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Five Ways to Create Your Prospects' Favorite Website

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What's so great about your website? If you don't have an answer to that question, we'd better get to work. Your prospects have a huge array of websites to choose to visit—and buy or learn from. You have to give them good reasons to choose yours. You need to create a website that your target audience will love to visit.

So how do you turn your website into your prospect's favorite online business destination? Here are five options you can implement right away.

1. Start a Blog

Blogging is a powerful tool for business owners. It allows you to communicate with your audience in a very collaborative way, and it allows your business to establish a thought-leader position in your industry. Blogging has many technical benefits as well, such as increased traffic and better search engine rankings. Producing fresh content on your website regularly will have a powerful impact on your business's online reputation.

But how exactly is it going to turn your website into your prospects' first pick? Because you are giving away valuable, helpful information! Make your blog a hub of insightful, engaging content, and your prospects and customers will want to come back again and again. They will probably want to tell their friends and business associates about it, too.

A blog is also the perfect place to listen in on the opinions of your customers and prospects. If you have an active following for your blog, take the time to read through every comment. Listen to what your readers are saying. You can use this information to make your website—and your business—even better.

2. Encourage contact

Don't make your visitors hunt for the contact page; create an integrated approach to communication throughout your entire website. Make your customers and prospects feel welcomed and appreciated. Let them know you're excited to talk with them about how your products or services can help. Assure them you're happy to answer all their questions. Encourage them to share their comments and, if they have any, complaints.

Knowing that a friendly, helpful business owner or associate is just a click or call away always makes people feel better about doing business with you. And by creating an easy forum for customers to share their concerns or complaints, you're making your business seem more genuine and interested in creating a great customer experience.

Very important! Make sure you have a responsive system set up for fielding phone calls or getting back with customers. Having a website that encourages communication and then not following through is a bad idea.

3. Show some personality

What do you offer consumers that your competitors don't? What makes your business unique? Don't be afraid to show some personality on your website—it makes things a lot more interesting. I would argue that the most appealing, loyalty-inducing businesses are the ones that develop, and consistently display, a unique personality.

People like to do business with companies that they know, like, and trust. If your website is just a boilerplate representation of your business, just like everyone else's website, how are visitors supposed to feel like they are getting to know you?

Include a picture, use language that fits your personal business style (i.e., not the same old business jargon), and don't be afraid to infuse your site with a little color. You can take this approach even further if you chose to implement a blog on your website. Blogging is the perfect medium for showing some personality and sharing opinions. Be unique, but stay focused on your customers.

4. Make your website a resource

Do you want to really make your visitors fall in love with your website? Become a source of free stuff. Now, obviously, your website exists to showcase your business and sell your products or services, so I'm not suggesting that you start focusing all your efforts on giving stuff away. But you have plenty of simple ways to add valuable resources to your website that will automatically increase your likeability.

Why not create a list of quality, related service providers to help your clients get their projects done? For instance, as a copywriter, I could provide a list of excellent Web designers or social media experts. Or you could create a few free reports that delve into a topic of great importance to your target market. You have tons of options for offering content your audience will find useful—get creative.

5. Keep things user-friendly

The most frustrating websites are the ones that are difficult to use. Poor navigation, graphics that don't load, links that won't work, missing information... the list goes on. Those are the things that make your visitors leave your website—and probably never come back.

If you want to create a website that your prospects will love, make their experience easy. Ensure that all the information they need is there, and easy and fast to find. Use a simple navigation system and plenty of (working!) links throughout your pages to help visitors jump from one place to the next. Don't overload your site with graphics that slow things down or create pages that are crowded and hard to read.

The goal of each page on your website should be clear and focused, and your main objective should be to allow your visitors to progress effortlessly through your website.

* * *

Now that you have some inspiration, get to work on creating a website that will impress your visitors and make them want to return. With an effective website in your marketing arsenal, you can expand your business reach, keep current customers happy and loyal, generate new leads, and increase your sales.

With so many great benefits, who wouldn't want to invest time into creating their prospects’ favorite website?

(Image courtesy of Bigstock: Website Building)

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Sonja Jobson helps entrepreneurs become create fame-worthy brands by offering her best tips for creating business fame.

LinkedIn: Sonja Jobson

Twitter: @SonjaJobson

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  • by Rishi Tue Aug 7, 2012 via web

    To increase the "stickiness" of your website, I would suggest ensuring you develop your resources! The list of resources you should develop varies between B2B and B2C businesses. B2B businesses should develop content in the form of whitepapers, blogs, and webinars. B2C businesses may choose to use blogs, social media, and newsletters. The goal should be to keep your audience engaged, while boosting your SEO driving incoming traffic from search engines!

    Get access to all our marketing cheat sheets including "Content Development for SEO" at

  • by Stephan Tue Aug 7, 2012 via web

    #5 needs to be #1...all those neat features are pointless if your site isn't easy to navigate or doesn't have a clear message. Regardless, I'm happy to say that our company's site does all these things, give it a look-see and tell me what you think:

  • by Sally Erickson Tue Aug 7, 2012 via web

    Nice choice of points, Sonja! It's difficult to keep this list down to five items.

    Personality is one I emphasize these days. (I do web improvement and development for small businesses.) Small businesses especially need to heed this and get with the About Us page. It's not another "features of your products or services," but an opportunity to explain why you sell what you do, how you got started, your attitude toward your customers, even hobbies. It all helps you connect with prospects. And, it's not easy being real if you've never written like this before. Take some time and do it right. It will really pay off.

    Other points?

  • by Tai Rattigan Wed Aug 8, 2012 via mobile

    Great read here. Big business still seems to be missing out on building a conversation with it's consumers

  • by Eric Rader Wed Aug 8, 2012 via web

    Great Article Sonja! I think this fits in the number 5 spot as well but Simplicity is key. Much like Stephan said above it could be the greatest site in the world but if there is so much needless info present users will get overwhelmed and give up looking for the content they need. Less is more and most consumers want to be fed small amounts of relevant info that will be engaging and keep them on the site till they pick up the phone or click that easily found contact button! Take a look at our, how do I get on that "list of excellent Web designers or social media experts" you spoke about above? haha Thanks for being great!

  • by Pete Wed Aug 8, 2012 via web

    I hail from the days of using notepad and an HTML reference book. In those years I've learned that the two most important thing to have is:

    1. Substance. Beyond the charm, you have to offer something. Just getting a website, a FaceBook and LInkedIn account is all par for the course. What you post in those accounts is what matters.

    2. Evidence. Back up everything you say with a verifiable experience and/or references from good sources.

    What if you're an individual whom simply needs to get noticed, and find that creating a website or blog is too daunting? Then there is an easier way: Answer and contribute to questions on forums, blogs and sites in your REAL name. These will show up in a Google search. The important thing is to contribute, and that will sell you.

  • by Nick Stamoulis Thu Aug 9, 2012 via web

    The usability of your website is so important! It doesn't matter how great your products are if people can't navigate your website easily to do business with you. Don't make people work to give you their money!

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