COMPONENTS OF A BUSINESS WEBSITE
There Are a Few Mandatory Components of a Business Website...If You Want It to Be Successful.
The components of a business website that lead to happy customers and profitable
owners are similar whether you sell information products or physical products. Learn them, and implement
them. You'll be glad you did. (The more technical aspects of website or blog production are covered in
each of the departments listed at the far left)
Components of a Business Website: Initial Benefit
The first component of a
business website is the presentation of an initial benefit or offer. Remember tip number one of the
Tips for Success: know who you are targeting and who you want your audience
to be. Know the client you are trying to
Then, tailor your website
or blog to target them. Make sure that every person that visits your site knows what the #1 benefit of your
site is within 5 seconds of landing on your page. If you are selling on the page, make the offer up
front. But, make the offer so that it is stated in the form of benefits that the person will receive.
Then back up your offer or stated benefit with
Once you've clearly stated
and proved your initial offer, make sure you convey the necessity of your site or product's role. It must be
clear to your visitors that, in order to attain the initial benefits associated with the offer, your website or
blog and/or products needs to be a vital part of their
If possible, your
website/blog's domain name should serve to either convey the #1 benefit. It should at least set the
context. Then, the name of your website/blog and the header should do the rest. The goal is to catch
the interest of the visitor so he keeps reading.
You need to catch his
attention in about 5 seconds. You do this with a great benefit or offer. You then prove it to the
visitor. Then, as he reads, you are able to build trust. With trust, you are able to further serve his
needs as a customer or regular visitor to your site. Your targeted clientele should notice the benefit.
Others will most likely leave after the initial 5
Make sure your website or
blog immediately answers these questions for anyone reading it: Why do you have this website? What is in
it for me if I trust you? Why should I believe you? Why should I take action right
Components of a Business Website: Sales Strategy
An initial benefit or offer is essential. So is
proving to your visitor that you aren't full of hot air. So, then
The next component of a business website isn't
necessarily seen by the visitors. But, it is vital to the success of any successful online (or offline)
venture. You must have a planned strategy to generate
Generally, it should have multiple steps. You
should design your website or blog so that it offers visitors the services and products they need when they need
it. This isn't necessarily easy to do. Marketing Your Website is a job that will last as long as you have a website or
After you present your initial benefit or offer to your
targeted client, you prove it. Then, you continue to serve their informational needs. As you build
trust, you further serve them by presenting various services or products that can meet their specific
desires or needs.
It may take multiple purchases for your claims to
be verified by your new clients or customers. So, it is often a good idea to have multiple tiers of
products and services that cost different amounts. Have freebies for the curious. Then, have
introductory products at lower prices. Have moderately priced products that build on the introductory
products. Then have higher priced, premium products. Be sure that much value is added at every
step along the way. Be sure that the product or service is worth every cent that the customer
pays for it and meets the need for which it was purchased. As the skeptical customer tests your
lower-priced services and products, they should realize the value, trust you more, and upgrade to your more
valuable (and higher-priced) offerings as their needs
As part of your sales strategy, you need to learn at
least the basics of advertising and copywriting. Human nature hasn't changed. To be as successful
as you can be, you will need to learn these critical aspects of business, if you haven't already. One
excellent book by a master is How to Write a Good Advertisement by Victor O. Schwab. Buy it. Read
it. Serve and sell to more people.
Finally, be absolutely sure that it is easy for people
to pay you and get what they paid for as quickly as possible. Give easy-to-follow instructions at every step
of the way. For example, make sure that your online credit card payment pages specifiy that the card number
is to be entered without spaces if that is how your software is set up. Or, better yet, only allow the exact
number of digits to be entered in the first place.
Explain why any necessary information is
necessary. Put the new customer or client's mind at ease by streamlining the process for them. Make
sure spend time Testing Your Website to make sure everything is smoothly
running and easy to use.
Components of a Business Website: Newsletter
Every business website
needs a newsletter. End of story. Your newsletter should be one of the top items on your website or
blog to-do list.
Failing to start a
newsletter early on will be one of your chief regrets later in the life of your website. If you start your
site without a newsletter and then start one later, you'll see the tremendous benefits that you missed while
you didn't have one.
