If you’re in business, you need to have an online presence.
If you’re just starting out, here are the five things you should consider incorporating into your current plan.
1) Have a professionally designed, mobile friendly website
You have less than five seconds to make a first impression. After that, people decide to leave or stay on your website.
If you do nothing else, make sure this point is covered.
Your website must be simple to understand and appear professional.
That means don’t use free website builders such as Wix or GoDaddy website builders. It screams that you don’t really care about your business or your customers.
I build most of my websites (including this one) on the Genesis Framework using themes created by Studiopress (the creator of Genesis) as a starting point for customizations.
These websites are SEO optimized, mobile responsive (expand and collapse to all screen sizes), simple and professional looking.
They’re also built to schema.org specifications, which means they are built the way search engines can read and understand them.
I advise anyone looking for a website to start on this framework and add custom features as needed.
*Note this is not an ideal framework for beginner web developers, since it is fairly bare-bones and will require coding or plugins to customize to your needs.
2) Use clear call to actions
Before building your website, you should be thinking:
What is the main thing I want visitors achieve with this website and how can we get them to do the steps necessary to achieve it?.
If you’re a law firm, for example, you may want people to read about your services, experience, and maybe even some of your publications before contacting you in order to build their trust and demonstrate your authority. After-which, you want them to contact you for more information.
But sometimes people simply want to contact you without reading your content. There should be a call to action on every page offering the visitor links to content on the website and an equally prominent call to action to contact you.
Which brings us to the next point…
3) Make it easy to contact you
Make your contact information visible on every page, near the top and at the bottom.
People won’t spend long trying to figure how to do business with you, and if you don’t make it painfully obvious to them, they’ll leave your website and you will lose business.
If your phone number isn’t plastered on the top of every page, make sure you have buttons or links everywhere to take the visitor to the contact page.
Your phone number, email address and physical address should all be impossible to miss.
4) Create valuable content
In order to build trust online, you need to give something of value first. Hair Salons can give tips for hair and beauty, trends to watch for and offer promotions along with that content to give as much value as possible.
A website, like your business, is there to serve.
Make sure your content is not about you, but is instead speaking to the real needs and desires of your visitors. After all, they are opening their wallet for you. But you must give them something of value first.
Content builds authority which builds trust which leads to purchases.
Many purchases if you’re doing it right.
5) Invest in social media and email marketing
Why is social media and email marketing important, you ask?
It’s low cost, very personal and highly effective when applied consistently.
Now that you’re creating content of value, your next step is to promote the heck out of it.
Share it with people who you know can use it. You’re not selling them anything, you’re giving them something that solves a very real need or value. For free.
Make sure your content is not self-promotional. Make it easy for that person to want to share it with other people who may find it valuable. Make it super easy to read too, if possible.
Serve, serve, serve and people will repay you tenfold.
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