Insider Secrets Of The Ultimate Business Websites
What makes some business websites and online stores highly successful? Every business and website had to start somewhere, so why do we see some businesses and websites out perform others, thrive and succeed while others fizzle away and disappear?
Creating Websites Is Easy, Creating A Profitable Website Is NOT.
It turns out that creating a business website or online store is relatively easy. On the other hand, creating a business website or online store that generates profitable revenue for its owners is far more challenging, and is part art, part science, and part testing.
So, what sets profitable business websites from those that are not?
A Product People Need And Want
Building a successful business website or online store begins before a single line of software is written. It starts with a product or service that people want and need. It is important as a business to aim to solve a big and worth while problem that clients will be happy to pay for.
A Clear and Differentiated Marketing Position
Successful small businesses have clear marketing positions, with clear features, clear products and clear services that differentiate them from the competition. Businesses with marketing positions that sound similar to others, or try to compete on features that may seem important, but are not, will fail in acquiring customers. There marketing messages will get lost in the competitive noise.
A Compelling Design
Imagine spending thousands of dollars on your marketing campaign, ad-copy, headlines, images, and targeting only to send your potential clients to a poorly designed business website. To ensure your website or online store doesn’t become detrimental to your marketing effort you need to consider the following factors in your website:
- Never send your clients to the home page, they should always land on a specific landing page that is related to what the client is looking for.
- Every page in your website should fully load in under 6 seconds.
- Invest in high quality images (custom photography is great, quality stock images will do the trick most of the time).
- Make sure that your website navigation is simple and clear.
- Your website needs to answer the following question in under 30 seconds:
- What is the product / service that you offer?
- Can I trust you?
- How much does it cost?
Effective Communication Tools
Business websites and online stores that are good at converting visitors to paying clients are extremely good with communication. They ensure that a client has multiple communication channels back to the business.
- Email and Contact numbers are clearly defined and visible in the website header.
- Contact forms and links to the contact page are found throughout the website.
- They use tools such as live chat and support system to enhance communication with their potential and existing clients.
Businesses that excel at converting website visitors into paying clients pay a close attention to data security. The obvious reason is that security boosts consfidence in the brand, and integrity of the way it handles any online transactions whether monetary or otherwise. However, great businesses invest in security measures because it protects their business and customers in the long term. Recovering from hacking attacks, lost data, or website downtime can be expensive, and can give the wrong message to your potential and existing clients.
Important security measures to follow include the following:
- An SSL Certificate to encrypt transmission to and from the website. This is mandatory for all online stores, but also important to have on business websites.
- Website Redundancy: This feature protects your website from any downtime. All websites are hosted in datacenters that can be affected by networking or hardware failures. While these events are rare they can not be completely eliminated. Website Redundancy allows your website to stay up no matter what happens in the datacenter where it is being hosted.
- Data Protection: Imagine a scenario where your website is lost due to a hacking incident, or human error on part of your team. What will happen to your registered user records, financial transaction records, website updates, posts, and more? If you are planning to build a highly dynamic website, then consider protecting your website data.
Successful businesses understand precisely who their customers are, where they come from, how they heard about their brand, and how they interact with their website or online store. This comes with experience, testing and measurement tools:
- Analytics: Data analytics identifies the source of a website visitor, their mobile device type, where they live, which page of the website they landed on, and which page they exited from.
- Recording & Heatmaps: In contrast to analytics, recordings and heatmaps provide precise information on what a visitor did on each page, which parts of the page were confusing, which parts peeked their interest, and which parts caused them to leave.
Insight tools provide the information necessary to enhance the website flow, design, content, messaging, and dramatically increase conversion rates.
The most important role of a business website or online store is to convert mere website visitors into leads and paying customers that are connected to your brand. One of the most critical elements of a successful business website are the well designed opportunities and mechanisms for website visitors to convert into leads by providing their email address, or phone number for further lead nurturing. However, in order for the lead conversion mechanism to work it must be compelling and reliable.
A well designed website that is compelling, secure, and great at converting visitors into leads is ineffective without a source of relevant visitors. While paid advertising is certainly one avenue that many businesses take, the best businesses can generate relevant leads and traffic at extremely low costs by doing some of the below:
- Creating content that their potential clients find useful (inbound marketing).
- Reaching out to potential clients through relevant blogging websites, meet ups, and trade shows.
- Building a community of followers on social media.
- Search Engine Optimization to ensure their website and content ranks well on search engines.
In addition to these sources of free traffic, a business can consider the following paid sources of relevant traffic:
- Targeting website visitors on social media such as Facebook through a mechanism called re-targetting.
- Google Adwords for relevant search keywords (Make sure to use commercially relevant keywords and not informational keywords).
- Facebook social media advertising using their advanced and very granular audience mechanism.
- Explore print-ads, radio ads, radio and T.V. appearances, etc.