If You Want a Successful Business Website Here is What You Need to Do!
Have You Given Any Thought to Your Business Website?
Not having a business website is simply not an option in 2018 and beyond! A successful business website is absolutely essential for any effective digital marketing strategy. Most business owners understand that. But many business owners give very little thought to what it takes to establish a successful business website. And that is not a good thing!
A successful business website is much more than simply having a few pages up and running. Usually their business website is a company’s first introduction to its online target audience. According to Smashing Magazine 92% of consumers trust the information they find online about a company or business. And 75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design.
Therefore it is essential to make the best possible impression right from the beginning. And you can only do that with a successful business website!
A Well-Designed Website Supports Your Business Objectives!
A well-designed, professional business website is an irreplaceable asset for any business. A successful business website serves as an online identity for your business. And it is the strongest platform for generating business both in terms of new and repeat clients as well as revenue.
However, in order to ensure that your business website is the best possible fit for your business, you need to proactively engage in the process of establishing a successful business website.
And simply throwing something together is not going to do you much good. To create a successful business website takes a number of critical steps. From determining your target audience and content strategy to designing the actual website and maintaining it afterwards takes a variety of professional skills. Here is what you need to do to create your own successful business website.
Establishing A Successful Business Website
The Planning Phase
Hiring the Right Web Designer or Agency
Any successful business website design project starts with finding a professional website designer — a designer who is confident about making your business website work for your business. A successful business website is too important for your business to leave the design and content to an amateur.
A professional website designer not only knows how to create beautiful designs, but also how you can get the most out of your business website. They will pay attention to the smallest details to convert a beautiful design into a successful business website.
Coding best practices, following the design and coding standards, high converting call-to-action areas, on-page optimization for search engines, website optimization for speed and performance… a professional web designer knows the right way of doing things. He will take care of your website so that you can take care of your business.
But finding one is one of the major challenges! Stay away from cheap service providers and bad web design agencies; they do more harm than good. A functional website is not the same as a successful business website. You also want to make sure to get the most from your web designer. Be sure to look at their portfolio and make sure their design style matches your expectations.
Choosing the Right Domain and Platform for your Website
Domain name, web hosting and content management system are the founding pillars of a successful business website. Start by selecting a professional domain name for the online identity of your business, get a reliable web-host and pick a flexible content management system. All this will require you to do some thorough research. Or if you have a professional web designer you can follow their recommendations.
Domain Name Registrar: Find the best domain name registrar to buy the domain name for your business. We use and recommend GoDaddy as our domain registrar. Use a .COM domain if at all possible; it provides the most value. Avoid cute or odd spelling and special characters like hyphens and dashes! And keep in mind that Google requires sites to have a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate since July 2018. Be sure to ask your hosting provider for one!
Web Hosting Provider: BlueHost, Siteground, and InMotion are excellent web hosting providers. We personally recommend and use WPEngine for hosting WordPress websites for our clients. You can learn more about different business website hosting options here. And check out Who Is Hosting This for their up-to-date website hosting comparisons.
Content Management System: Websites can be built on plain HTML or any of the advanced programming languages like PHP, ASP, etc. But for a successful business website you need a professional content management system that is flexible, extensible and future proof. Your options range from SquareSpace, Shopify and Wix to Joomla, Drupal and WordPress. WordPress gets our highest recommendation because it is scalable, can be fully customized, and is fairly easy to manage yourself.
Identifying Your Target Audience
Without understanding of who exactly your target audience is and what they expect from your business website it will be impossible to create a successful business website and target your content to appeal to them. But many small-business owners don’t narrow their focus enough.
We always recommend playing the stick-figure game. Create different personas of your ideal customer or client. Use each persona to determine what needs they have when coming to your website. Here are some questions you need to answer:
- What is the age of your target audience?
- Are they mobile users or more likely to sit at a desktop PC?
- Is your audience tech savvy or will they need extra guidance?
- Are they interested in your product or service for business or pleasure?
- What products or services are they most likely to buy from you?
