Today we will present some points that will give you the answer to what makes a successful website. If you don’t have one yet, then be sure you read our article about why small businesses need a website.
Okay, I should say what does it have that it makes the business website successful.
I know what you are going to say straight to my face now. Well, it makes money or attracts new clients, readers or shoppers. Right? Yes, that’s the outcome.
But what is behind that result.
What do you need for a successful website?
For your website to be successful it needs work and it starts with web design and continues all the way through SEO, online marketing, web security and implementation of trust signals. All of these elements need to work together.
This is what we are going to take a look at.
The 5 key elements you need to make your website successful are:
- Design of a Website
- Search Engine Optimization
- Website Security
- Website Trust Signals
These elements are the most important pieces in your business website success.
One thing I want to point out is, that all of the elements mentioned give the best results if they work together. Neglecting one piece can prevent you from generating leads, customers and earning more sales form your website.
You may not need everything mentioned in the main chapters, but more work you put in the better your results can be.
Remember that a website can only give as much as you are investing in your website. It’s an ever-evolving system.
Now let’s see the chapters for more details.
The design is very important and such, it should be well thought out. Believe it or not, a website is not some blocks bunched together.
Websites are well-thought actions, so your website is performing well.
Of course, the design of your website should be visually pleasing.
It’s not enough to have a website. If the design is not professional, then it’s doing you more harm than good.
Your website should have a consistent design. Don’t have too many colors or too many types of fonts used.
As this will make your website confusing. You want it to be easy to use and easy to read.
The colors used should reflect your brand colors. That way you will build more brand awareness.
The consistent design means that your website doesn’t have a high learning curve. Like your navigation is consistent throughout the website.
You footer offers some important information throughout the website, and it doesn’t change on every page.
But all this doesn’t mean your website should be dull. It should be creative, but be aware what are the expectations in your industry.
It’s not the same thing to design a website for a Law Firm and a Tattoo studio. Law firm website has to be more serious and businesslike.
While tattoo studio website can be more loose and playful.
You can’t lose if your layout is simple and easy to read. Make sure your website and especially your homepage is free of clutter.
It’s Important that your homepage has a clear message and represents your services and products in an interesting manner.
Professional Images and Graphics
You shouldn’t forget about the images and graphics used. The material used on your website to enhance the design should also be professional.
I mean logo designed in an MS Paint is not professional. Be careful with images taken with your smartphone. They (usually) aren’t giving a professional look.
Yes, sometimes they can give a sense of authenticity. It depends on the industry and niche or occasion.
But it should be a good planned out action to use such images. Be sure to avoid generic images of people and your products.
But if you want to use your smartphone to take images, make sure you learn a little about photography and how to make them look professional.
Always use true images of your products.
As we all know we as people like to scan stuff today and then decide if it’s worth our time. So images can play a big role in communicating your message.
Whatever someone tells you, please don’t use sliders. They don’t bring any value to your website. Most that they do is confuse the visitors or are making them believe you are trying to force them with some promotion again.
And so they will ignore it. You can find more about why not to use sliders here. Yes even if it’s a website for a photographer.
There are other, better ways to showcase your images, like nice galleries.
If you find yourself in need of images and don’t want to pay for them, you can find quite a few websites with beautiful free images.
You may be thinking now, what is he doing, I know what a navigation is. I know you know. But still, I want to point out that navigation should have all the important links on your website.
This means that your website is easy to navigate and you are no making it hard for visitors to use your website. Check the navigation design best practices for more information. Or you can take these steps to create a good navigation.
Call To Action (CTA)
Okay, we’ve done some of the most important design stuff.
But there are still some to come. Like, call to action.
These buttons are the most important things on your website. You can have a great website, that has an effective design, it’s easy to use and provides a clear message.
If you don’t show your visitors where to go, or what you want them to do, you have a great website with no conversion.
You want to make sure your visitor is going to read all you can offer to them. Make sure you point the visitor in that direction with a call to action.
Call to action doesn’t always mean buying action. You can have a planned customer journey with CTA buttons.
It depends on what is your goal.
What do you want your visitor to do?
Is it to get more calls, or contact form submissions or more inquiries?
Dependent on your goal is how you’re going to position and name your call to action.
The best way is to have them in a non-generic way. Like “Claim your free book” or “Sign me up”. Of course, sometimes it is better to have just “sign up” or other short and effective words.
