eBusiness Blog

6 Website Must-Have’s for Small Businesses

Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur and aren’t happy with your website’s performance?

This eTip is all about making the most of your website for your business. If you want to see more of a return from your website, then I’ve got 6 must-haves that are just for you!

So what are these 6 things you must have in order to have a high performing website? Keep watching!

6 Essentials For a High Performing Business Website

  1. Consistent & Professional Branding

    When people see your website, does it look consistent with your social media? Your website and social media should have consistent branding across all platforms.
     
    Consistency is the key here but it needs to look professional. An amateur looking website will not attract the right kinds of clients.
     
    First impressions are extremely important so it doesn’t matter how great you are if the way it’s presented looks cheap or unprofessional.
     
    Make sure you don’t design something that’s just for you. You might be a huge fan of a colour or design but if it’s not something that would appeal to your clients, then it shouldn’t be on your website.
     
    We use purple a lot ourselves but we know it’s good for our business so keep in mind you may be putting people off if you’re the only one who is a fan of a colour or design element.

  2. White Hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

    Don’t underestimate the power of good SEO.
     
    With SEO you are making sure your website is not only something search engines will index and (hopefully) display to users but that it’s done right.
     
    You are competing with other websites for the same key phrases users enter and your goal is to be at the top of those results when searched by your target market.
     

    Many people lack understanding of SEO even though it’s extremely important. You’re competing with many other websites. If you don’t have good white hat SEO, then no matter how good your website is, users won’t be able to find it.
     

    Look at essentials in onsite SEO like having your keyphase targets in things like the title tags, meta data and the url.
     
    A great example is if you’re selling a book. Many people will list the url pertaining to their book as www.example.com/book
    What you should do is have a url like this: www.example.com/title-of-book
     
    The title will likely be intuitively connected to your content with good keyphrases in it and Google will be able to read that.
     
    You can even add the keywords you want to rank for to elements like image naming and alt tags too.
     
    Make sure you have your desired key phases set and then include them in the onsite copy. All of this is the set up for SEO so Google knows what you want to rank for.
     
    This part of the industry is daunting so don’t be afraid to reach out for help from someone who does professional search engine optimization. But watch out for overseas scams, do your due diligence first, and only proceed once you’re comfortable.
     
    Look for someone who will understand your business and work with the branding, website development, and SEO together since these all work best when they are working together.

  3. Responsive Website

    A responsive website means your site will display well on phones and all smaller screens.
     
    Years ago websites only had to display well on desktop computers. Now that smart phones are common, it’s important to have a website that can display well on one.
     
    With responsive design your website will change its display while maintaining the same information, making it easily usable on a cell phone.
     
    Designers sometimes opted to have two separate websites that would be detected by the device and would display the appropriate one. With this though, there were two websites to maintain and update.
     
    With responsive design the template changes so you remove the redundancy of having to do everything twice. Google places a lot of importance on mobile usability so it’s a really good idea to get a responsive website if you don’t have one already.
     

    If you don’t know if your website is responsive or you need help making it that way please get in touch and our website developers will make sure your site displays properly and performs well on mobile devices.
     
    If you don’t think your potential clients use smart phones then think again. Over 50% of people are on smart phones when they’re searching online so please get in touch if yours isn’t optimized for mobile devices.

  4. List Building and Follow Up

    List building is in place because if a user comes to your website for the first time, there is a small chance they’ll convert right away. The odds are slightly better if you offer something in the way of e-commerce.
     
    Because users are more likely to convert after their first visit, you want to give them a way to find their way back. An email newsletter subscription is a great way to to that.
     
    To build your list you can try offering something for free like a download of a free how-to guide that requires the user to enter their email address in order to receive it.
     
    This could be anything: An audio file, video series, or PDF report. The point is to provide value in exchange for the user committing to giving you their email.
     
    Then stay in touch with your list to cultivate the know, like and trust factor with this, providing them good reasons to come back.

  5. Solid Marketing Message

    A lot of entrepreneurs make their website all about them. ‘I do this’ ‘this is me’ ‘this is what I do’.
     
    Unfortunately for a user this can leave them asking: what about me?
     
    A website has to reassure a visitor they’ve arrived in the right place. Your messaging should clearly state what problems you solve and that you are there to help.
     
    Use terms like “You” and “Your” rather than “Me” or “I”. Hiring a professional copywriter is a great idea because they understand the intentions of the visitor’s needs coming first and can make what you do exciting, which helps convert them into a paying customer.
     

