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6 Website Must-Haveís for Small Businesses
Home Business Presentation
By: Susan Friesen Email Article
Word Count: 1507 Digg it | it | Google it | StumbleUpon it


Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur and arenít happy with your websiteís performance?

This eTip 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 Iíve got 6 must-haves that are just for you!

So what are these 6 things you must have in order to have a high performing website? Keep watching!

6 Essentials For a High Performing Business Website

1. Consistent & 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 needs to look professional. An amateur looking website will not attract the right kinds of clients.

First impressions are extremely important so it doesnít matter how great you are if the way itís presented looks cheap or unprofessional.

Make sure you donít design something thatís just for you. You might be a huge fan of a colour or design but if itís not something that would appeal to your clients, then it shouldnít be on your website.

We use purple a lot ourselves but we know itís good for our business so keep in mind you may be putting people off if youíre the only one who is a fan of a colour or design element.

2. White Hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Donít underestimate the power of good SEO.

With SEO you are making sure your website is not only something search engines will index and (hopefully) display to users but that itís 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 understanding of SEO even though itís extremely important. Youíre competing with many other websites. If you donít have good white hat SEO, then no matter how good your website is, users wonít be able to find it.

Look at essentials in onsite SEO like having your keyphase targets in things like the title tags, meta data and the url.

A great example is if youíre selling a book. Many people will list the url pertaining to their book as
What you should do is have a url like this:

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 to elements like image naming and alt tags too.

Make sure you have your desired key phases 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.

This part of the industry is daunting so donít be afraid to reach out 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 youíre 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 smart phones are common, itís 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.

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.

With responsive design the template changes so you remove the redundancy of having to do everything twice. Google places a lot of importance on mobile usability so itís a really good idea to get a responsive website if you donít have one already.

If you donít know if your website is responsive or you need help making it that way please get in touch and our website developers will make sure your site displays properly and performs well on mobile devices.

If you donít think your potential clients use smart phones then think again. Over 50% of people are on smart phones when theyíre searching online so please get in touch if yours isnít optimized for mobile devices.

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 theyíll 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 want to give them a way to find their way back. An email newsletter subscription is a great way to to that.

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.

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. ĎI do thisí Ďthis is meí Ďthis is what I doí.

Unfortunately for a user this can leave them asking: what about me?

A website has to reassure a visitor theyíve 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". Hiring a professional copywriter is a great idea because they understand the intentions of the visitorís needs coming first and can make what you do exciting, which helps convert them into a paying customer.

Creating excitement isnít easy to do so a great copywriter is a essential to making sure you get your website visitors excited about you and what you provide.

6. Make It Easy To Reach 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. Itís normally placed in the top right side of the page.

Even if you donít have an online store and youíre 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 establishing trust. 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.

Also have a good contact form. This and a phone number are essential to establishing trust with your potential clients.

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 and text telling them to click and easily get in touch with you.

These are the must-haves for your website.

There are many more things to cover but these 6 are the essentials for success. You may think you have some of these covered but if youíre 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.

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.

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