the results you need perhaps you could use a Social media Audit to reveal where the gaps are between your success and where you need to be.
Get in touch with us today to schedule your audit and stop flying blind!
There are many other factors which play into building a successful online business but these website tips will help you bring in traffic, engage visitors and spread the word about your business or blog.
For an extensive list of how to promote your website or blog get the Ultimate checklist here.
Is Your Blog/Website Legal?
And last but not least make certain that your blog is Legal! The last thing you want is to be violating any laws from the FTC or heaven forbid faced with a suit for using an image you shouldn’t of. Even if you’re not writing about sensitive topics like medical, financial or legal issues you still need to have certain policies on your blog like Terms and Conditions, Privacy policies, GDPR information, disclaimers and others.
You can get an affordable legal bundle trusted by thousands of bloggers and entrepreneurs created by a lawyer here to make sure you are complying with all the laws.