It Takes Five To Thrive!
At Best Way Websites, we understand your website wishes.
You want your website to:
- look good
- work properly
- be discoverable via generic keyword searches
- convince people to contact you
- make more money for your company.
We’re hoping this little guide will help you honestly evaluate how well your site is fulfilling your expectations and lead you the action steps necessary to increase your satisfaction with it.
- If you decide to reach out to us, we’re here for you!
The five things presented below will help you honestly explore and accurately access how well your website is doing for your business.
Here's a Quick List of Five Things Your Website Must Do:
- It must portray you as a professional
- It must work well
- It must satisfy search engines
- It must compel contacts
- It must produce a profit
If you have received our little Five 2 Thrive guide, you will see those same elements discussed below with expanded explanations and action steps you can take to remediate areas where you are getting low scores.
We also suggest that it is helpful (and perhaps painful) to have persons that you trust to be honest with you go through the guide or this page with you.
If you'd like to talk to us, give us a call. If we are available, we'll talk or we'll set a time that works for you and provide a free consultation for you.
We hope to win your friendship and hope that may become a path to your business as well.
Does Your Website Portray You as a Professional?
Loyalty or Treachery?
Your site can portray you well or it can betray your skills.
You are a pro and probably even an expert in your work. Does your site reflect that truth? Does it create confidence with your viewers?
First impressions are lasting impressions and you’ll never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
Answering these questions might reveal some areas of weakness with your website that you will need to address.
Does Your Website Make You Look Like a Pro?
- Is your site outdated?
- Does it look like sites looked like five or ten years ago?
- Does it look like it was created by your cousin's nephew?
- Are your graphics clean?
- Are your images clear?
- Are you taking advantage of using presentation graphics to convey your message?
- Are you using a welcome video?
Got an About Page?
- Do you have an about page so site visitors can learn about you, your skills, education, credentials and affiliations or associations?
- We teach our children to "Never Trust Strangers" and this is generally great advice.
- Your about page can help you "not be a stranger" to your website visitors. Let them in on who you are and what you like to do. Don't make your website's about page be ONLY about your business. Let them get to know YOU.
- Do you have reviews posted?
- Is your company brand (logo) visible in the top of your page and does it look good?
Background Images or Videos?
- If you are using background images or background videos, are they distracting your website visitors?
- A background should be "in the background" and should not distract from your message.
- Backgrounds should help focus attention upon what is in the foreground.
Does Your Website Work Well?
Are there missing images or broken links?
Is it easy for users to navigate? Does it clearly present your message?
The first question of the "Five to Thrive" deals with FORM. Now we are dealing with FUNCTION.
Have you provided an easy Quick Contact Form for them to use to contact you? Is your phone number easy to find?
Have you provided a FAQs page?
If you have a great deal of site content, have you integrated an on-site search function?
Is your content well-written and logically laid out? Have you taken advantage of headings and sub headings?
Can readers easily SCAN your pages to find what they are looking for? Website users typically SCAN sites rather than READ them like they would a book. That is why you want to use headings, sub headings, info-graphics and bolded texts to attract attention to particular segments of your website's pages.
Leave the artwork to the artists.
Make sure your chosen fonts are easy to read and leave the art to the artists. Avoid the use of a lot of decorative fonts ... unless they are included in art.
CSS (Style Sheets) to the Rescue
Use style sheets (CSS) to control the consistency of your site's look and feel across all of your pages.
In communication, clarity is always the number one priority.
Is it 100% mobile responsive?
60% to 95% of your users are trying to view your site on their mobile devices! Take a look at your website a your mobile phone.
One of several things may happen depending upon how your website was developed.
"Honey, They Shrunk their Website!"
It might just simply shrink into a small version of your desktop / laptop website. If it does, your site qualifies as a site that needs to be redeveloped YEARS AGO.
Search engines are penalizing your mobile-unfriendly site by pushing it down in search results for people that are using mobile devices.
If you are LUCKY enough to still get visitation by mobile users to your website, more than half of them will impatiently simply click back and find another site.
"Why Can't I Find More Content?"
Websites that have been created with outdated systems sometimes truncate website content and give visitors only a minimal amount of information.
This can become an issue for those that want more information before they make a buying decision.
These developments are better than "shrunken" sites, but they still lose a lot of potential power.
Worse still, website guests will sometimes find the "View Full Site" link and tap it and then they are looking at a shrunken site again ...
Hey, This Mobile Website Looks and Works Great!
This is what you want your website visitors to think AND say! When a website has been properly developed it will result in what is known as a 100% responsive website.
What this means is regardless of the size of the screen a person is using when viewing your site, they will be presented with the best possible view of your site for the "screen's available real estate."
Users should NEVER have to "pinch and spread" to be able to see and read your website content when on a mobile device.
Does Your Website Satisfy Search Engines?
Can people easily find your site in search engines, maps, directories and social media?
If someone is looking for what you do but they don’t know your business name, can they easily find your site?
