Your website should work for your business and that means it should help build your reputation, attract leads and convert sales. If it is little more than a brochure, it is time for a change.

Step 1 – create a good user experience

At the very least, your website should be easy for your customer to use. Think about why your audience is coming to your site, is it to find your location, request a quote, learn more about your business, book your services or buy your product? Whatever the main focus, make it easy for your customer to find/do what you want them to do. I always pick on restaurant websites because all too often they are a showcase for beautiful photography and basic information like a phone number to make a reservation or an address is very hard to find.

Step 2 – start blogging

There are so many reasons why you need to blog. Blogging will help keep your website fresh and up-to-date. Each time you blog you are creating another opportunity to engage with your audience and establish yourself as an expert or a helpful addition to someone’s life. New posts mean more opportunities for Google to index your site and over time they lead to more traffic – in fact, websites with blogs receive 55% more traffic than sites without.

Once you create great content, you need to share it regularly to the social network(s) where your clients are most active, which could be Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or LinkedIn to mention a few. And your site should be set up with social media plug-ins so it is very easy for your visitors to share your content.

Step 3 – build your mailing list

Blogs are an important step to increasing traffic to your site, but if you don’t turn these prospects into leads by getting them onto your mailing list, you are missing an opportunity. Give visitors a reason to give you their email addresses, you can offer a newsletter or another free give-away like an ebook, a how to guide or something else that would be very helpful to your target audience.

Email marketing is one of the most powerful and often overlooked tools for any business owner. When someone signs up to your mailing list, it means they want to hear from you – they are now a potential customer. Each time you land in his or her inbox with helpful content, you become top of mind. Promotions to your email list will have the highest conversion rate (if they don’t it is likely because your offer isn’t meeting your clients’ needs).

Step 4 – be consistent

Blogging regularly is one of the biggest challenges that organizations and individuals face, and the one thing you really need to overcome. We recommend blogging at least once a week and suggest that you consistently blog on the same day each week. Same goes for your newsletter – whenever you send it out (weekly or the third Tuesday of each month) set a schedule and stick to it!

One of the most effective ways to ensure you consistently create content that connects with your audience is by planning ahead. Building out a detailed editorial calendar and email marketing plan are a great way to ensure you will meet your goals.

Be respectful of your audience and make sure to let them know exactly what they will get when they sign up for your list and be true to that. For example, “Our newsletter, filled with content marketing tips and the occasional promotion, will land in your inbox one to two times each month.”

We would love to hear from you. Is your web site working for you? What are the biggest challenges you face creating and maintaining a web site that helps you grow your business.

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