To wrap it up here are some great CTA examples.
Responsive Website or Mobile-Friendly Website
You may be asking yourself, do I need another website? Well, the answer is no. You don’t need a second website (in the past there was a time when there were separate websites for desktop and mobile devices).
Your website should be built in such a way that it can be viewed on every device that the visitor could think of to visit your website.
As Google (and other search engines) is moving towards mobile first index, the mobile site will be more and more important.
This will mean that the content that is on your mobile site will be used to rank your website in Google. Check it out here how you can prepare for the mobile first index.
It’s also good to know that 55,79 % of web traffic comes from mobile devices, as found by Stone Temple in their Mobile versus desktop usage research.
But still, that is not the whole story. People tend to go to a website with mobile devices and if they find something interesting, they come back on desktops.
Because the bounce rate on desktops is still lower and average time spent on a website is still higher on desktops. See more in the mentioned research.
But as Google goes towards the mobile first indexing you should be aware that the speed of your mobile website will be very important.
It has been confirmed by Google that mobile page speed will be a ranking factor.
This means that it will be important that your website is opening fast on mobile devices.
You could be considering to implement AMP for mobile pages. Which will help you to speed up your mobile website significantly.
Now It’s time to get some traffic to your newly designed website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is one of the most important aspects of having a website. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a business website or not.
You want your website to rank well and get traffic.
Today SEO is more than just keywords, meta descriptions, and links. It’s tightly connected with online marketing.
For easier understanding, we have separated the SEO and marketing. Because there are quite a few things that need to be done to have a good starting point for rocking your niche.
A beautiful design and website are not worth anything if it can’t be found on the web.
On Page SEO
What is on page SEO and what it can do to create a successful website? This is the point that a lot of people and business owners forget about.
It’s the foundation for doing off page SEO and getting the best possible results in form of traffic from search engines.
These are also the factors that you can control and change, as they are on your website.
Of course, if you have someone that has built and is taking care of your website technical side, they should control some of the on-page SEO factors.
You can control the code on your website. It should be of high quality.
Then you should create Google Analytics account and Google Search Console (Webmaster Tool) account.
Google analytics will show you how you are doing with website traffic and how your pages are performing, how long people are staying on your site.
To help you with the setup watch the video below.
While webmaster account will help you get some basic on-page SEO stuff done. For help on setting up a Google Webmaster Tool (GWT) account, you can check this guide.
Now that have done this, we can start uploading some important files to GWT.
First, it’s a good idea to create an XML sitemap and upload it to GWT. This will help Google to have an easier job while crawling your website and indexing it. It will make it easier also for other search engines.
To make sure your website is crawlable you should create a Robots.txt file and allow Google and other search engines, like Bing, to crawl your site. If you have WordPress website the Robots.txt file is already created.
You shouldn’t forget that all your pages have a meta description. Make sure that meta descriptions are descriptive and attractive.
Keywords are the next thing to make sure you do right. Be sure you do a good keyword research.
This will give the base for optimizing the page for your main keyword. But be sure not to do a mistake of keyword stuffing, as this will hamper your ranking.
Focus on long-tail keywords. These keywords usually have less competition are more focused with decent search volume.
Keyword density of your main keyword shouldn’t be more than 2 – 2,5 %. If you use WordPress this can be checked with ease through Yoast plugin.
Or you can use the keyword density checker.
Your main keyword, that you have chosen to use for your article, should be put in your H1 tag, so the title of the page or the article.
If you can include your focus keyword in at least one more heading with H2 tag.
Be sure you use an SEO friendly URL. This means that the URL (permalink) is readable.
Example of how it should be:
Example of how it should not be:
And make sure you don’t make your URLs too long.
Make sure your content has a nice structure. Subheadings should have an H2 tag.
Don’t forget to include images in your post and if you can, include videos.
Images also have to be optimized. This means, that you never (almost) upload an image to your page as it is.
You should reduce the size of the image with compression to the minimum, while still having enough of the image quality to publish it on your website.
Be sure you also make the loading of your images optimized to the visitor’s devices. This means that you serve an image that is optimized for that device and not the biggest image you have.
This can make your site more responsive and faster.
