You learned that a successful online business rarely comes from a cookie-cutter approach like affiliate marketing, blogging, selling MLM products, and so on. It comes from expressing your talents.
People want to buy from people they know, like, and trust. If you’re an expert at something, it will be easy to establish yourself as an authority and win loyal customers.
Since you’ve spent years in your profession, you decide to quit working for others for less than you’re worth and offer a consulting service.Then you took the plunge.
You created your own online business offering a consulting service and signed up with BidSync to get notified of the best leads, people looking for what you’re offering. In fact, you can even get leads for lucrative government contracts. After you saved enough money, you quit your job and went for it full-time.
Failure to Launch
Unfortunately, despite everything, things aren’t working out. You’re getting leads. You’re sending in perfect pitches. Few people reply, and those that do are only willing to pay bargain basement prices. In desperation, you hire a top marketing expert for an hour consultation on Skype. After looking over your business model, it appears that you’re doing everything right—except for one thing: the website your 14-year-old nephew built for $150 over the weekend just isn’t cutting it.
“You need a professional website,” says the consultant. “That’s why your leads aren't converting.”
How to Build a Website that Works
Here are five tips on how to build a website that works:
1: It’s not about looking good.
Building a website is not a big hurdle. You can learn how to do it yourself using a template from a website builder. You can hire it out. Building an attractive website is not that big a deal, either. If you want an eye-catching website, buy a template that allows you to create an engaging graphic that fills the page. If you want one that makes people gasp, get a template for creative flash design.
However, if you want a website that works, you have to think beyond design. You have to think of usability. Novice entrepreneurs are all about making a big splash with their name, logos, slogans, and websites. They also go overboard with marketing collateral like business cards, brochures, and letter heads.
More seasoned entrepreneurs realize that design is only one element in running a good business. The most important element is creating a business that engages people. In other words, your main focus should be on usability. Mediocre design and excellent usability will beat excellent design and mediocre usability any day of the week. A website that works has high usability.
Here is what Vitaly Friedman says on Smashing Magazine about high usability: “Usability and the utility, not the visual design, determine the success or failure of a website. Since the visitor of the page is the only person who clicks the mouse and therefore decides everything, user-centric design has become a standard approach for successful and profit-oriented web design. After all, if users can’t use a feature, it might as well not exist.”
2. Be easy to find.
Most people looking for a service type the right keywords into one of the major search engines and then pick something from the top ten results.
So your first order of business when thinking about usability is Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Do extensive keyword research on what your potential clients are looking for on the major search engines.
Incorporate your researched keywords into your website content for excellent on-page SEO.
Research the structural elements you need for site-wide SEO to improve your organic search visibility.
Research the structural elements you need for mobile SEO to improve your chances of getting leads from people using smart phones or tablets.
Create inbound links to develop your authority in your niche.Develop a schedule for consistent content marketing.
3. Make it easy for people to navigate your website.
Think about what information is the most relevant to your users, and then create an easy-to-use navigation structure to help them find that information.
4. Develop high-quality content.
When it comes to content, many website owners fill their website with mediocre content. They hire cheap writers from content mills or buy PLR content. They fail to impress readers with their content. Either write the content yourself if you're a good writer or hire good writers who can create quality content. It’s better to have 10 pages of excellent content than 100 pages of mediocre-to-bad content written by underpaid writers.
5. Get good at social media.
It’s not enough just to have a great website, your real estate should include a blog and great social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google +. If your website were a beautiful tropical island, then your social media would be like the bridges that connect your island to the mainland.You're on the Home Stretch Think of how far you've come. First, you broke away from the nine to five. It took a lot of courage. You stayed up late every night after a busy day figuring it all out. And you took one course after another on business and marketing. Then you launched. Finally, you did almost everything well, except for developing a professional website. Now, just follow these five steps to engage your audience and convert leads into sales.
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