Do you dream of a great website for your business?

I mean one of those websites that actually make a difference in your business.

You can have a website that is much more than an online brochure. Each business has different needs, goals, and objectives. Only a great website helps you reach those goals.

What are the characteristics of a great business website?

Creates the right impression.

A great website sets the right tone from the start. For the first time, visitors look at your website they should get a great first impression.

The “right” impression is different for every business. If you are building a law firm website, the right impression will be very different from setting the right impression for a web designer. This makes sense because a law firm is a very different business from a web design company.

Who is your website for?

This is so simple yet so many businesses miss this part. Your website should be 80% about your target market and only 20% about your business.

Everything you add to your website should be about your customer. Before you add a new article, web page or image, ask yourself.

How is this going to help my customers?

Superior website content.

Creating the best possible website content is difficult. Perhaps that is the reason for most websites have weak content. Their content is neither unique nor it is excellent quality.

Superior website content is relevant to your target market.

Here is what it takes to have superior website content:

  • Eliminate the fluff. Your website content must stick to the point.
  • Include your target keywords. If you want to improve your search engine rankings, you must include relevant keywords within your website content.
  • Easily readable. Make the sentence structure easy to read. Use short sentences. Avoid complicated words. Your job is not to impress people with big words.
  • Break up the content into easily readable chunks with bullet points.
  • Use subheadings to make content scanning easy.
  • Write, using short paragraphs. Three-four sentences are long enough for a paragraph.
  • Use the second person (you). You want your reader to know that you are writing for her.

Content promotion machine.

The best websites have great content. But, it doesn’t end there. There is also an effective content promotion strategy behind the best websites. It is not enough to have excellent website content.

Even great website content must be promoted.

Here are some great ways to promote your website content:

  • Reach out to influencers and ask them for a quote related to your content.
  • Email influencers when you publish something great. If they like it, they might share it.
  • Reach out to people with similar content.
  • Ask people who linked to similar content to link to your content too.
  • Repurpose your content. Take your most popular blog posts and turn them into Youtube videos. All of a sudden you will hugely increase your audience.
  • Actively participate in online communities such as Reddit, Triberr, Inbound, etc.
  • Submit your pages to Flipboard.
  • Turn your most popular content into Kindle books. Share your website’s URL throughout the books for more traffic.
  • Share your content on social media.

Better SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Certain websites are on the first page of Google. That is no accident. The websites that are on the top of the search engines are there because the businesses behind them understand the importance of SEO.

If you don’t have competition, you don’t need to worry about SEO. But, for most businesses, SEO is vital. Only, of course, if you want to rank ahead of your competition. The good news is that you can outrank your competition.

SEO starts with on-page optimization:

  • Page title optimization. Start the page title with the target keyword.
  • Header optimization. Each header should include, preferably start with the target keyword phrase.
  • Meta tag optimization.
  • Image optimization.
  • Content optimization.
  • URL optimization. Make sure the page URL include your target keyword.

Once you have optimized your website for your target keywords, you are ready for the off-site or off-page SEO.

Off-site SEO includes the following:

  • Build links to your website from reputable websites.
  • Share your content on social networks.
  • Become a guest blogger.
  • List your website in relevant directories.
  • Interact within relevant groups and forums.
  • Network with relevant non-competing websites.

Simple navigation.

Just because your web designer knows how to program a complicated navigation, it doesn’t mean that it will improve your website. A simple navigation makes for a better website. It makes browsing simple. Simple navigation results in quick browsing.

Aggressively grow your email subscriber list.

Email marketing helps to increase your website conversion rate. Why? Because email marketing is still one of the most powerful website marketing tactics.

People who subscribe to your email list trust you. It is much easier to sell to people who like and trust you. Give people a good reason to subscribe to your email list.

Fast page loading.

If your website takes more than a few seconds to load, you are losing money. It is that simple. If you want higher website conversions, you need a faster loading website. It is best if your website loads in under three seconds.

You can improve the speed of your website by the following:

  • Reduce the size of your web pages.
  • Optimize all images for the web.
  • Sign up for a high-quality website host. Keep in mind that the cheapest hosting companies are not of the highest quality.
  • Install a caching plugin for your WordPress website.
  • Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network).

Offer several ways to get in touch.

Different people prefer different ways to get in touch with your business. Give people options. Some people prefer to call. Others rather complete a contact form. Some people want to interact with you through social media.

Give website visitors several options to contact you.

Show customer testimonials.

Your future customers want to read what your past customers say about your business. Your website should have a page dedicated to customer testimonials.

You can make customer testimonials even more effective by:

  • Adding photos.
  • Asking your customers to share stories of how your company helped them.
  • Sharing exact number, percentages, and facts. Don’t just say it helped. Say it improved website sales by 200 percent.
  • Asking influencers to give you testimonials.

Work as promised.

This is simple yet so many websites fail to work flawlessly. Everything on your website should “just” work. I know it’s simple.

If you have a contact form, make sure that it works. If there is an online chat feature, make sure someone is there to answer questions in real time. It is a huge turn off when an online chat is “offline.”

When visitors click on a link they should land on the intended page. Your website should work flawlessly. It is your reputation. Make it work.

Know your website stats.

In my web design business, when I ask entrepreneurs about their website stats they are usually clueless.

Here is what I think. If you don’t know your website stats, you don’t know what’s going on with your website. The result is that your website will underperform.

If you want to improve your website, you must know your stats. A great tool for this is Google Analytics. Install it on your website today.

photo credit: reynermedia Men at work via photopin (license)