Every type of business needs a website. After all, the internet is where consumers are going to research and make purchases.

But is having any old website enough for a female entrepreneur to build and grow her small business?

It’s not. In fact, there are a number of things your website needs in order to turn it into a marketing machine that works to generate leads and creates passive income whilst you eat, sleep…and live your life.

Here are my top twelve:

Common Sense Navigation:

How many times have you left a website because you couldn’t find what you were looking for? Or because the navigation was too confusing? This will equate to death for a business. Make sure you’ve got the standard Home, About, Services, Contact, etc. pages in place and that drop-down menus follow simple, common-sense progressions. There’s no use risking the loss of visitors—particularly your ideal clients.

Appealing Language:

What words and phrases are running through your ideal clients’ heads? What problem is at the forefront of their minds? And what emotions are they experiencing right now? Take all these things into consideration when you write your website’s content, remembering that you’re not writing it for yourself or about yourself, but rather for your visitors and about your visitors. No matter who they are, they are coming to your website to get something for themselves. It can’t just be about you and your business; but rather, about what you and your business can do for them.

Contact Information:

It can be tempting to omit contact information (or make it hard to find), especially if your business is currently overrun with phone calls and emails. However, making yourself and your staff unavailable will push your visitors to the competition.

eCommerce Security:

If you’re selling products and/or services from your website, you’ve got to make it clear to your customers that their information is secure. Get your site certified with an SSL certificate (which encrypts communications) and use a reputable payment platform, like Stripe or PayPal.

Video:

If you want visitors to absorb information, put it in video form and place a number of videos throughout your site—not only under a tab titled Video. It’s the number-one preferred method for consuming information among internet users, and it’s rising steadily in popularity. Video will also work to keep visitors on your website longer, enhancing its search engine rankings.

Social Media Connection:

Make your website easy to share, and encourage the following of your social media pages from your website, with things like live feeds and share buttons.

A website is necessary for business, yes; however, without social media, your website could be left in cyber limbo. Click To Tweet

Your website is in charge of conversions; but your social media presence is often the thing that will send people into that funnel.

Responsive Design:

There’s no quicker way to lose your online audience than with a PC-designed website that won’t flex to fit your target market’s mobile devices. Spend a little extra and get design that adapts to whatever type of device it’s being viewed on.

Frequently Asked Questions:

This isn’t just about avoiding a barrage of phone calls and emails; it’s also about conversion. Use your FAQs page to dispel with common fears, to answer the questions that are keeping people from buying and to dismiss rumours about your business. You can accomplish quite a lot by answering questions before they’re asked.

Capture Opportunities:

Your website can, and should, provide a method for capturing the details of your ideal clients, for the purpose of building your list. One way to do this is to offer a free gift and ask for name and email address when someone clicks to accept the offer. Then, make good use of the names on your list to stay in touch with an email campaign that keeps your brand top-of-mind and your business active.

Calls to Action:

It’s important that website visitors always know what their next step should be; and therefore, a call to action on every page is essential. It doesn’t always have to be a purchase It can be a learn more, claim your free gift or preview the book button. Never leave them hanging, wondering what’s next.

Testimonials:

Word of mouth is the single most effective, highest ROI marketing method available; and yet, sometimes you are limited in the number of opportunities you have to reach your ideal clients with word-of-mouth advertising.

In those cases, you’ve got to get them to your website (with SEO) and then use the words of your most satisfied customers to get their attention. Written and video testimonials should be used, and your customers should talk about their unique experiences, including things like misgivings they had in the beginning, or push back they felt from their friends and family—because if they dealt with those types of things then, members of your target market are dealing with those things now.

Speed:

If your website visitors have to drum their fingers whilst waiting for your pages to load, they’re going to navigate to your competitor’s site. Demonstrate your respect for their valuable time. Choose a web hosting service that has a good track record for reliable, speedy sites and that will help you determine what’s slowing you down (large photos, Flash, etc.).

You’ve got to start viewing your website as an experience for its visitors.

If your business doesn’t have a physical location, then your website is the replacement for that—and it must be just as clean, comfortable and welcoming as your store or office would be. Even if you do have a physical location, your website must act as a stand-in for that when people can’t be there in person.

Yes, it really is that important.

If you know you need more support when it comes to website design and function then join us in the Fempire Academy, check out our trainings and start to feel supported on your entrepreneurs journey. We’re all waiting inside to help you thrive.