The Creation and Design Phase
Matching Your Brand Identity
You probably noticed that there is a lot of competition in the digital world! In order to be heard and seen above all the digital noise your business website needs to be unique and the best it can possibly be! The design, your brand identity, and your voice all count. Simply choosing a free website / WordPress theme will do much for your business.
You will have to invest in a professional website design that builds on your existing brand identity if you really want a successful business website. Be sure it truly defines your product & services and puts you ahead of your online and brick-and-mortar competitors. If you need more help read How to Create a Kick Ass Brand Strategy here.
Keyword Research and Strategy
Before you can start thinking about the content for your new business website you need to understand what search terms and keywords will drive visitors to your site. That way, you know which keywords and phrases to use when you describe your products or services. This is the key to ranking better than your competitors for the selected keywords in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
You can use a tool like Google Analytics to find out what your business website visitors are most interested in on your existing website. If you do not yet have a business website you will need to spend more time and effort identifying your target audience. Once you have identified the needs of your target audience you can use a tool like SEMrush to research your keywords. Our Small Business SEO Toolbox has even more resources for you.
Creating Valuable Content
Along with a great design and a fully functional website, you will need to create engaging and valuable content for the site visitors to interact with your site and for search engine bots to index your site. Integration of the weblog is a good idea to move in this direction.
This will help you in having a one to one conversation with your online visitors on one hand and on the other hand it will help you in establishing your authority as a brand. Building valuable content is nonetheless a challenge in itself — before churning out the words, you will have to identify your keywords and plan the content accordingly.
Choosing a Design
Aesthetics are subjective, but designing a successful business website according to your own tastes is a big mistake. A business website that looks outdated or has an unpleasant design is a major turnoff for your prospects. Especially in competitive markets the company that provides the best first impression usually gets the sale. So keep these two guidelines in mind:
Keep It Professional: You want people to take your company seriously? Then invest in a site that looks legitimate. Unless you’re a savvy site-builder, hire a consultant. Your website is the image you’re sharing with a whole world of potential customers. Make it the best it can be!
Keep It Simple: Don’t overwhelm. Lots of graphical additions and colorful sections on your site look messy and confuse your site visitors. Keep a streamlined approach and focus on simplicity.
Organizing Site Architecture
The key to a successful business website is to present the valuable content from the previous step to your potential clients in an intuitive and easy to navigate way. Be sure to start with a simple and consistent navigation menu. Don’t make it difficult for your target audience to find what they are looking for. If you do they will go elsewhere!
No matter what business or industry you are in, a successful business website must include the following:
About Page: The autobiographical section of your website, the “About” page, is a crucial trust-builder and attention-grabber. This page should never be generic. It’s a history of your company that details who you are and what you do, written in a tone that matches your company’s culture. Include personal bios of your top management staff. That gives a sense of transparency and openness to what you do and fosters connection with prospective customers.
Services or Products Page: Your target audience will expect to learn how your business can fulfill their needs. Give them what they want by providing detailed and relevant information regarding your products and services. If you offer multiple products or services you should list each on a separate page. And be sure to organize them into distinct verticals.
Contact Page: Contact information tells your customers you are reachable and at their service, whenever they might need you. Don’t be shy about listing ways to get in touch across platforms and devices. It gives the best impression of your accessibility and engagement when you offer e-mail, phone, mail and social media options for your target audience to connect with you.
You should also include your contact information at the footer of each individual page. Many website visitors will expect to find it there. But be sure to keep your NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information consistent everywhere. Search engines will love you for it!
Social Media Integration: Building in social media, like your Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds, to your website helps boost your engagement on those platforms and allows you to more easily keep in touch with your customer base.
We suggest adding your social media platforms in the page footers and in the top menu if you have the extra space. Having your business found on social media not only helps you build your social media audience; it also adds another layer of trust for potential clients.
Page Footer: You can take the opportunity to further engage your website visitors by adding content to your page footer. Including information such as your contact info, location on the map, recent blog posts, or one of your social media feeds helps you in building the trust of your site visitors.