    Creating excitement isn’t easy to do so a great copywriter is a essential to making sure you get your website visitors excited about you and what you provide.

  6. Make It Easy To Reach You

    Make the process of contacting you as easy as possible.
     

    If you have an online store you need a customer service phone number prominently displayed. It’s normally placed in the top right side of the page.
     
    Even if you don’t have an online store and you’re providing a service or something else with a “Buy Now” button, the service number reassures the user there is a real person behind the scene in case they need help.
     
    Establishing trust is key so providing them with ways to contact you if necessary is essential to establishing trust. You will get more site visitors to commit to you and your business once trust is established.
     

    Many entrepreneurs are worried about having their phone number out there but at the end of the day you need one so whatever you can do to provide one is a must.
     
    Also have a good contact form. This and a phone number are essential to establishing trust with your potential clients.
     
    Have a CTA (Call To Action) that leads users towards their destination. If your conversion is qualified by a contact then lead users on each page towards the contact page. Use buttons and text telling them to click and easily get in touch with you.

These are the must-haves for your website.

There are many more things to cover but these 6 are the essentials for success. You may think you have some of these covered but if you’re using a prefabricated template or an all-in-one solution, you may have something too bloated with excessive code to index well and it could actually be working against you.

Get in touch with us if your website is under-performing and we’ll look at why and provide you with a more professional option.

We design and develop sites that are custom built to achieve the goals we establish with you.

That’s it for this week and don’t forget if you liked what you saw here please subscribe to our YouTube channel or newsletter so you can get updates and videos for small business entrepreneurs every week or leave a comment in the comments below!

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.

› CONTACT US TODAY

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Why Defining Your Ideal Client Attracts More Paying Customers

Today’s eTip is all about the most important step you should take when starting your business.

 

Define your ideal client

I’ve talked a lot about this in the past and the reason myself and many others hammer this point home is that after you’ve experienced initial success from your business you’ll hit a very familiar wall.

When your established connections have finished congratulating you, the phone may not ring as much or not at all. You had a blockbuster opening full of encouraging sentiments and then suddenly…reality sets in and you now have to start finding ways to bring new people in to see what you sell or do.

So now it’s time to ask yourself: who do I want to work with?

Do you need to target local, national, or international? If you want to target international you need to be specific about where and really think this through.

Types of ideal clients

What income level will you be after? It’s important to make all groups distinct in your marketing since each group will have different reasons for agreeing to buy from or work with you.

For example: If you offer a weight loss program don’t just look for people who know they’re overweight. Look for people who have symptoms of being overweight but don’t even know it. Focus on the symptoms they’ve identified and target users who have them.

Bad knees or trouble with mobility? Those users may need what you offer but are out looking for patches for the symptoms of their real problem. They don’t know their problems stem from their core issue (their weight problem).

Target them by offering a solution to their problems.

As mentioned, income level is a big factor too. Ask yourself if the target you set can even afford what you offer. There is no sense marketing to a demographic who can’t afford your product or service.

Think about the case of a business who’s target (they think) is a young mother. If you’re after that market take into account that the children come first so any income they bring in is likely spent on themselves last. That makes it much more difficult for anyone to market to them. So is that demographic going to produce enough business?

Focus on bigger picture goals and not just leads who may turn into one off customers. Referrals are much better.

Look for clients who will refer people to you. eVision Media has grown based on referral business so take into account the opportunities some potential clients may offer in the way of referrals.

90-95% of our business comes from referrals!

Once I get a referral I analyze how it came about. What value did we provide that was good enough for us to be referred to our client’s friend or associate? We work towards building more connections like that when we do our marketing and when picking who we target.

Are all your ideal clients the same?

Assess your strengths and understand that while you may have a great product it may not seem that way too all generations. How old is your market and if it is younger, what makes those leads distinct?

What kind of message will you need to come up with in order to establish trust with your potential client? Building trust from one generation to another is not easy so make sure you really pay attention to the details.

So BEFORE you create your logo, business cards, or hire a professional web developer you should sit down and define your ideal client(s).

This analysis acts as the blueprint for all the marketing from the logo to the website and all other creative and marketing components.

Before you invest anything, get to know your market and get a clear indication that you have a market out there. It’s not worth wasting your time and money on something without a market for it!

If you have any questions about finding the ideal client please comment below and if you liked what you saw here please subscribe to our Youtube channel or newsletter so you can get updates and videos for small business entrepreneurs every week!

