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5 Essentials for a High-Performing Site

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Whether you are working in affiliate marketing, or simply blogging, you want to make your website all it can be. After all, your site is what links you to your readers and potential customers. But what if your site isn’t performing the way you would like it to?

While there are a number of factors that go into creating a successful online presence, here are 5 essentials for creating a high-performing site.

1. Create Your Brand

Who are you? What is your site about? What do you intend your online identity to be?Who Are You? What is Your Brand?

These are some questions to consider as you create your brand. Almost anything you do can be part of branding yourself. By having a clearly-defined brand, you are making yourself recognizable, which will create familiarity with your audience, and over time, trust.

This doesn’t just consist of the things you do on your site; it extends to your entire online presence. Are you on Facebook? Are you on Twitter and Instagram? Do you have a presence anywhere else? If so, be consistent across all platforms, but also strive to be professional in appearance. You don’t want your brand to come across as amateurish.

No matter how good your site may be, or how wonderful your content, if your image does not appeal to the audience that you are trying to reach, you will fail to have the impact you seek. Don’t think just in terms of what appeals to you, but also what appeals to those you are trying to reach. Present this image and maintain it as part of your brand.

2. Effective Use of SEO

There seems to be mixed views on the importance of SEO, but the fact remains that good SEO will help to ensure that your work is not only indexed, but more likely to be presented to your desired audience by search engines. Few people will go past the first two pages of search results, so you want to be as close to the top as possible, and good SEO will get you there.

Again, it doesn’t matter how good your site is; if you are not searchable, no one will find you. If no one can find you, you will have no traffic to your site. There has to be something to bring people to you, otherwise you are writing only for yourself.

Keywords, title tags, metadata and more contribute to effective SEO. Do not underestimate the effect this will have. Many companies hire professionals in SEO to oversee their online efforts for a reason.

3. Building a List

There is an expression that goes “the money is in the list”.Build Your Email List

List building is an important part of building your site. There is a relatively small chance that a visitor to your site will convert right away, but your odds improve if and when they return.

Given that visitors are more likely to convert of following visits, you want to ensure that they come back, and a great way to do this is through newsletter subscription and list building.

In order to build your list, try offering your visitor something of value to them. This may be just about anything you can image, from an e-book to an audio file, a PDF report to a video series. Anything of value that you can provide in exchange for the user providing you with an email address and the ability to follow up with them.

Once you begin to collect names and email addresses, keep in touch with those on your list. Continue to offer them good value and build a relationship with them, earning their trust and providing them with reasons to come back to your site again and again.

4. A Responsive Site

As Google moves toward a mobile-first index– meaning an emphasis on mobile users and sites that offer them a good user experience– it is important that your site be responsive on phones and smaller screens. With smartphones becoming the preferred way for many to search online, you need to keep their needs in mind.

A good, responsive website design will change its display to match the device being used, maintaining the same information and being easily usable.

Google places a great deal of importance on mobile usability, so if you do not have a responsive website, you may want to address this.

5. Problem Solving

A number of websites that you can find online will tell you all about the owner. You’ll see articles about who they are and what they do, but you won’t always see how they intend to help their readers. This can leave visitors wondering if there is anything of value for them on the site (as you can see, value is a recurring theme).

You want to let your visitors know not only who you are, but how you can be of assistance to them. Instead of writing your articles with “me” and “I”, focus more on “you” and “your”. Involve your reader and get them excited about what you can do for them, because if you offer them nothing, then, frankly, they will move on to someone who can.

6. (Bonus) Accessibility

Once you have created your site, crafted excellent content, made it highly searchable and valuable to your reader, make Be Accessible!sure that they have a way of keeping in touch with you.

As mentioned, email lists and subscribers are great for contacting you audience, but let them know how they can reach you.

Leave links to your Facebook page, Twitter account, or any other convenient means that will allow for communication. This will also help engender trust in your audience as they know you are a real person that they can reach out to, and not some nameless, faceless entity. That trust will lead to repeat visits and greater conversion.

Make sure your audience has a clear manner in which to act and provide them with a strong CTA or call to action.

 

While there are other factors that will also have an impact on the performance of your site, these are some essential ones that should be in your mind as you create content and build your business. Your website is the heart of your online business. Make sure it’s healthy.

 

 

 

 

Craig Williams

Working online was a dream of mine for several years, and now I am doing it. You can too! I am here to help in any way I can!

  • Pernilla says:

    Hello Craig,

    Thank you for this most informative article. You have listed the most important measures to take when building an online business with a good foundation. This business is quite new to me and I have so many things to learn. This article has made me aware of the great importance of social media and list building. Your advices are a great help.

    You have written the article in an easy and understandable way, perfect for beginners. I have bookmarked your site, so I easily will find it again.

    Kind regards
    Pernilla

    • Hi Pernilla!

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. There are, indeed, a number of things to learn and to keep in mind while building your site, but that’s part of the fun, and you can always make changes and adapt as you go along.

      I would wish you luck with your site, but having looked at it, I don’t think you need any luck. You are already producing some excellent content, and I am sure that it will only get better as you continue to build it.