Be sure that visitors to
your site have an easy way to sign up for a weekly (or at least monthly) mailing list/newsletter. The reasons
are here: Why Start a Newsletter? Additionally, give visitors to your site a good reason to sign
up for the newsletter. The details of setting up a newsletter are not too complicated. Click the
link to understand How to Start a Newsletter. Then read
Starting a Newsletter for more guidance and
There are several
different choices: free vs. paid, plain text vs. html, etc. Read through the above links, and you should be
on your way to checking this item off your list. But, make no mistake: the required components of a business
website include a newsletter.
Components of a Business Website: Freebies
You may not think that freebies are part of a business
website. I've got news for you. They are. Type a random keyword into a search engine.
Look through the results and find one that is obviously geared toward being a business website.
Search around the website, and you'll likely quickly find
something that is free. Usually it will be prominently displayed. It may be a free download of an
ebook or manual or special report. It may be a free newsletter. The information itself may be
completely free like it is on this website. But, the good business websites out there will give
something away. Free. To all comers.
Why do they do this, and why should you do it?
First, it gives you a chance to obtain an email address.
People are conditioned to giving away information that doesn't cost them financially in order to attain
something they didn't have previously. Most people are willing to do this. They see it as a
The truth is that by setting up your website so that
the downloadable or viewable freebie is only attainable after entering an email, you gain a very
valuable future marketing tool (see the above section and links on newsletters). You give away
something (or multiple things) that people desire in exchange for the ability to email them. This is a
great deal - a voluntary transaction with two satisfied parties.
Second, it allows you to build trust. People will usually
take you up on an offer of a freebie if they are at all interested. Their perusing your
material will make or break their trust in you. If your freebie is a high quality, high perceived value
item, you'll generate a favorable opinion of yourself in their mind. As trust is central in any
relationship, this is a critical factor. Use your freebies to show your competency and knowledge as you
introduce yourself to strangers to you and your website or blog.
Third, after you've taken the opportunity to build trust through
the freebies, you have the opportunity to use them to drive return traffic back to your site. The
subsequent times a person comes back to your site are the golden website visits.
You've been able to transform a freebie-loving customer into an information client. This
increased your website traffic. More importantly, it increases the number of individuals who are
ready and excited to use or purchase the premium products and services you provide. These services
are even better suited to meet their needs, provide more value to them, and are profitable.
Profit will often start with voluntary charity. Help them
for free. Give away introductory freebies. Build trust. Then, those that can legitimately
benefit from your premium products will want more of your services. The best business sites will have
freebies available to everyone who lands on their page. Imitate them. Develop your own freebies as a
component of your business website or blog.
Components of a Business Website: Legal Stuff
Remember, most laws still apply to material
presented on the internet. I am going to assume that you know you can't defraud, slander, etc., people on
the internet just because it is the internet. If you do, you'll likely find yourself on the losing end of
With that said, there are three legal
components of a business website with which you need to be familiar.
Any good business website is likely going to
collect email addresses or payment for products/services (usually both). The Federal Trade Commission
places requirements on any such website or blog.
First, you are required to have a Privacy statement. This
is not only a courteous thing to provide to your website's visitors, it will also keep you out of hot water
with the FTC.
This is not only a mechanism that helps you avoid losing frivilous lawsuits, but it will also keep you out
of hot water with the FTC.
Third, you are required to disclose any material connections you
have with any products or services you endorse. This may or may not be of any direct benefit to
you, but it will keep you out of hot water with the FTC. This requirement was released on October 5,
2009. Read the guidelines here. A summary of the release can be read here. This hasn't been extensively tested yet, and the FTC has the burden of
proof. However, most means of Website Monetization would likely
require disclosure of some sort.
If a website or blog doesn't have a Privacy
understand the very basics of running an online business.
Components of a Business Website: Ease of Use
Being easy to use may be an abstract
concept. Nevertheless, it is also one of the necessary components of a business website. When you
desing your website, make sure that it is easy, simple, and as quick as possible for every customer or client to
complete a purchase or other transaction.
Be sure you give complete and unambiguous
information throughout the entire ordering process. People are still skeptical of buying things over the
internet. Often, this skepticism is justified. Help your customers rest easy when purchasing from
you. Give complete information before, during, and following a purchase or other
State what should be expected of you following
transactions. Explain the delivery process. Send a confirmation email or email a receipt to the
buyer so that they are assured the transaction was completed. Clearly state whether they are going to be
billed instantly or when the order actually ships out (if shipping a product). Send another email when the
order ships out and, if possible, provide them with the tracking number so they can monitor it to their door, if
they'd like. And, by all means, make absolutely sure that the price they were presented is what shows up
on their bill or bank/credit card statement.