Don’t forget to give your images alt text that contains your focus keyword. It’s also a good idea to put your focus keyword in your image file name (successful-website.jpg).This can help you in image search.
You should be publishing long-form content (1000+ words). This can help your page rank higher.
Also, longer content helps you increase time spent on your website, which will tell Google that your website content has the needed quality.
Brian Dean from Backlinko has written a great on-page SEO guide where you can also see a nice infographic before he gets into details.
In the end, I want to mention page speed. This is something that you have to consider, as no one wants to wait for the page to load.
If you have slow loading page, you have a high bounce rate, which is a bad sign for search engines.
Be sure you chose a host that has a good support. Is fast and has a high uptime. If you have a good host, your server response time is quick.
If you don’t have a server with HTTP/2 protocol supported, the combining the files is a good option for optimization.
Make sure your website has speed optimizations in place and complies with Google’s pagespeed guidelines:
- Enable compression
- Improve server response time
- Leverage browser caching
- Minify resources
- Optimize images
- Optimize CSS Delivery
- Prioritize visible content
However, I should mention that if your website is on HTTP/2 supporting server then the readings from Google Page Speed tool CSS delivery are wrong.
This is because the HTTP/2 protocol is smart enough to know which files the browser will need before the browser even request them.
Unless your primary target is just your local market, it’s also a good idea to implement CDN that will make your website fast all over the world.
Today there are many hosts that will provide the basic CDN in their basic package.
Off Page SEO
I often see that people mistakenly think that off-page SEO is only link building. It comes down to that, but off-page SEO is everything done for your website to rank off of your website.
As for this article, we will mostly talk about link building as a form of off-page SEO. Because the most used off-site method is building links to your website.
But everything mentioned below and under marketing could go under the off page SEO, as it happens off of your website.
And you don’t really have the same level of control over it, as with on-page SEO.
That’s why it’s important to understand that off-site SEO should be done long-term, it’s not a quick fix.
You can earn links to your website in more that one ways. The backlinks can be acquired trough various strategies, it can be done naturally, you can build links manually or you can create them by yourself.
Now you might be asking yourself what does that mean.
Let me explain.
If you got your backlinks naturally, that means, that you didn’t deliberately work to acquire them.
Someone found your website, or content and felt that your content deserves to be included in one of their articles, as it was a good addition to their content.
Backlinks that you got from working and contacting influencers and asking them to share your article, asking your business partners to link back to your website.
Some also ask their clients to link back to them. It’s quite easy for example web design agencies, but it can be done in other industries too.
You can also look for broken links and provide you article as a possible replacement for the post that was there before but is now a broken link. That called a broken link building.
A helpful and efficient method of link building.
The last kind of links that we mentioned above were the links that you are creating yourself. You get these links by submitting your website to directories, commenting on blogs and forums.
You can count here also your signature when you are commenting.
Be very careful when using these, because, they can also hurt your website. Commenting on blogs has decreased, because website owners changed the dofollow links to nofollow links, because of spamming.
With leaving comments on forums you have to first provide value to participants. You can’t just throw in links to your website.
If you do that you risk being banned from the forum (usually you will absolutely be banned).
But you should remember that not every backlink has the same kind of value. There is already a difference between the dofollow and nofollow links as you might have already guessed from above.
The quick difference is that the nofollow HTML tag means, that despite linking to a specific URL you are telling a search engine that you are not endorsing it.
The dofollow link is the one you want to get most of the time because it will get your website to rank higher.
However, this is just the beginning.
It’s very important in today’s SEO efforts that pages that are linking to you are related to your industry.
Even the popularity of a website can determine how valuable link from that website is.
It’s important that you make sure that when a website is linking to your content is using the correct anchor text (the best thing is to be a keyword or closely related phrase) for the link that they are giving it to you.
Don’t forget to check out some great SEO techniques by Brian Dean.
Used to be an SEO technique that was also used for building links. Well, the main goal of guest blogging was building links.
It’s still a good way to build a successful website. But, today it has changed a bit.
Because you also want to increase brand awareness, and that’s not exclusively about building links.
But It’s more about providing value to readers of a website where your post will be published, so you will show them that you exist.
And if they like what you do, they’ll visit your website. Also, Google is quite strict about guest blogging, as it was exploited in the past.
That’s why today you should pick your battles when going for guest blogging. Pick blogs that can give you and your brand big exposure to the right audience.