If your potential customers are unable to find your site when they are looking for the products and services that your company provides, you are losing out on new potential sales.
Make Sure the Foundations of Local Search are Intact
- Create or Claim Your Business Citations in the Major Data Aggregators
- Create or Claim Your Maps Locations (Google, Bing, Yahoo)
- Create or Claim Your Business Listing with Directories (Like Manta)
- Create or Claim Social Media Business Pages (like Facebook)
Direct Hit Searches
What we mean by a "direct hit" is that the searcher is familiar with your particular business.
If someone has your business card and your domain name is printed on it, finding your website is easy. They just type in your domain name using their preferred browser and search engine and your site should be delivered at least near the top of search engine results.
If someone knows your business name and does not know your domain name, they should be able to type in your business name using their preferred browser and search engine and your site should be delivered at least near the top of search engine results.
"Direct Hit" searches should yield you page one position in the search engine results pages without requiring a robust search marketing effort or campaign. If you have even the most rudimentary on-page SEO, you should be discovered.
Generic Keyword Searches
A "genefic keyword search" is a different story. When someone knows the product or service that they want to find but do NOT know your business name, they will type in "generic" words for their search, rather than "specific" search that includes your business name.
If your company has very little competition or a small geographic target, and you have a small amount of on-site SEO on your website, you should still have reasonably good rank in search results.
On the other hand, if you have a significant number of competitors and/or you are trying to reach a broader geographic target, you will need to have both an internal (on-site) and an external (off-site) SEO program in place.
The Search Engine Maps
Google, Bing & Yahoo all have provisions for local businesses to be included in their maps programs.
The Major Data Aggregators
There are four major US data aggregators: Localeze, InfoGroup, Acxiom & Factual. It is vital that your company's information is indexed by them and that it is accurate.
The data aggregators are the primary resource for directories to obtain data and the major search engines all rely heavily upon them to provide dynamic local search results, too.
There are hundreds of internet directories now, but there still only a handful that are prominent. There will always also be directories that may be a lot smaller that are specifically related to your particular industry.
You'll want to take the steps to ensure that your company is properly and accurately represented in such directories.
Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms, with Facebook and Youtube being the most prominent, also command a large portion of searches today. People that prefer those platforms will also use them as search engines.
So, if you are questioning if whether or not your company should have a business facebook page and youtube channel ... the answer is yes.
Does Your Website Compel Contact?
Does your website convey the correct message to your website viewers?
Does it have a clear and concise call to action that leads site visitors to make a phone call or fill in a form?
No one is going to decide to do business with your company because they are in love with your logo.
It is amazing how much time small businesses waste on their logo or business's graphic identity.
- You should have a logo, but simple and clear is good.
However, it takes a carefully crafted and clearly communicated MESSAGE to arrest the attention of your target.
3 Steps for a Website that Works
Step 1: Proper Development
OK, your site needs to be properly developed, which includes:
- ensuring that it looks good
- works well
- has great content (providing a drill-down method is best)
- and is optimized for search engines.
Step 2: Qualified Traffic
It doesn't do you any good to have an awesome website if no one sees it. Period. Traffic to your website will extract more bandwidth from the server that hosts your site - that much is guaranteed.
However, if the people using your website have no interest in doing business with you, they are NOT qualified traffic.
Qualified traffic is website visitation from people that are in your target audience, both demographically and geographically.
Step 3: Effective Conversion
It does you no good to have a great website and traffic to it if you fail to convert that traffic.
You need to develop leads from your website visitors and have a vehicle for turning those leads into clients.
Take the time to craft an effective marketing message - that will win you more clients!
A marketing message could also be called your business "pitch" and used to commonly be referred to as an "elevator speech".
Your website needs to "speak" directly to your target audience to engage them and move them to take action.
What is a Call to Action?
A call to action is content intended to induce a viewer, reader, or listener to perform a specific act, typically taking the form of an instruction or directive.
On a website, it is typically a "Call Now", "Contact Us", " Learn More", "Buy Now" or "Get Involved" button.
Use a "Pitch" Video!
There is no better way to compel action than to talk directly to your target. We recommend what we call a "Pitch Video". You could also call it an introduction video.
You'll want this video to be no longer than a minute. You want it to be as short as possible and still contain your marketing message, followed by your suggested course of action, telling them to "tap on the button below."
You can record an effective pitch video with your smart phone. It is not necessary to get all fancy with it. It needs to be acceptable quality, but you can accomplish that with your phone.
- You don't need to hire a videographer to do this for you.
You CAN do it yourself! On the other hand, if you want to have a pro do it for you, go ahead, but what you say is more important.
The example below is a placeholder for a pitch video that we use on most of our website demonstrations. It helps us explain and shows our potential new clients what we are talking about when we discuss at pitch video with them.
If you tap on the button below the video, it will take you to a registration form, enabling you to create your free account.
Start by Crafting Your Marketing Message
A Marketing Message is:
- a clear and concise communication
- spoken directly to your target
- that addresses their problems
- and how you solve them
- inspiring them to respond to your offer.