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.

› CONTACT US TODAY

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

7 key Website Considerations to Attract and Convert Leads

Today’s eTip focuses on 7 steps you can take when setting up your new website so it attracts paying clients.

 

Seven Essential steps to ensure your website is set up to succeed.

Every website owner and/or business wants traffic to their site but what they really want is qualified traffic. To make sure you’re getting the right eyes on your website my focus today is on what steps you need to take so your website is successful.

Step 1: Why are they there?

The first essential step of your website is copy(text) that makes it clear to a user why they should buy from, or contact you.

Feature your unique selling position and hone in on what makes you distinct in your industry from your competition.

Step 2: What exactly do you do?

Make sure you are explicitly clear with what it is you do. We’re often stuck with tunnel vision when it comes to what we’re offering because we’re so familiar with our industry and business.

To a user who has never been to your website or who doesn’t know your company, some language you know well can confuse them so make sure you’re writing for your user and not yourself when outlining who you are and what you do.

It’s amazing how often I see a lack of clarity on websites. I ask the owner about it and the answers are as expected. The business owner has clouded their judgement by writing as though the site was being marketed to them rather than someone who doesn’t know the business.

Define who you work with on your website so visitors better identify they're in the right placeClick To Tweet

Step 3: Describe your client.

Who do you work with? What is your client list like? By stating the type of client you work with demonstrates your ability to identify their specific problems and challenges that your visitors will resonate with.

This lets users know that they’ll encounter little difficulty in trusting you because you’ve provided the service or product before to someone just like them.

Step 4: What questions does your company answer?

This builds off of step 2: what do you do. Now ask yourself what question can be asked where the answer is your business?

The reason for this is often users will find their way to your website by way of trying to solve a problem. By positioning yourself as the solution, you are showing them that by contacting you or making a purchase they’ll have their question answered and problem solved.

Statistically first time website visitors don't make a purchase and rarely returnClick To Tweet

Step 5: Always lead the user to a conversion

End each page’s content with a CTA, which stands for “Call To Action”.

Once you’ve outlined your value you need to end with a way for the user to either buy from you, get into your newsletter list, or contact you. You’ve told them why so now just show them how.

It can be a simple “Contact Us Here” message, a buy now button, or better yet, a newsletter sign up form that offers a free giveaway that will entice your users to sign up.

Step 6: Give something away for free

The statistical probability of someone coming to your website for the first time and converting is lower than if you can continue some sort of communication with them.

A free giveaway is like a virtual leave behind. Rather than physically giving them a calendar to put on their desk, you’re providing a free product such as a survey, PDF report, or something else that shows you have credible knowledge.

This way you now have a chance to continue a virtual dialog with them and the next time they have a problem, they remember the value you’ve demonstrated and will come back with a vastly increased chance of converting.

Step 7: Do a follow up

Follow up with all users via your mailing list or any other point of contact established.

Whether it’s a newsletter or other means you need to make sure the dialogue doesn’t end when they leave your website.

If they downloaded your free giveaway chances are you included an option to sign up for a mailing list. Use that list to make sure you stay in front of your user’s eyes and they don’t forget you.

Those are the 7 things you can do to get the right users to your website and to encourage them to come back and become paying customers.

If you have your own tips on what you’ve done to secure great traffic and convert leads please go ahead and leave a comment below and also subscribe to our YouTube channel or newsletter so you get weekly tips and strategies like these.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.

› CONTACT US TODAY
 

 

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

The Networking Advantages of Attending Live Events

While on location at the WOW (Woman of Worth) Conference in Vernon earlier this year, I realized just how important it is to attend live events and do some good old fashioned business networking.

Today’s eTip shares some important things you can be doing while at a live event that can’t happen if you’re always hiding in front of your computer or smart phone:

 

Christine Awram is the founder and creator of these WOW events and she has them twice a year.

I have been enjoying attending them and that’s what had me creating this tip. It’s really important to get away from the computer and network in person. Attending events like this is a great way to build your business.

Even if it’s just a day-long event or if you can spare the time, a weekend or even week-long retreat.

Take the opportunity to Connect with the other attendees and find out what their challenges are. Many great business opportunities will present themselves once at the event.

Make an effort to get out and connect with your target market and build relationships.

Attending live events is a great way to build your businessClick To Tweet

Social media has made us comfortable sitting behind our cameras and smart phones but nothing beats a 1 on 1 live connection.