That should be your main goal.
After that, it comes to the earned backlink.
Of course, it goes the other way too. You can have someone guest post on your website.
But be careful that you pick the quality over quantity.
Here is a great guest blogging guide. It covers both, guest bloggers and if you want to get guest posts on your blog.
If you want to do some guest posting for your blog to get more traction, do not spam people’s inboxes.
And don’t just use templates, that smell like templates in the first place. Check a great guide by CoSchedule on how to write an email that will get your guest post accepted.
There are two kinds of brand mentions today. There are linked ones, which means that you also get a backlink and the ones that, well are unlinked.
You may be asking yourself how brand mentions are important to your website success?
Let’s look this a bit more in-depth.
The unlinked ones are when someone mentions your brand in their content with just a word.
But both mentions linked and unlinked are really important for your website rankings. As the ones with the link that leads back to you mean, you’ll get traffic and a backlink.
The one without the backlink will be treated as an implied backlink. So a citation or quote that will mention your brand.
This will increase your brand awareness and authority. You will get a new buzz around your brand which will result in new business opportunities (sales).
Yes, you guessed it, this quite well could be the future of link building (without the links).
You might be asking why, well because there are people that have taken advantage of the current system.
And this is a good way to fix it.
As it stands now it’s still backlinks (not ending yet) that are important with mentions growing in importance.
The reason that the importance of mentions is growing, is because it shows influence and naturally liked websites or brands.
Google likes to know what people like and show the real authority.
See how Neil Patel’s guide can help you increase brand mentions.
You probably heard about the buzz around the voice search and rise in the use of voice assistants.
There is Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft Cortana.
They can be smart speakers that you can ask questions in your home and get instant answers or you can use your smartphones, tablets and even desktops.
Voice search is one of the big things in 2018.
The thing to remember is that even with voice search you can still get to see Google search result.
So a lot is dependent if you are expecting to hear your answer or see it.
But no matter how you turn it, it all comes down to the featured snippet. This is the text that gets read when you expect to hear your answer.
So-called “position zero” that everyone is so keen to get to. It’s good to know that Brian Dean found out that average voice search result is 29 words long answer.
Which means that to rank in the featured snippet and be read as a voice search answer, you need to provide a simple and short, easy to read answer.
Of course, this isn’t meant to be the whole post. Your post should go in depth but at the beginning, you should have that short quick answer.
Voice search is a great addition to the regular search that can bring you even more targeted traffic.
There are other important voice search ranking factors, that are quite similar to regular ranking factors.
But speed is even more important.
Before you go crazy about voice search here is great research about voice search from a real family.
I see the biggest benefits in local search especially when you’ll need a voice answer for closed answers.
All in all, you can’t go wrong if you implement the voice search optimization in your quest for a successful website.
This is something that every small business should be optimizing for. I would highly suggest that small businesses have voice search optimization in place.
You can see how it looks in Google for an example of “shoe store Chicago”
Usually, the first thing you see are ads that are relevant to your local query. But here are the local three pack to start with.
And this is where you want to be.
It’s the same thing when you search for the same query on mobile. So it’s worth to optimize your website for local SEO.
Google My Business should be a priority if you want to be found by your local potential clients.
You saw that I mentioned, that voice search, that’s because the voice search can instead of featured snippet show a Google My Business.
To be in the three pack you need a Google My Business.
It can even provide your phone number so that people can call you.
But if you are not high enough in the ranking, you won’t be found.
That’s why it’s interesting to see that local SEO is kind of divided into two local SEO areas.
First one is the three pack and then the regular search results.
Be sure your website has your business name, address, phone number (NAP) on your contact us page.
It’s important that your page has a phone number visible at all times on your website, no matter on which page the visitors is.
Make sure it’s clickable on mobile phones for a quick call.
You can make yourself a big favor if you submit your business to important local business directories.
But make sure that your NAP is consistent across your website, Google My Business and business directories.
If not it can cause problems in search.
Check here for a full local SEO guide.
So what is online marketing?
Online marketing presents strategies and efforts to get your business found and heard online.
This can be anything from blog posts, social media posts, like it, states anything that is done to attract visitor online.
It’s a really big factor in making a successful website, that will bring in new visitors, reader, clients or subscribers.
