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6 essentials for a high-performing business website

Nowadays, in order to boost the sales of any product, having a business website adds marketability and character to a company.

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Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur and aren’t happy with your website’s performance?

This tip 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 six must-haves that are just for you!

1. Consistent and 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 also needs to look professional because an amateur-looking website will not attract the right kinds of clients. 

First impressions are extremely important, so it doesn’t matter how great you are if the way it’s presented looks cheap or unprofessional. Make sure you don’t design something that’s just for you. You might be a huge fan of a color or a design, but if it’s not something that would appeal to your clients, then it shouldn’t be on your website.

2. White hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Don’t underestimate the power of good SEO. With it, 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 the understanding of SEO even though it’s extremely important. If you don’t have good white hat SEO, then users won’t be able to find your website no matter how good it is.

Look at essentials in onsite SEO like having your keyphrase targets in things like the title tags, metadata 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. You can even add the keywords you want to rank for in elements like image naming and alt tags as well. Make sure you have your desired key phases set and then include them in the onsite copy. All of this is the setup for SEO, so Google knows what you want to rank for.

This part of the industry is daunting, so don’t be afraid to ask 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 almost everyone is equipped with smartphones, it’s important to have a website that can be viewable on one.

With a 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 be detected by the device and would display the appropriate one. With this though, there were two websites to maintain and update.

Having a responsive design saves you the redundancy of having to do everything twice as your website’s template adjusts accordingly. Google places a lot of importance on mobile usability, so it’s a really good idea to get a responsive website if you don’t have one already.

Email newsletter

An email newsletter is a perfect go-getter to capture the attention of your visitor or, maybe, your next client. (Source)

4. List building and follow-up

List building should also be in place because if a user comes to your website for the first time, there is a small chance he or she will 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 should give them a route to find their way back. An email newsletter subscription is a great way to help them return.

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 address.

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, it can leave them asking this question: 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. In crafting your message, you should use terms like “You” and “Your” rather than “Me” or “I.”

Hiring a professional copywriter is also 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 him or her into a paying customer.

Creating excitement isn’t easy to do, so a great copywriter is an essential to attract visitors to your website and get them excited about you and what you provide.

6. Easy way to contact

You should make the process of contacting you as easy as possible. If you have an online store, you’ll need a customer service phone number prominently displayed. It is normally on 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. Establishing trust is key, so providing them with ways to contact you if necessary is essential to create that trust. You will get more 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 to do it. So whatever you can do to provide one is a must. Also, you must have a good contact form. This and a phone number are essential to building the trust with your potential clients.

Have a CTA or call to action that leads users toward their destination. If your conversion is qualified by a contact, then you should lead users on each page towards the contact page. Use buttons and text telling them to click and easily get in touch with you.

There are many more things to cover, but these six 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 excessive code to index well, and it could actually be working against you.

DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence. As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

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