The 3 Phases Needed to Radically Increase Your Website Sales

Business Owners | Client Resources

5afc688f6685a3d6_640_business-websiteRemember the days when you could create a website and just let it sit there? No blogging, backlinks, or SEO needed? Unfortunately, websites don’t quite work that way anymore. The internet’s integration into our lives has provided websites the ability to radically improve your business income … but you’ll need to an active website to do it.

The following three sections will give you a roadmap for putting your website to work for you.

Phase 1: Build a Website

Obviously you’ll need to have a website. But this isn’t quite as straight-forward as you might think. Let’s take a look at the four important aspects of a website in this phase.

Design

The design of your website, just like the design of your store, will be the first thing people notice. It should match your branding and communicate who you are to your customers. If your design looks like it was created before dinosaurs walked the earth, you need to update it. You can still excel on Google’s search engine results even if you have a bad design, but just because you’re website is high on Google’s Page 1, doesn’t mean people will convert into customers when they click on your link. Design, in conjunction with Action Calls and Architecture (below), will convert them.

Part of design is figuring out your potential clients or customer base. If your clients are high-end, you need a website that looks beautiful and is designed to the latest design standards. Just like a Mexican restaurant should have Mexican decorations, your website should give your clients what they’re expecting in a unique way.

Architecture & Call to Actions

Design is often lumped in together with Site Architecture and Call to Actions, but these are very distinct. Just like you need to know your customer base/clients for the design, it’s even more important to know them for this portion of your website.

The architecture of a website includes 1) how links are named, 2) what pages are linked together, and 3) where you lay the links out (footer,header, sidebars, etc.). Seems obvious, right? But let’s take a look at an example.

You’re opening a restaurant. You need a website, so you contact a web developer. The design you choose is upscale, modern, and inviting. You love it. But when the website is launched, people start complaining. The design is pretty, they say, but they couldn’t find directions or the menu or phone number. That’s the architecture of the site. Architecture is all about making it easy for users to find what they’re looking for. Depending on how thought out your business plan is, this can be incredibly easy, or incredibly hard.

The Call to Actions are a little different. They are specific places on your website where you “call the client to an action”. For example, in the image below of Square website, the blue “Get a Free Card Reader” is a Call to Action. You can have multiple Call to Actions across your site as needed. Basically, you should always give the user something to DO.

startup-template

Coding

Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into coding language here.

If you walked into a clothing store and they only took gold as money, you’d probably find that weird. You’d think the same thing if they only took checks. Why? Because that’s old technology. We’ve moved on: to credit cards, Apple Pay, and more.

If your website was made more than 4 years ago, you’re trying to give Google checks while everyone else is paying with credit cards. If it’s more than 8 years old, you’re trying to pay with gold. Unfortunately, like many stores placed in this situation, Google will not like it if you try to pay with gold. Money Standards change, and unfortunately for your pocketbook, so does coding.

Most importantly, coding can start breaking if you wait too long to update. And no one wants their website to suddenly stop working on a Thursday morning.

If you want more specific information on how coding changes, check out The One Vital Reason You Should Get Your Website Redone.

Search Engine Optimization

Google’s algorithm is a secret. Nobody knows how exactly they do their thing. But we do know specific things that Google likes and dislikes – and these change regularly. For example, in the last couple of months (early 2015), Google added whether or not the site is mobile friendly to their top-secret algorithm – which means if your website isn’t, it will get dinged.

Google releases updates like this regularly. You can keep an eye on it by checking out Google’s blog or Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google. Or you can just hire a good Web Developer who will notify you when those changes happen.

Regardless of how you choose to stay updated, a website that follows the SEO guidelines is required if you want to be in the competition for page 1 of Google results.

Phase 2: Optimize Your Content

Now that your website is created and launched, it’s time to move on to Phase 2. You can immediately proceed to optimizing your content, do it in conjunction with Phase 1, or wait.

When moving on to this Phase, it’s important to see where you are in the competition. Obviously the goal here is to get on page 1 of Google, so first take a step back and see where you are in Google’s results and who’s ahead of you. Then, take a look at what your competition is doing and figure out some reasons they might be ahead of you in the results.

Once you’ve figured out what the competition is doing, it’s time to take care of content issues on your site. Are all your pages’s contents optimized for the keywords you’re going after? The keywords your competition is going after? This is when you find a good content writer and have them rewrite your pages to focus on the keywords you’re looking for.

Not all websites are going to need Phase 2 and Phase 3. Don’t get me wrong – most will, but some fields just won’t need it. For example, I built a website several years ago for a process server in LA. His website shot up to the top of Google within a week and he was getting 4-5 calls a day for new business. Best money he ever spent. Why? Because no one else in his field was doing that yet. If you get in on the ground floor of your field, you might be able to skip the last two phases – or at least wait a couple of years for them. (Just don’t wait too long!)

Look at it this way: if your competition doesn’t even have a team on the football field, you’re going to slaughter them. If they’re playing at the high school level (Phase 1 only), then if you get a college football team you’ll probably win. But if they’re playing with a Pro team, then you can’t expect to beat them with a high school team – you’ll get crushed.

Websites are the same way. If you’ve only done Phase 1 and you’re not beating the competition, you’re probably playing against a Phase 2 or Phase 3 website.

Phase 3: Search Engine Optimization

Finally, we’re ready for Search Engine Optimization – or at least, what most people think of when you say SEO. The other two phases were vital to succeeding in Phase 3. If you start this phase without the other two, it just won’t work. It’d be like trying to run a marathon without training. Sure, Barney Stinson did it, but the results weren’t pretty – and your website isn’t like Barney.

SEO without Phase 1 & 2

But when your website IS ready, search engine optimization can be killer – to the competition! This phase should include a more specific look at your competition and their off-site SEO. After analyzing your competition, you should engage in quality link-building, address issues, optimizing social media, and much more.

This phase is a regular fee for each month, and lasts a minimum of 6 months. Why 6 months? Because it can take up to six months for Google to apply what you’ve done to your rating.

Search Engine Optimization is often the most expensive part of building a website because it’s an ongoing expense. And good SEO doesn’t come cheap. This phase can cost you anywhere between $500 and several thousand dollars per month. And that’s not even counting Google Adwords cost or other additional advertising.

Summary

Websites take a lot more time now to complete, and they take quite a bit more money out of your pocket. But if you get someone joining your team who knows what they’re doing, your website can be the most important asset and biggest salesperson for your business.

 

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