I have added some things to online marketing, that others might not, like the about page.
About Us Page
Most of you will ask yourself now, what is the about page doing here and how it can help me to have a successful website?
About page is one of the most important pages on your website. If written the right way it can mean the difference between a sale and a bounce off of your website.
You should always use all of your website pages.
It’s important that you know who your audience is, so you know who you are talking to.
Don’t just lay out the stats and facts. Of course is good if you tell when your business has been established.
But don’t leave it at that. Show them what you are all about.
Tell a story.
This is the piece that can turn your website to be a goldmine.
You want and need to create valuable content for your targeted audience.
That’s why it’s important that you know who you are writing for. Research your buyer persona and create content for that person.
To help you out, check the free Hubspot buyer persona tool.
Content marketing is the action where you are trying to put your valuable content before your audience.
You do this because you want to persuade people to buy your product and services. You do this by educating them.
Content that you create is the fuel behind the SEO and other strategies that you will do for your business.
Maybe you don’t like writing, but you like talking?
No problem, you can do content marketing with videos, social media posts or just audio files.
You know create podcasts, why not.
You can create infographics
It’s content, no matter the shape.
However, you should understand that content marketing means that you create content that is trying to get more interest in your services without actually promoting your brand and services.
Content marketing is not a brand promotion it’s more showing what you know and educating people.
I am not going to go into depth about how to create content, but I have to mention this. Storytelling.
Storytelling is important because it’s your chance to make your visitors say “wow”. It creates emotions.
And people react and decide based on emotions. If you combine storytelling with content marketing, you win.
This can be an important asset to your business. In the days of online marketing, this means that it can help your website to generate more leads and clients.
So what is it?
Influencer marketing is at its core, connecting with someone who has a big following to create content that is closely connected with your brand.
You may be wondering what is that thing that makes these people influential?
This is their following.
But remember it’s not just about the number of their following. It’s more about the engagement that these influencers have from their followers.
Influence marketing isn’t about paying someone and quick payouts. The most important thing is to build relationships with influencers.
You don’t need to do this with just one influencer.
There is also emerging trend of micro-influencers marketing.
The difference is in the number of their following.
It’s smaller, but the engagement of the audience is usually bigger.
Because the influencers have built true trust with the followers.
Get some ideas in this Hubspot article about Influencer marketing examples.
It can really boost the trust in your services and help you build your brand.
So email marketing is dying now for about 15 – 20 years. But it hasn’t died, and it won’t.
It’s still one of the best media channels to grow your business.
Email marketing starts before you even have a list of subscribers.
It starts with implementing opt-ins on your website.
You are right if you are thinking that this could also be in the web design section. It could be.
To start with, you can have a top bar with an offer to subscribe to your newsletter. Be aware of GDPR.
Also if you are more in B2B, be sure to also check GDPR for B2B.
Just to mention, all your opt-ins should be hard opt-ins.
This means that your visitor has to select the option to subscribe (no more pre-selected opt-ins).
Still, this doesn’t mean that you can’t grow your email list.
You still can and should. Believe it or not, GDPR will help you be more trustworthy in the eyes of your visitors.
But make sure it’s easy to unsubscribe and to get their data deleted.
My encouragement is to start collecting email addresses immediately.
Your website should have lead magnets in place, so you can get traction.
This can be done on blog posts as a content upgrade. This can really help you grow your list.
As this will give your article even bigger value.
You can offer ebooks, blueprints, checklists.
Remember that you should offer something that can offer your visitors a solution to their problem or give them a new insight.
There is also an option to do it when visitors are trying to leave your website and a pop up with an offer shows up.
A good idea is also to have some automation in place. This can help you when someone subscribes and can get a welcome email.
This will show you subscribes some well-needed personalization in today’s fast-paced world.
You can also use cold emailing. But remember to not be spammy.
Be sure to use effective email subject lines. This can help you get higher open rates.
And if you do it right, out of the spam filters.
Email marketing can be used to send out your offers, discounts, newsletter and other important information.
It’s a good idea not to be pushy and send it too often (max 1-2 times a month).
On the other hand, you can give your subscribers an option to select the frequency of your emails.
Make it easy to change their minds for fewer emails per month or the increase of emails.
Cold emails can be used for getting your foot in the door.
Let me put it this way. Don’t use cold emails for a quick sale.
