Most of us know all too well just how important a website is to the success of any business online.
Building and launching a website for your business is special. It represents the symbolic launch of your product or business online.
But before you can do any of that, you need a place to call home on the web.
And in the modern era, nearly every business – whether B2B, B2C, non-profit, local or global – needs an online presence to reach influencers, prospects or buyers in the modern age.
Your website is the virtual storefront of your business.
Shockingly, a recent survey by 1&1 reported that up to 40% of small businesses still don’t have a website. Even if you’re active in social media channels (and you should be, then operating without a website is just silly.
Your website is the most essential piece of your online marketing strategy.
Whether you’re looking to build your first website, or if your existing site just isn’t getting the web traffic or conversions that you were hoping for, you may wonder what it really takes to have an effective business website that’s effective.
First of all … just having a website isn’t going to get your business jack shit for results in the modern era. Instead, you need the ability turn your website into an inbound selling machine.
Your website design has a hefty goal and it needs to wear many hats. It needs to not just exist, it needs to perform. Your website needs to…
But I know what you’re thinking – easier said than done, right?
Today, the web is social and interactive. It’s not static like most websites tend to be. As a result, your website can no longer sustain as its own island.
You now must to consider integrating multiple channels with your website, just a few of which include…
- Visual content (videos, infographics, gifs, etc.)
Gone are the days where all it took was a URL, fancy Flash graphics, and an expensive advertising campaign to temporarily boost your web traffic.
The primary reason for this shift is changing buyer behavior.
Today’s buyer wants to consume information when and how they want … often without the involvement of salespeople. And more importantly, they want to be educated and not sold.
As you can see from this chart, websites and new forms of inbound marketing content (such as podcasts, blogging and social media) have become a considerable factor in the customer journey online.
What might not be apparently visible in these charts is the role your website plays. It’s a pretty damn big one.
In most cases, traffic from blogs, social media, organic search results and paid media end up converting into leads or sales on your company’s website.
Without a website acting as a basecamp, it would be difficult to attract new business to one source. This is why having an effective website is so crucial and that it contains key elements to driving more traffic, leads and revenue.
Most Businesses Try to Do Too Much
It is so tempting to try to do too much with your first website. You get excited, you have a hundred product ideas and business models in mind, and all of a sudden you’ve wasted a week or more (or worse, thousands of dollars) building a website that won’t grow with your business.
This is not the time to find some web designer badass to create your custom logo – use a text logo for now if needed.
It’s not the time to build the website of your dreams – one page will accomplish our goal for now.
This is not the time to write thousands of words of copy for the website – no one will read it because you don’t have an audience when you’re just getting started.
Step 1 – The One-Page Website Design
Have the discipline to build just one page to start. This will be incredibly difficult. And yet, we recommend it because you don’t fully know what your business will become online…not yet.
Next, you must have a way to stay in touch with your audience, right from the beginning.
Ask any business online what mistakes they would avoid if starting over… I’ll wait.
More often than not, you will hear something like:
“I wish I had started building an email list sooner.”
So we’re going to avoid that mistake from the very beginning.
First, your one page website needs 4 key elements …
(usually WordPress is the ideal choice for a first time builder)
(we recommend Bluehost or Wirenine – if you want cost-effective, Try 1&1 – another great option for WordPress builders is WP Engine)
- Email Marketing
(we commonly see Unfunnelers being effective with Aweber or Drip or ConvertKit)
- Objective Home Page
(including business name, tagline, a photo, one paragraph elevator pitch, a primary call-to-action, and email capture form)
Now that we have all of the pieces in place, it’s time to create your one-page website…
Step 2 – Get Found Online
A great website design isn’t so great if no one visits it. This is why objective numero uno should be to get found online, which covers the very top of your marketing funnel.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an absolute must-have to any website strategy, but it takes hard work and consistency when aiming for the top spot.
Our traffic building tips and free guides in the list below will help get you on your way to increasing your organic (non-paid) search engine rankings, building a social presence and gathering web traffic that connects with your business and your website.
Step 3 – Build Your Email List
Now that you’re generating some good traffic by getting found online, your next focus is getting that traffic to stay on your website.
This means a large majority of web traffic entering your website leaves without navigating to any other pages. And many times they may never come back. Yikes! Here are some tips you need to consider to build your email list and decrease your bounce rate.
Step 4 – Engage Subscribers
Content is one of the most important aspects of any website. With the rise of inbound marketing, content has become front and center in the minds of marketers. It is what search engines and people are looking for. It’s what drives visitors to your site and turns prospects into leads.
Take a look at these next must-haves for creating killer website content…
Step 5 – Get Your First Online Sale
Now that you know what it takes to drive traffic and engage visitors with great content, the next step is to get your visitors to convert from a prospect into a lead. You don’t want them leaving without providing some information or else you will lose the opportunity to nurture them until they are ready to buy. Here are some must-haves for increasing your website conversions.
The Internet has changed everything. Internet usage is growing rapidly and you need to be there when potential buyers come looking.
A business website may be the most important factor in your marketing strategy, but it’s more than just having a website, it’s the value you provide and the integration of SEO, social media, blogging, content, CTAs and landing pages that will drive traffic, leads and sales.
After all, it is these components that generate online sales and increase revenue for your business. Inbound marketing is the key to filling your “sales funnel” with qualified leads and your website is where education, engagement and conversion take place.
Follow these guidelines and you will soon have a great website that generates traffic, leads and revenue. But don’t stop there. A profitable online business model never truly stops growing.