The hub of your online marketing strategy should be your website – one that showcases your expertise, experience and personality. Don’t let the idea of creating a website intimidate you. There are many easy, turnkey ways to create a website using blogging software, such as WordPress or Blogger.
Once you secure your software, here are eight essential elements you need to include on your website.
#1: About Me page
The “About Me” section is the place to tell your story: how you became interested in your field, how you have evolved into an industry expert in your niche and what level of experience you have. Include a professional photo, and write in the first person, channeling your inner storyteller. Show your personality, too, so people get to know the “real you.”
#2: Contact Me page
Don’t make people guess how to contact you. Put your “Contact Me” information at the top of your website (most people have it on the right upper-hand corner of the homepage). Ideally, include a form on the Contact Me section with fields for name, email address and phone number, plus a large field so visitors can type in their specific question.
There are many ways to incorporate your blog into the website. Some websites have teasers to the latest blog posts right from the homepage. Others have a link to the blog from the top navigation bar. And other websites list the most recent blog post titles on their homepage. Play around and find the best solution for your website design and audience.
If you are an entrepreneur, it is essential that you include information on what services and products you offer. Depending on your business, this may include having a shopping cart feature so people can buy straight from your website. Be clear with your pricing and product descriptions so people understand what they are buying.
Whenever you have a satisfied customer or a peer who recommends you, include a testimonial from this person on your website. Depending on the amount of testimonials you gather, consider having an entire page for your testimonials. Another effective technique is to sprinkle your testimonials throughout your website. Include the person’s photo, name, job title and website to further validate the endorsement. For an additional punch, record a video of the person’s testimonial.
#6: As Seen In
For more social proof, considering adding a box to your homepage with a list of media outlets where you have appeared. This could include offline publications as well as online ones.
If you have links to your media interviews, then also consider adding them to your “About Me” section, or have a separate section for your media spotlights.
#7: Links to social media sites
On your homepage, include a list of where you appear on social media. This is usually accomplished by including social media icons that link to your specific account. Consider adding a Facebook Like Box as well to your homepage. Studies have shown that including the Like Box on your website increases page likes because people don’t have to leave your website to like the Facebook page.
#8: Opt-in and free offer
If you want to build an email list, you should add a free offer (otherwise known as a “lead magnet”) on your homepage. Then, word your offer so that anyone who enters his name and email address for the gift will receive your weekly newsletter as a bonus. Offering a free gift is a great way to grow your list, plus you can showcase your expertise by sharing your knowledge about your field.
Your small business website is a crucial element of your overall strategy, so be sure to include these eight important components. One final piece of advice: Write for your customer. Solve their problems, feel their pain points and offer solutions. This will propel your website even more.
Photo Copyright: vadimgozhda / 123RF Stock Photo
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