Cold email should be sent to establish if there is an interest in your service or product on the other side (these days it will mostly be used in B2B).
In cold emails provide them with value and be short. Show them how they can benefit from your services or products.
Make it about them, not you.
Don’t try to close the deal. Build a relationship.
This way you will build trust and with trust, they will be more likely to buy from you or to get into business with you.
See, email marketing is still kicking.
Search Engine Marketing
Some of you may have heard the upper words. Some of you may have heard acronym SEM.
But I am sure most of you know Google AdWords.
Yes, search engine marketing is paid traffic.
When you do SEM you are paying for an ad to be shown in search engines so you can get traffic to your website.
I have to tell you one interesting fact about SEM.
In the past, SEM was a term used for both, paid and organic traffic. This meant that under the SEM we were able to find SEO and PPC.
This is not the case anymore. I must admit, that I always thought about SEO and SEM in separate ways.
Of course, we know other ad platforms as well.
As there are other search engines than Google, there are other PPC platforms.
Of course, Google AdWords is the biggest here, but you can get good and targeted traffic from other platforms as well.
You can benefit from smaller competition on other two platforms.
There is still one we have to mention.
This is Amazon PPC.
If you sell products on Amazon this can be a gold mine. It can really help you boost your sales.
My suggestion is to have PPC campaigns up and running when you need an extra boost.
Or you are launching a new product, service, article or ebook.
But always work on to get organic traffic. In the long-run you want organic traffic to be bigger than paid.
Paid traffic can help you get traction. It’s getting it at will but usually doesn’t convert as good as organic.
That’s because organic traffic is from people that are really interested in what you are offering.
While paid can sometimes bring people that are just looking. Also, people tend to dislike ads by nature, they don’t want to be sold to.
Of course, you can have all the traffic from PPC, but this means that as soon as you stop paying you don’t have traffic.
Social Media Marketing
In simple, social media marketing is work that is done to get likes, shares, and traffic from social media networks.
You can use it to promote your website (business), content, and your special offers.
Or go further and tailor your content to every social media network you are on.
There is a lot of opportunities.
Facebook is getting more of a pay to play, but can’t be forgotten. As it’s still providing social proof.
So be active and share content. Facebook marketing strategy can still prove important for your business.
Shift more to video and live video on Facebook. You’ll get more out of it. Or write longer posts.
Importantly be active, as social proof is important.
For B2B you should be active on Linkedin. With its video capability, it’s a great option to post native LinkedIn videos.
This way you’ll get more exposure.
Don’t forget to use Instagram to reach people and build your follower base.
Of course, Instagram has one “flaw” for marketers, you can’t post links, but the exposure if used right is enormous.
You can’t forget that it has 800 million active monthly users (source).
Show yours behind the scene. Make videos and explain things that are connected with your industry.
Share motivating content, build followers.
Oh, and post consistently. There are a lot of ways to use Instagram for business.
For even more exposure use stories. When you’ll have enough followers you’ll be able to share links in them.
This can be a good way of sharing tips and tell your followers when you have posted a new article (you can put a link in your bio).
You can also get traffic to your website from Youtube and Vimeo. I would suggest that you publish a video for your posts on Youtube and Vimeo.
Put a link to your article and make sure you create a transcript of it, so Youtube can rank you better.
Be sure to check out this Youtube SEO Guide.
It’s also notable that some brands are ditching their Facebook pages for Reddit.
Because Reddit is now a lot more friendly for marketing that it used to be.
Like I said before, still be active on your Facebook page for social proof.
Of course, there is also Google Plus, that can also help.
And I should mention Twitter, that can also help. But you should be active and constantly put content in front of people.
There are even more social media networks, but we can’t cover all of them.
I would like to advise you to create a social media strategy. Do a research which of the networks works best for your business.
You don’t have to be on all of them.
Be on the ones that are right for you and your brand.
But wherever you will open your account, be sure you are active and consistent.
If you won’t be active then you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
To make sure you post on social media make use of scheduling tools and take time in the morning to schedule your posts.
I personally take my Saturday morning to do my scheduling for the whole week in advance.
This way I can focus on the most important things when the working week comes.
Schedule your post on best times to post on social media.
That way you can get more engagement and more people will be more likely to see your posts.
