As a small business owner, creating your new website is key to the success of your business. A website is the first impression many businesses give their potential customers. Many users today get their business recommendations from Google, via their smart device. It is more important than ever to have a website that functions properly. The following checklist can act as your guide to planning your new business website.
Security and User experience
These 4 functions will help you create a better user experience and generate leads for your business.
Mobile responsive design
Mobile responsive design is an important SEO signal. Did you know that? More than 55% of social media consumption now happens on mobile devices. Sharing links on social media sites will mean even more traffic from mobile devices. An interesting fact to remember: the majority of Facebook users only visit the mobile site.
An SSL certificate is no longer restricted to, or only relevant for, e-commerce websites. They boost your credibility and SEO. Google continues to push for all websites to have SSL.
Simple navigation and search function
We all use the internet, and browse through many websites. Users get frustrated when navigation doesn’t allow us to reach the destination we expect. When choosing your WordPress theme, check how the navigation and menu work on desktop, tablet and mobile. Don’t forget to check your footer navigations as well.
An impressive menu can transform your website’s design. Beautiful menu designs are easier to do, thanks to all the plugin options. Check out this modern plugin.
Speed is key to the user experience. Sometimes just one mistake, like a wrong choice of hosting company, can keep your potential customers away.
Choosing a fast hosting company from the beginning is critical. It will motivate your customers to search for information that they require, and they’ll stay longer on your website.
Today there is a choice.
The following features will ensure that your website is capable of managing its primary function—lead generation.
Each visitor is important. You want to know, feel, and understand their journey as they make their way through your website. You can track your visitors with a Heatmap. Heatmaps give you amazing detail when deciding how to change your navigation, design, and, more importantly, your CTAs.
Downloadable opt-in offer
Put simply, you build a business website to get more customers. Email is a great lead generation tool for this. Give your visitors reasons to put their email in your signup form. Offer a free download, e-book, PDF, infographic or anything else they may find useful.
Think ahead and consider your overall business functionality. Don’t just build a website, for the sake of building a website and closing it in 6 months. Build a system. Your website is both a touchpoint and a channel for email generation, social sharing, and getting visitors to your CRM system.
For example, if you choose Agile CRM, you can track your visitors’ journey. You can also send personalized text messages, schedule appointments, and so much more! Start by drawing out your buyers’ journey, and how it will eventually flow through to your sales funnel.
Clear CTA buttons
Each page on your website must have a clear CTA. Even your about us page, which is usually ignored by business owners as a converting opportunity.
Here again, the gold is in the details. Let’s look at the chat software itself. There are many ways that chat can help you automate your business and integrate with other departments. Zendesk, for example, provides integrated call centre and help desk solutions. Best of all, your business will get powerful analytics about requests and timing.
Thought leadership and trust building
The blog is something that can build your business from the ground up. Often, companies publish random news about their activities and leave blogs empty or not updated for months. Do you know what the key to a successful blog is? One that generates traffic and trust? The answer is simple: the right content.
How do you make sure that you publish the right content? Start with the big picture—the format and decision process of buying or selecting you as their service provider.
For example, for B2B services that are more expensive and require several decision-makers, different content formats are often recommended. White papers, industry reports, buying guides, and presentations are usually expected.
Dive deeper and analyze the trends and competition. Again, this is not something you want to skip. Your content strategy will determine the voice of your brand online. You need to spend time with a content strategist to ensure that decisions are made based on evidence and positioning tactics.
Your blog is not just free useful information that demonstrates your company’s credibility and develops a healthy relationship with a reader. It can also help you generate leads with Content Locking plugins. We do not suggest that you lock all the content. Lock only the grand pieces that give value to your customers. In short—don’t be greedy.
Reviews and Testimonials
A website is very often your first impression and opportunity to earn trust. Partners and client logos should be placed on the homepage. Reviews and testimonials should be updated continuously. If your website has 5 year old reviews, this will put up a red flag for your customer. Customer videos are a great way to build visitors’ trust. These videos demonstrate your client’s emotions about your brand, and their level of confidence in you.
Social media sharing and related content
The social media sharing function is self-explanatory. There is no excuse for not including as many social media channels as possible. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, Instagram—you need to give your visitors options for engaging with your brand the way they want.
Note: You don’t have to be active on these channels to feature them on your website for sharing.
The related content widget will keep your visitors engaged with your blog content, and help you track which content attracts them the most.
To maintain visitor interest, make sure that you have a comments section, and always ask questions at the end of each blog post. Keep visitors engaged. Demonstrate that you not only state your opinion and expertise, but also care about dialogue in the industry. Reward your users for engaging with your content too. For example, thank them for every engagement. If your users on Facebook like a comment, reply, say thank you and like their comment. How do you keep updated on such triggers on your blog? Use Mention.
Use your blog as a community building tool. The engaged community will become your brand ambassadors and move your business forward.
Video and various formats of content
How can a blog lose its attractiveness? Format. The same goes for images, videos and infographics. Your visitors will only come back if they see that you put in effort. Instead of writing a blog post, try recording audio or making a downloadable checklist. A fresh approach to content helps reach a broader audience. Sometimes it’s not just a topic, but also a format, that can kill sharing and traffic.
SEO and Analytics
SEO optimization plugin
Every site needs SEO. After all, you want to be found by Google. Get started by installing a basic SEO plugin. Yoast SEO is an excellent tool, and it gives you examples of how easy it is to do an internal SEO audit.
Do you really need Google Analytics? This is a common question from business owners who start a website and don’t want to deal with details. You can answer this issue from many different angles. However, if you care about your business and optimizing your marketing budget, the answer is simple. Yes, you absolutely do.
A website is an expression of your business. Therefore, skimping on it reflects badly on your business. Even if a business doesn’t skimp on their website, the content of the website could be mediocre. When people are choosing a business they generally don’t go for the mediocre option. Make a website that your business and customers will be proud of, as this is your first impression for many potential customers.