Additionally, if you are shipping products,
make sure you are up-front about your return policy. Take note of Amazon.com - they even provide their
customers with a return label. This makes returns easy for the customer and difficult to mess up (which
helps Amazon.com actually receive their returned products). You may not print a label for everything you
ship, but at least make sure every package you send carries with it a written return policy with
If you make it hard for people to use your
site and purchase your goods and services, you will lose many opportunities to serve people and profit.
Make sure your site is easy to use while you are in the design process of Website Development and during the Testing Your Website phase.
Components of a Business Website: Feedback
The quickest way to determine that a website
or blog is a second-rate publication is the absence of any way to contact the organization responsible for
it. Every business website should have some means provided for people to contact the creators/managers of
the website. There are several reasons for this:
One, people will help you free of charge. There are still
people who will go out of their way to help others. Many people will send spelling errors, notify you of
dead links, and offer good-natured suggestions about how to make your website or blog better. These can be
valuable. If you don't give your visitors a way to contact you, you miss out on all the free help.
Having a contact option on your website/blog shows that you are concerned about the qualilty of your
Two, the questions and comments people send you will often help
you tweak your site (or even make radical changes) to best target the group you want to serve. No website
should be static. Markets are dynamic. People are dynamic. Opportunities come and go.
Providing a way to contact you helps those people interested in your chosen niche mold your site so that it best
serves them. Consequently, you will likely see increased profits if you are responsive.
Three, it will meet expectations and build trust. The vast
majority of visitors to your site will never contact you. But, nearly all of them will expect to be able
to if they have a problem. Seeing a contact option helps to build trust. When trust is present,
people are more likely to buy from you. And, they are more likely to put word-of-mouth marketing to work
for you as they tell their friends. Or, even better, they may link to you from their website or
blog and provide you with a ranking-boosting backlink, which will assist in Getting Website Traffic. People will rightly conclude that you are solely interested in
taking their money (or are just not business savvy) if you offer a way for them to give you money but not a way
for them to contact you.
Four, it should fit with your Business Philosophy. If your business philosophy allows for you to take money from
people without giving them the opportunity to talk to you, you need a new one. You aren't serving and
obviously aren't in it to serve anyone but yourself.
The bottom line is this: encourage feedback and welcome contact
from visitors to your site. As you serve your niche, many people may even become avid readers of your
website or blog. This gives you opportunities to direct them to your products or services or other things
you believe will truly benefit them. One email may even generate the one good idea that helps you develop
a breakthrough new product.
While you need to have some means for people to give you
feedback, you do not need to (and probably should not) allow individuals to have unrestrained feedback
opporutinties on your website. While every site differs, a general rule of thumb is to not allow feedback
or comments on the same page an article or blog post is published.
This isn't, of course, an unbreakable rule. And, sometimes
comments on article pages generate much beneficial traffic. However, allowing the general public to post
to your website through comments is going to bring the nitpickers and the vulgarity-spewers out of the
woodwork. When they appear, they are like fleas. You can't get rid of them easily and their work is
very aggrivating. These folks will steal your time by forcing you to monitor all your articles and delete
the vulgar or obscene postings. This can become a very big time-waster. So, it isn't generally
recommended to give the public the ability to comment on each article page.
Set up a comments section or discussion forum off of the article
page where people can go to engage in beneficial discussion.
One way around this problem is to use a Small Business Website Development Software like MemberGate. The nitpickers and
destructive types don't want to pay for anything. They want to harp for free. If you have a
membership website or use another type of software that only allows those who have paid something to post, your
risks go down significantly. If you have a website or blog of this nature, comments sections or forums can
even be the core of your site. The fee keeps the troublemakers and crazies out and best serves those who
Components of a Business Website: Conclusion
The aforementioned are all needed components
of a business website. However, this list shouldn't be considered exhaustive. Every website or blog
will have other needed components based on the specific niche or market that it serves. Make sure your
website or blog includes everything mentioned on this page, but don't stop there.
Always be watching for opportunities.
When adding a new component to your website can increase both your ability to serve your clientele/niche
market and improve your financial status, add it!
Copyright © 2009-2010, Issachar Knowledge, LLC: Components of
a Business Website