Here is a great infographic with 15 steps to be successful in social media marketing.
Word of Mouth
You may be thinking how is this here. Word of Mouth?
Yes, this is also the part of online marketing.
And yes it’s, even more, a part of digital marketing, but we are more in online marketing today.
So here is the answer to word of mouth marketing in online marketing.
They play an important role in the perception of your brand.
So make sure to ask your clients to write reviews on review sites. You can even suggest where they should write it.
Man, it can be important that your brand (website) has a google review. As it can show you as a good fit for doing business with.
The interesting part is that even your content that your current clients are sharing could create referrals.
Meaning that you have a word of mouth marketing.
There are a lot of things you can do. You can offer a percentage of sales amount for a referral.
Create a referral program.
This way more people can share your referral link and sell your product/services.
I mean we are all the same, we trust our friends, so we will more likely buy if the content is shared by our friends.
If you have an eCommerce website it would be a good idea to create a rating system for your products.
This way you’ll show your visitors the best selling stuff and it can also help you to ditch selling products that don’t bring profit.
Or at least don’t have them in stock and don’t lose money.
We talked already that reviews are important, but you can go even further.
Ask your happy clients for testimonials and share them on your website.
You can do even better.
Create a video interview with your happy client and publish it on your website.
Here is a great infographic from Impact that talks about 7 Must have word of mouth marketing strategies.
Some of them are already mentioned, but you’ll see them backed up by some amazing stats.
Web Push Notifications
This can be your partial replacement of email marketing.
But I would suggest that is you don’t treat it as a replacement, but as an additional marketing channel that can be as effective as email marketing.
They can be sent as soon as you publish your next masterpiece.
As quick you have your next special offer ready.
Web push notifications show up in visitors browsers.
Of course just to the ones that have opted in.
You should send them only to those who have opted in to receive notifications.
Also, make it easy to opt out if they don’t want to receive them anymore.
Check out how experts use web push notifications.
Make sure your notifications have clear CTAs, are short and on the point. And as with anything don’t push it too much.
No one likes spam.
Chat integration can be one of the best conversion boosters.
Visitors asking questions right there.
They don’t need to go to your contact page and send a message. They can do it right on the spot.
It can be used for bot integration. You can have pre-selected questions that the bot can answer.
If clicked, it can initiate the conversation, so the burden to start a conversation is not on the visitor.
This can really make an experience for a visitor more personal and more pleasing.
You can configure it in a way that you lead your visitor on your terms.
So visitors click on what he wants to know and gets an answer or additional question. You can see a great example of that on Optim-eyez.
If there is something that the bot is not able to answer, a visitor can still contact you.
You can even integrate Facebook Messenger as a live chat on your website.
Check out some great examples of live chat usage.
Also, you can connect your chat with customer service.
This is the next thing we’ll talk about.
Customer service can play a big role in your business success.
But as we are also here to make your website successful it’s important to understand, that successful website can make your business successful.
This means that having a customer service in place on your website can help you provide better user experience to your clients.
As crazy as it may sound.
It’s important to know that customer service can be your biggest marketing asset.
Having your own ticketing system can be a big thing to resolve troubles that can occur when using your products/services.
Remember that the most important thing in customer service is listening and being calm.
Provide help to those that reach out to you.
Respond on time, not three months after they contacted you. It’s rude to be unresponsive.
Show you are human and make them feel respected.
Your clients are not stupid, they are smart and will know when you are not truthful.
That’s why customer care is your best marketing strategy.
Customer service and care for your customers can give you even more than you bargained for.
You can get your next big idea for your content. Create better buyer persona. See when marketing and customer service should work together.
Plays an important role in today’s business.
It can make or break your business success. It’s important that your business website is secured and well protected.
This means that it protects your visitors, clients data from unauthorized people to read sensitive data, that was trusted to you.
And you are living up to their trust put in you.
Some things in this section could also be labeled as trust signals of your website.
SSL Certificate and HTTPS protocol
SSL certificate is an important asset to your website and it will grow even more.
Your website needs SSL certificate to be able to be served over HTTPS protocol.
This means that the connection between your website and your visitor is encrypted and no one can read information sent between your website and your visitor.
Google has stated that Chrome browser will start labeling websites, that are not implementing SSL certificate as dangerous.
How to know if the website is secure?