  • Paul says:

    Dear Craig,

    Thanks for the post “5 Essentials for a High-Performing Site” very helpful. On the problem solving your advice is awesome and I am inspired when you said “You want to let your visitors know not only who you are, but how you can be of assistance to them. Instead of writing your articles with “me” and “I”, focus more on “you” and “your”. Involve your reader and get them excited about what you can do for them, because if you offer them nothing, then, frankly, they will move on to someone who can.” It really motivates and going forward I need to focus on involving my readers and let them know how I can help them. Thanks Again!

    Your Friend,
    Paul

    • Thanks for responding Paul.
      Yes, if you think about it, your readers have come to your site because they are looking for something, either information or advice. If you don’t give it to them, then they really have no reason to stay, or come back.

      • Paul says:

        Dear Craig,

        Indeed you said it correct. It’s all about providing the value what our readers looking for. Helping people is the main thing and making money is the by-product. Thanks for the post.

        Your Friend,
        Paul

        • As much as some people may not believe this, one of my biggest goals in developing this site is to help people. I know what it is like to hate one’s job, to be miserable and living from paycheque to paycheque.
          I have found a way out, and I want to see others do the same.

  • Michelle says:

    Hello Craig,
    Great article and loaded with very valid points. In our world today where just about everything is online, each new website (and the old ones as well) are all vying for our attention. SO yes, anything that we can do to our website stand out or at least ‘be in the running’, is always a plus!
    Thanks for your tips!
    Michelle

    • Like anything related to technology, online spaces are constantly evolving, with new tools coming along and better ways of doing things. With the growing competition online, it’s wise to always be on the lookout for an advantage!

  • Lisa says:

    Craig,
    I have recently started to build my list. Until recently, I never knew how important building a list is to a successful online business. I am still working on mastering SEO. There is just so much to learn still.
    Lisa

    • There is always something new to learn, which makes it both fun and a little annoying, ha ha
      You’re taking a great step in building your list, though. That will do you well going forward.

  • Anthony Hu says:

    Hi Craig,
    You are right that you put brand at top of your list. I am struggling with my brand. Initially, we have a website: Kcancer.com, which provide general information on cancer. From the Kcancer work, we discover that smoking, quit smoking, and lung cancer could be a nice niche and we then start new website: rebrandsmoking.com. So now we have two brands, Kcancer and Rebrandsmoking. We would like to have only one brand, Kcancer, but sometimes, people confused and asked why we call Rebrandsmoking as Kcancer. So we try to add that Rebrandsmoking is a Kcancer company. Do you have suggestion on how to deal with this? If Rebrandsmoking.com is successful, we may build other new websites. Then we will again have brand issues. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    • For me personally, if I were ever to create a new site, I would be focusing on a brand new niche, so as to keep things separate, but in your case, quitting smoking is a logical outgrowth of the cancer site. In that case, I may have considered making a subdomain, effectively allowing you to have a separate site while keeping everything under one brand.

      Subdomains, if grown with good content and outside links, as if they were separate sites, can link to and increase the rankings of your primary domain. A subdomain should also be cheaper than creating a new site and it’s a good chance to increase your search engines ranking by cross-reference linking between them.

  • Veronica says:

    It really does start with branding; I appreciate what you said Craig about not just focusing on what we like, but rather, what appeals to the reader. We can have all the sparkly things, but we still need people to ring the bells and blow the whistles!

    • Well, we should, of course, have an interest in what we are writing about, but we need to keep in mind that there are other people out there that we are trying to reach (presumably…) so it is a good idea to keep them in mind at all times.

  • Good tips here Craig. I’m working on the email list building now so hopefully that will take off pretty soon. I think I have the kinks worked out of it now.

  • David Bishop says:

    How often we write an article and have a very good keyword and think that is all we need to do. I personally thought that was the case. just to find out that is only the beginning.

    In this article, you have outlined all the necessary things I need to do to take my marketing level. Your six steps covered makes sense if I need to build something that would last for a long time.

    I have heard that money is in the list but never take it seriously until I had traffic coming to my website. Now that the traffic started to grow I will start building a list as you described, cause it makes sense not to lose any of my visitors who come to my website. Thank you for this post, Craig, I now have better clarity on what direction to take.

    • I really appreciate your comments. Thank you so much!

      I also had the idea that all we needed were some good keywords, and that everything would fall into place after that, but it didn’t quite work out that way.Fortunately, we can learn something new every day and use it to improve our efforts.

      Best of luck to you in everything you do!

      • David Bishop says:

        Thank you for your response, good to know that people do care for others online. you going to be going a long way with your online journey. All the best.

        • That’s kind of you to say! I appreciate it.

          Anyone who takes the time to comment deserves a response from me. I like being able to interact with people here, so I will never leave a comment unanswered!

  • ariel says:

    Hello Craig, this really helped me to clarity what i need to do to insure that my site is responsive and interactive on all devices too. Great article. In peace and gratitude, ariel

  • Hi Craig,
    This seems a very comprehensive list of necessary parts to an effective website. I especially liked your point about telling the reader what you are going to do for them…that is pretty central, and too often ignored. Thank you for this!

  • Sue Dixon says:

    Lots of great information in this article, Craig. Building a website on a strong foundation, writing great content and having a strong and very clear call to action are all integral to the growth of an online presence. Thank you for these tips, especially those regarding social media.