We often get asked the question by clients starting out in business:
“Do I really need a website?”
The short answer is: YES.
While you might be generating some good business so far just through your Facebook Business Page or your Instagram page, without a website you’re missing out on all of the potential business from people who are actively searching for your product or service online.
Did you know that 97% of consumers these days find what they need through online searches? In order for your business to get found by Google or other search engines, you need to have a website. There’s no two ways about it.
If you need any further convincing, statistics show that 75% of consumers judge the credibility of your business based on the quality of your website. I know I definitely base some of my judgement of other businesses on their websites!
A good website needs to look both aesthetically pleasing (i.e. look professional with compelling branding and messaging), but it also needs to be functional and convert your website visitors into leads and paying clients.
Below is a list of the top 10 things you need to build into your website to optimise your online real estate and maximise your chances of winning the clients you deserve.
10 Essential Things You Need to Have on Your Website
1. Powerful Branding and Messaging.
First impressions matter.
Website visitors will only become paying clients if they feel a sense of trust and confidence in your brand. And that trust and confidence is built in large part through your branding and messaging.
It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to get good quality design and branding done, and this is not an area you want to do on the cheap. Get a professional to help you with your logo and brand style, and take the time to get crystal clear and powerful with your messaging.
Our 3-day Fempreneur workshop is focused specifically on helping you to develop a powerful branding and marketing strategy for your business. Click here to inquire about upcoming dates and workshops.
2. A Clear Call to Action
After you’ve instilled trust and confidence with your branding and messaging, you need to tell visitors what they need to do to engage with you.
Do they need to book a Discovery Call with you? A Free Initial Consult? Do they need to call to make a booking?
Whatever the action is, make it very clear and very easy to do.
Tell your lead what the next steps will be and be sure to follow up with them quickly!
3. A Capture Opportunity
A capture opportunity is where you invite your website visitors to download something of value for free, in exchange for their email address and contact details, via a ‘pop-up’ or email opt-in. Once they’ve downloaded your free product (often referred to as a ‘lead magnet’, which might be a free training, or E-Book for example), they join your email database where you can stay in regular contact with them and build a relationship with them.
One of the most important things you can do as a business owner is to build your email database and nurture the relationship with your community. This helps people get to know you better, to build trust and confidence in your brand, and eventually, when the time is right, they’ll want to do business with you.
For more details on how to do embed capture opportunities into your marketing strategy to generate a steady stream of clients, download my lead magnet called The Fempreneur Success Handbook: How to Start & Grow Your Wildly Successful Business for free!
4. Your Contact Information
Be sure to provide a phone number or email address so people can contact you directly without having to go through an online contact form.
I know that I personally feel frustrated if I have to go through an online form if I want something. I’m a fast action taker and I need to know how I can contact someone directly, straight away, otherwise I’ll ‘bounce’ (click away).
5. Easy and Clear Navigation
Make it as easy as possible for people to find what they need.
Use a logical, user friendly navigation map.
Don’t use more than six headings in your navigation menu, otherwise it becomes too complicated.
Test it out on your friends and clients to see how they experience your site navigation and make it simpler and easier where you can.
6. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website via search engines like Google. For search engines to find your website, you need to invest some time and money in optimising your site SEO.
Take some time yourself (or better yet, engage an SEO expert) to research the important long-form and short-form keywords that people are searching for in your niche and use these keywords across your website so that search engines can find you.
You won’t get found without good SEO! It’s absolutely critical that you pay attention to this.
To learn everything you need to know about SEO, check out these two related articles:
7. Video Content
As we’ve said, people are more willing to buy from you when they feel a sense of trust and confidence in your brand. And one of the quickest ways to establish trust is through video.
Give your visitors a chance to experience you in person and to hear you speak and interact with them. It gives an instant sense of familiarity and connection which makes it easier for visitors to know if they like you and if you’re a good fit for them.
If you don’t have video on your website yet, get onto it sooner rather than later!
8. Your Blog
A blog is a catalogue of articles or videos (or a combination of both) where you showcase your ideas and expertise on different topics.
A blog is essential for many reasons, but some of the top reasons for needing a blog on your website are:
- It drastically increases your website SEO: Your blog is filled with keyword-rich phrases that gives search engines greater opportunity to increase your search rankings. Plus, blogging keeps your website content alive with regular ‘fresh’ content which automatically increases your search engine rankings.
- It established you as a leader in your field by demonstrating your expertise and passion.
- It helps you to organise your thoughts and ideas so you become a better communicator in your field.
- It gives your brand a unique voice, personality and perspective.
9. Fast Page Load Time
Don’t underestimate the importance of a fast website load speed time. If it takes longer than a few seconds for your site to load, your visitors will ‘bounce’ and this damages your Google rankings.
The loading speed of your site depends most heavily on the website host you use. There are many different hosting options available (examples are Smarter Websites, SiteGround, GoDaddy etc). Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. And this is not something you want to skimp on because it has significant impacts on your ability to develop leads and clients. Do your research and be sure to get some good advice before deciding on a website host.
10. Social Proof & Social Links
Getting back to building that essential trust and confidence, your website visitors will want to see that you have ample ‘social proof’ in the form of testimonials, affiliations or industry awards. Highlight your best testimonials on your website, showcase any awards you’ve won and any media outlets you’ve been featured in.
Also, people will want to check you out on social media (to establish whether they know, like and trust you), so make it easy for them to find your social profiles and provide direct links to take them there.
I hope these top ten tips have helped you and if you need help to start or grow your business, please reach to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me help you to get your business where you need it to be!
Kate De Jong, Ph.D
Fempire Coach for Thriving Female Entrepreneurs