20 Things your Website Needs
Create a blog post subtitle that summarizes your post in a few short, punchy sentences and entices your audience to continue reading.
Your website is your storefront. In many cases it provides a prospect’s first impression of your company. You know what they say about first impressions; you can only make one and it better count. The good news is that keeping in mind a few fundamentals and making a few simple tweaks to your website can take it from bland to brilliant. You can create a website that attracts visitors, converts clients, and helps you build a prosperous and exciting business.
Invitation To Friend/Follow On Social Media Social media is more than a trend or a tactic that you can use to build an audience. It’s as essential for most industries as a website itself. And merely having a social media “presence” isn’t enough; you have to let people know you’re active on social media by inviting them to interact. There are many ways to accomplish this; one of the simplest is to extend an invitation – “Follow me on Facebook,” for example, and include a link to your page. Professional Quality Logo/Header The world of Internet marketing is vast and competitive. While you can create your own blog header, you should probably leave it to the professionals unless you happen to be a design whiz. Make an investment in your brand and your business by creating a strong and relevant header and logo to represent your business. Easy To Navigate Make sure your visitors can find their way around your website quickly and easily. If you’re uncertain about how to accomplish this, then study websites that you visit often. Notice how they guide you through the site. Do they provide relevant and easy to recognize navigation tabs? Does the flow of the site seem logical? Is there a search function so you can head directly to the page or information you’re looking for? Interaction / Comments Does your website invite visitors to comment on your articles and blog posts? One of the best ways to not only measure engagement, but to also create it, is to take a look at the level of interaction on your site. With WordPress you can turn comments on and off and you can allow comments for a specific period of time. Some business owners choose to not allow comments, but if you don’t then you may be selling your visitors short. Engage them in conversation and invite interaction and comments. You’ll not only learn a lot about your audience, you’ll help build a loyal community of customers. Another option is to include Facebook comments. That way the conversation on your blog is continued on Facebook, where more people are likely to see and interact. Social Bookmarking Social bookmarking not only adds value to your visitors and prospects, it also helps boost your traffic and brand awareness. By adding a social bookmarking function to your site, your visitors can bookmark using the bookmarking service of their choice. There are several top quality WordPress plugins that make social bookmarking easy. You can add buttons for the primary sites like Reddit and Pinterest. When someone bookmarks your site it’s added to their account, where other users can browse and share. Be sure you’re featuring the bookmarking sites that appeal most to your audience. Fresh and Catchy Content The single most important thing you can do to transform from bland to brilliant is to create the best content possible. Fresh content means that your content is recent and it’s topical. You’re not creating content about something that happened five years ago or even five months ago. You’re creating content about what’s going on right now. And catchy content varies depending on your niche and your audience. The most important thing to remember when contemplating what makes something catchy is what voice and style you want to communicate to your readers. Are you serious? Funny? Controversial? What makes your content interesting, different, and valuable to your reader? Archives With Clearly Distinguishable Keywords This function is particularly important if you have a blog or other WordPress based website. Make finding information easy for your visitors by creating archives. Archives are essentially directories for old content. No one wants to search through page after page of old content just to find something they’re looking for. They want to be able to find what they need with a few clicks of their mouse. Use keywords that accurately describe the subject of the content to organize your archives. Search Field It doesn’t matter what the foundation is for your website – Joomla or WordPress or anything in between – it is important to make it fully usable by anyone who visits. One of the simple tools you can use to make this happen is a simple search field. It was briefly mentioned in Item #3 above, where navigation was discussed. There are different search tools you can use.Inquiry Form What do you want people to do when they’re at your site and they have a question? You might already have a FAQ page (hopefully you do), but what if the answer to a visitor’s question isn’t on that page? Ideally, you want your visitor to be able to reach out and ask their question. This keeps them engaged and connected to your business. To make this happen, it has to be easy for them to contact you. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is to have a contact form or an inquiry form on your site. They enter their email address, subject line, and ask their question. You or your customer service assistant receives the message and can promptly respond. FAQ Page FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions. Including an FAQ page on your website helps make it more user friendly. Create a list of the most common questions you receive and turn it into a separate page on your site. Make sure that like all your other valuable pages, this FAQ page is easy to find and read. As you receive more questions, you can add to the page. When you’re creating your FAQ content remember to make it valuable and easy to understand, and don’t forget to include your unique voice in the content. If you’re witty when you create blog posts then be witty when you create your FAQ page. Consistency helps strengthen your brand. List Of Awards Earned and/or Recognition If you or your business has been recognized for anything relevant to your industry then by all means make sure it’s acknowledged somewhere on your website. Awards and recognition give you a boost in credibility. If you haven’t won any awards or received any relevant recognition, that’s okay. You’re certainly not alone. Consider including a campaign to win an award in your business planning. Get involved in your industry and get acknowledged. Media Page Do you have a media page? A media page is designed to help provide the media with the essential information they need. Approach it with the belief that the media will come looking for you and will want to learn more about your business. Here are just a few of the elements to include on your media page: o Company Mission and History o Product List o Company Bios o Company News and Press Releases o Brochures, Logos, Images Competition – Get People Involved Competition has the tendency to ignite a fire of attention and sales. There are many ways you can use competition to add fun and flare to your business. For example, you might use it to build awareness of your Facebook page. For example, anyone who “likes” your page could be automatically entered into a drawing to win a prize. Another type of competition gets your prospects involved and contributing, so you might have them share a story that’s relevant to your niche and readers can vote on whose is the best story. They could create videos too. Top Quality Free Downloads Freebies are appreciated by just about everyone. However, they can’t be the average run of the mill freebies. Your free content needs to provide unique value to each prospect. It should solve a problem in an organized and efficient manner. Some of the best freebie downloads are simple. Relationships With Relevant Industry Professionals Relationships are what build business. You have relationships with your customers and prospects, your vendors, contractors and much more. Each relationship is an opportunity to leverage, grow, and prosper. Relationships with relevant industry professionals can be significant. Contributor Content Let other people create content for you. Each guest blogger, interview, or contributing author brings their audience with them. You’ll gain traffic and followers. You’ll also gain credibility by providing your prospects with a variety of valuable content. Community Involvement What are you doing to make the world a better place? Getting involved in your community is great for business. It not only promotes you locally, it provides you with content to share online as well. And you can invite your prospects to get involved in your community causes. A Newsletter Email marketing is still one of the most powerful means to connect with your prospects, build relationships and make sales. However, your email newsletter has to be valuable. Make sure it provides different value than your website content. And separate that content so that newsletter subscribers receive unique value. Membership Option Have you ever considered offering a membership for your business? Members receive exclusive content, products or services, or promotions. You can charge for the membership or offer it for free. The choice depends largely on your audience, niche, and goals. Consider offering a membership option for your site to help broaden your offerings and set your website apart from your competition. Events Hosting events is a great way to not only attract attention to your business but get people involved with your business – events creates relationships. Consider hosting regular events and adding a promotional banner on your site to generate interest and attendance. You can host regular monthly webinars, chats, and other events to educate and promote at the same time.
20 ways you can improve your website and make it stand out from your competition. Of course there are many other ways as well, these are just a few. Start with a few of these changes and gradually implement more of them as can. Each step you take helps your business grow, provides value to your visitors and prospects, and attracts more people to you and your wonderful Internet based business.
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