You can see a green lock and a word secure written beside the URL in your browser.
It’s even more important to use HTTPS protocol on eCommerce websites.
That’s because visitors, when buying stuff are trusting you with their credit card information.
If the connection is not secured everyone can see that information and steal credit card credentials.
SSL certificate will build more trust in your website but remember that HTTPS protocol won’t save your website from being hacked.
That is something that will be discussed below.
Difference between HTTP and HTTPS (SSL certificate) is that HTTP sends information unencrypted.
While on the other hand HTTPS, encrypts information and protects the data from being read by unauthorized people.
Let’s start by saying that we hope you never get a message that will say your website was hacked.
Because you worked hard for the success of your website it’s important to protect your website.
That’s why we think this is also a vital part of any successful website.
Always keep your website software up to date.
Make sure that the plugins you use are always up to date, so you don’t leave a backdoor open for attacks.
Check if your host is providing you with any security measures.
It’s a good idea to implement a web firewall to help you defend against most of the threats that are out there.
By securing your website your brand and website will gain credibility.
This will lay the foundation for a long working and successful website.
Website Safety Backup
Is a safety backup of your website in case something goes wrong with your live website.
This can save you a lot of trouble if some update broke your website beyond repair.
It can also save your business website if someone hacked your website.
As long as there have been computers there have been breakdowns, so, yeah, backup is good.
By making safety backups you can minimize the damage if something goes wrong.
Your website can be up faster and you will lose fewer customers and save money.
Website Trust Signals
To get people to buy from you or to even give you an email, they have to trust you.
The main thing here is to buy from you. Either you offer services or products, be it physical or downloadable.
For visitors to take anything from you they need to trust you.
You can do a lot to be seen more credible and trustworthy by including some of the elements below.
A blog can be a strong weapon for your business.
It’s a no-brainer to have a blog, as you can educate people and do marketing with your quality content.
It also shows your skills and knowledge.
A blog is not just for marketing. By having a blog you are showing your potential clients that you know what you are doing.
Social Media Profiles
They provide social proof. Of course, if you are active and post on your profiles.
If not then your potential customers can see that you don’t really work on your brand.
This can also encourage your visitors to be more engaged in your social media posts.
It’s easier for them to share the content and provide benefits for you.
And make them easy to spot, that way you’ll increase your chance of engagement. See our profiles.
Partners And Certificates
If you have partnered with some highly respected brands in your industry, it’s a good idea to show that you are a partner.
Also, if you have earned some certificates that prove your knowledge, you would want to show it.
This can build even more trust in you and your business.
An interesting fact is that most people want to see contact information once they land on your website homepage.
If we look at the percentage, 64 % of people say that they want to see contact information (source: Blue Corona).
In another research, done by KoMarketing, we see that 54 % of people think, that precise contact information is something that is the most missing information on most websites.
Based on that it’s important that people can easily get in touch.
Be it with live chat, phone number or email.
The best plan is to let them chose what makes them feel more at home.
If you have an eCommerce website it’s good to show that you are using a trustworthy payment gateway.
This will give them the confidence to buy from you.
Remember, if they trust you they are more likely to buy something from you.
Make sure you don’t abuse that trust.
Terms of Business/Use and Return Policy
To let them know how you do business and what are your conditions for returning a product that they don’t like or is broken, can help you greatly.
Don’t forget to include what happens with the funds.
Do your refund or you offer them a coupon to buy something else in your store.
It’s not a bad idea if you provide some kind of guarantee.
Like a 14-day guarantee return policy and no questions asked.
This will make them more assured that you are the real deal and they can do business with you.
We hope that you got the answer to what makes a successful website.
First of all, you can see there are many things that you need to do to create a website that works for you.
And by working for you, I mean that it brings in new leads and clients to your business.
After all growing your business is what your business website should do.
It’s not enough to have a website.
You have to invest in her. And I don’t mean just money.
The biggest investment is time to create content that is worth to read and be shared.
A website can give you a lot if you work on it.
If you just have your website build and published, but you don’t put work in it after that, you can’t get anything back.
It won’t work by itself.
Hope you liked the article and learned something new and if so please share it with others to find it.
SEO specialist and Founder of Nomiscom WebDesign. Here to help you grow your business with the strategic approach to designing your business website and growing it to become the tool that is increasing your revenue.