We also recommend that you add as many of the following as applicable to your business website:
- A Blog
- A FAQs page
- A Resources page
- A Testimonials page
- A Portfolio page
- Case Studies or White Papers
Selling Products & Services
Having a basic business website is a good start. But you can take your business to the next level by selling your products and services on your website. That is what a successful business website is all about… generating more revenue online. Even if you only have one or two products or services you can reach a much bigger audience by selling them on your business website.
With WordPress or any CMS as the foundation for your successful business website, you can decide to employ the e-commerce feature anytime in the future. And by implementing open-source technology like Woo Commerce, OpenCart, Magento and PayPal you can add a lot of functionality in a very time and cost-effective way.
However, it requires additional skills and resources to build and maintain a successful e-commerce store. You need to understand the mobile social shopper and how to provide the shopping experience they expect. It is essential that your site is transparent and secure or your customers may not feel secure enough to complete a transaction. If you are planning on selling products or services on your business website you should consult with your web designer or agency from the beginning.
The Maintenance Phase
Ongoing Website Maintenance
Developing a successful business website is a one-time activity, unless you are looking to redesign your site frequently. But a successful business website is very complex, and has a lot of moving parts. To keep the website running optimally it has to maintained on an ongoing basis.
To make having a successful business website as worry free as possible you need to keep the database, website framework or theme, and all plugins and extensions up to date. You should update as soon as new versions become available. This includes checking that all the new versions are still compatible with each other.
You also need to keep your business website optimized for speed, secure against malicious login attempts and other cyber attacks, and clear of any spam. And just in case something does go catastrophically wrong you should perform regular backups of your site and all its content. Trust us, you will sleep better at night!
Updating content, uploading graphics, adding and maintaining a video channel, resolving minor design issues, experimenting with colors, fonts and other design elements, building landing pages as and when required are some of the things involved in maintaining the site.
You can hire a website design agency for ongoing maintenance services and pay for it monthly, or you can train your staff members to take care of the issues involved in site management. You will need to manage your online presence just as you look after your physical store.
Assessing and Optimizing Website Performance
As your successful business website grows in terms of content and visitors, you will need to evaluate the bandwidth of the site and see if it is able to efficiently handle the requests. From time to time this may require you to review your web hosting plan and upgrade the plan or migrate the hosting environment to meet your business website requirements.
If you have a dedicated server, you don’t need to worry about upgrading the plan, but you need to ensure that you have regular backups of the site. And if your web server is slow, you definitely need to migrate to a better hosting provider.
To ensure optimal website performance, you will need to tweak and tune the performance of the website by enabling caching, improving page speed, and compressing images.
And don’t forget that part of having a successful business website involves the ongoing performance tracking and analysis of your search marketing strategy. This is especially important if you want to stay ahead of the frequent Google Algorithm Updates.
Creating Your Own Successful Business Website
Having a successful business website is like having an employee who works for you 24/7 and caters to your customers all around the world. A successful business website is a perfect salesman — one who knows everything about your company, works around the year, meets thousands of people everyday and helps you in growing your business exponentially. And therefore having a successful business website is an investment to secure the future of your business. Tap into that opportunity today.
As a business investment establishing a successful business website should not be taken lightly. The future success of your business may well depend on it. Therefore we really do not recommend that you do this on your own. We have seen too many business owners fail miserably and give up in frustration. And we can’t recommend cheap DIY solutions like Wix or Weebly either. The only time and cost-effective way for your business to establish a successful business website is to have a professional do it for you.
Your chosen web designer or agency should be committed to being a good service partner and provider. You should be committed to being a good client. If everyone works together as a team toward a shared vision of success and avoids common website design problems the project will end well, and everyone will be happy! Are you ready for a successful business website for your business?
Let Us Build a Successful Business Website For You!
Reach out to us to learn more about our innovative website solutions, and how our team can help you build a successful business website for your business or product brand.
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Espresso Digital Blog