Your Marketing Message has also been called a "Pitch" or an "Elevator Speech". People are busy and you've got a few seconds to captivate their attention in the hopes of winning them as a client.
Your marketing message should be woven into your pitch video, so you'll need to start by developing it first.
You may need to do a bit of homework to be able to do this.
You'll need to these 3 basic things:
- identify and describe your target
- list the problems that they have that you can solve
- list your unique selling propositions (how are you different and better than their other options)
Register for a free account at Best Way Websites and access free help that will help you custom-craft a killer marketing message for your business!
Does Your Website Produce Profit?
A properly developed and marketed website will always be an asset - never a liability. It should never cost you more than it makes you.
Investment is Essential
- Expecting a return without an investment is simply ludicrous.
I've never won even a dollar from any lottery, anywhere or anytime.
I've never lost a dollar, either.
I've never bought a lottery ticket.
The most important questions that for which we seek answers when we are providing our free website design and internet marketing consultations are efforts to discover and clarify our clients expectations for outcomes.
If a client is not willing to invest in local search marketing or search engine optimization and they are in even a small, competitive market, we make it clear that it doesn't make sense for them to expect good visibility (search engine results pages rank) when would-be customers are searching for businesses that provide their needs via generic keywords.
In a smaller market, even with minimal SEO, browsers should be able to find your company when they search for your company name.
That being said, you must invest wisely. Just throwing money at a developer or an SEO provider doesn't solve your problem.
(NEARLY 100% of calls you get with SEO offers are total SCAMS, by the way!)
There are 2 Potential Pitfalls
Pitfall #1 - You can OVERSPEND.
At Best Way Websites, we regularly build custom websites for our clients (that they can successfully self-edit) at 50% OR LESS of what other local developers are charging.
We are NOT undercharging. They are overcharging.
More often than not, when we offer our famous "Name Your Price" website services, our clients provide budgets that EXCEED what we will charge them.
If you say, "I've got $1,500 to spend (or even $15,000), what can you do for me?" We will provide your free consultation to discover your:
and what you need, want and expect is something we can do for $500, then we'll tell you we can do it for $500.
This is NOT just an example, it is reality.
On the other hand, if you say, "I've got $500 to spend, what can you do for me?"
We will provide your free consultation to discover your:
and what you need, want and expect is something we can would only do for $5,000, then we'll tell you we can do it for $5,000.
Sorry, this is a reality as well!
Pitfall #2 - You can UNDERSPEND.
Spending too little is a just as much of a waste of money as spending too much!
Here is a simple example:
- You need $150,000 to make a business opportunity work.
- You borrow $100,000
Result: you are $100,000 more in debt.
If you don't spend enough, you won't see the return you expect.
A Very Common "Sounds Good, But A'int True" Statement Follows
The #1 reason new business startups fail is that they were "uncapitalized."
Yes, that sounds good. It sounds feasible. It sounds probable. It sounds "right" ... but it is NOT!
- The #1 reason new business startups fail is a not money but mind.
Why? Because if you ask any of those persons that have failed if they "thought" they had enough money, they would say "Of course!"
Well, they THOUGHT wrong, - and why did they think wrong?
- Some just go by "the seat of their pants." Your butt is in there, not your brain!
- Many simply do no research, and they should have expected to fail. Don't rely on luck to succeed in business.
- Most don't do enough math. After all, it is ultimately a "money" thing, isn't it.
If you don't spend enough money, you are surely wasting it!
Is your website profitable for your company?
Your Website in your Business's Budget
Your website should occupy an important place in your business's budget.
Your business website performs two roles for your company: it advertises or markets for your company and it is also can perform other business functions (like an employee might do).
If users can complete a form on your site or get answers to their questions, those are both labor-saving functions.
Estimate Your Website's Cost
Take the cost to develop it (divide that number by at least 3 years - the typical "life" of a website design), add your annual costs for hosting and maintenance.
Development (/3) + Hosting + Maintenance = Total Cost
Estimate Your Website's Earnings
In order to do this accurately, you must be able to track the source of leads that bring money into your company. Fortunately, many of these can be easily tracked if users are contacting your company through your website.
It is imperative that you train your staff to ask those that call you how they discovered your company.
Regardless of the media used that brings you the lead, you need to know the source of those leads for new business.
Your website can also help you win by "assists" if it has been properly developed. What this means is potential buyers can see your site, get some questions answered, read some reviews.
Now Do the Math
Website Income - Website Expense = Website Profit
Best Way Websites Can Help You Get All Fives!
You are a business owner that has the good fortune to be introduced to Best Way Websites. You have a distinct opportunity.
Be savvy and take advantage of the ZERO-RISK step to:
- Create your free account and complete your business and personal profile, and
- Request your free, no-obligation expert website development and internet marketing consultation, then
- Take full advantage of the power of the Best Way Websites website builder, marketing program and content management system.
From there, you may decide to:
- Use our free website builder and step by step guide and videos to build your own professional website, or
- Name your price and let us build it for you.