Do your homework and find out what events you can attend. Even if it’s just a luncheon it’s a great idea to get out and make those in-person connections.

If you have any questions at all please feel free leave a comment below and if you like these eTips subscribe to our newsletter and you’ll get an email every week with our eTips and articles designed to help solo entrepreneurs.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

The Business Advantages of Attending Live EventsClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Team Building Tips to Help Grow Your Business

We’ve talked a lot about things this summer like video marketing and using Twitter to grow your business. Today I’m going to talk about the importance of using a team to build your business.

 

Build your business right by hiring the right people

Many years ago I was a one woman operation. I did it all.

The designing, the programming, the marketing; I was taking everything on myself.

At a certain moment I realized in order to build my company while providing my clients with what they needed, I would need to expand and start adding on some team members.

There are many different kinds of employees you can hire. Some may be temporary or freelance talent, some could be outsourced, or you can even hire on student interns from local schools to help. It doesn’t always have to be a full-time salaried employee.

The important thing is to focus on what you excel at and hire on people to help offset your weaknesses.

Hire an Expert

My biggest weakness was my understanding of how web technology had evolved. It had changed so quickly that my own skills had become a little dated even though they were only a few years old!

My first hire was a programming ace from a local university and he and I got to work. Once I saw his talents, I started delegating more and more of the tech work to him.

I let him work and I listened and learned. Together we really took eVision Media to the next level.

So hire yourself an expert even if it’s one in something you feel you’ve mastered. You might be surprised at how much else there is for you to learn.

Hire a Money Maker

You also want to hire someone who is profitable for you. Hire someone who makes you money!

Yes it’s nice to have help with your own tasks in the same way it’s nice to have a cleaning lady but look for people whose skills and background will make you money so you can pay their wages.

This is especially good advice if you’re struggling to stay ahead. Hire a sales rep, a product engineer, or some other type of employee where the financial return is immediate.

The more money-makers you have the better your business is going to be.

And make sure you are comfortable delegating the responsibilities too!

Lead by Example and Learn from the Feedback

Set standards for the employees to adhere to when delegating the work. You know how you prefer it done so write that out clearly and because the employees will bring their own knowledge to the project you may find, as I have, they often exceed those standards.

I myself have a team of designers, programmers, SEO experts, and more and I have to trust their expertise when assigning duties. Hiring experts is great and when you are comfortable they know what they’ve claimed to know you’ll be in a position to trust their expertise more, which takes pressure off of you.

Don’t Try to be an Expert in all Things

You can’t possibly hope to know everything about running a business – whether it the legal work, the bookkeeping, or any of the other many essential elements of running a business, and know everything about your internal roles and industry as well.

Take for example marketing. You can spend tens of thousands of dollars on marketing courses trying to being an expert in marketing yourself but while you’re doing that you aren’t focusing on all the other elements of your business.

Using the same money to pay someone to market your business while you focus on other aspects of it like cultivating leads or working with clients to make sure they’re happy makes much more sense and will help you grow your business instead of just your personal skill set.

It’s far too difficult to grow your business without building a team.Click To Tweet

I wouldn’t start self-funding multiple courses on contract law if I needed a lawyer, I would hire a TJ Smith lawyer, so why would you attempt to become a marketing expert when you need marketing?

This rings true for bookkeeping as well. My time is simply better spent running my business than trying to become an expert in all areas of the business. Hiring a bookkeeper makes more sense financially and professionally since I then have someone with experience in the role as well.

It’s far too difficult to grow your business without building a team. When you plan your business (and you should) and invest in your business include what you need experts for and budget for hiring professionals to help you grow.

If your business is really a supplemental income and you’re not full time then this may not be your approach but if you’re serious about growing your business into a solid company then you will need a team to help you.

Hire My Team

The take away is of course that you need to hire the right people to help you grow. If your business requires website development, branding, logo design, online marketing, social media management, or something else related to digital marketing and the online presence of your business then get in touch.

My team that I have cultivated myself are great so feel free to get in touch if you find yourself overwhelmed and need help with any of the services we provide. I don’t work with just anyone since experience has taught me to consider who I hire carefully. My team deliver and we do it with smiles on our faces that translate into smiles from our clients.

Check out our website at www.evisionmedia.ca for more and by all means if you have questions or comments post them to any of our social media channels or contact us directly via our website!

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Team Building Tips to Help Grow Your BusinessClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".