Websites are a form of advertisement and hence a majority of websites typically comes from people running a business or people having an entrepreneurial idea. It is true that often people with a passion also create websites and blogs , which are run with a passion on a particular topic and not necessarily with an intention to generate primary source of income. But I can tell you that from experience even such people, once they get a taste of income trickling in, they turn towards making making money online from the same passion. Bloggers become paid content writers, promoters of third party products and affiliate marketers. Forum owners become hungry for endorsing links , gaining from Adsense and related revenue streams, banner advertisements. Movie buffs writing reviews out of passion for movies and actors or actresses look for syndicating their content and ghost writing services.
And I believe none of this is wrong. If you can make money online by using your skills , nothing wrong with it . But while you are at it , please remember to include 5 essential items in your business website.
- A direct contact or Enquiry form : Many people can get an amazing website designed by a professional web development company , but often mistake by having no proper Contact page. A contact page should not only have your Email address and Phone number if possible , but also a Enquiry form which allows your visitors to send their comments , which will again be connected to your email address.
- A portfolio section : A prominently marked Portfolio section, which openly showcases your products or services. If you are a product manufacturer , this area should be a gallery of your products. If you are in the service Business , see if you can icon-ize your offerings and list their benefits and your USP. If you are just a Blog writer, link to your best content or testimonials from your clients.
- Traffic Tracking Code – Yes , I can see many of you raising your eyebrows, wondering how can I expect all website owners who are not tech savvy , to understand tracking codes and installation of such. If you can not do it yourself , just hire someone for 5 USD / Rs.200 but don’t go on without doing so . Traffic tracking code is available for free from service providers like Google Analytics , Statcounter.com etc, which helps you find out where are your website visitors coming from , how many in a day , week or month etc , which pages they are visiting and which page is getting no visitors at all and much more interesting facts about your website.
- Profile Section / About : A business can be a 1 man company / service provider or a 1000 person entity. But all websites should try to show forth what their profile is. If the business is only of one person, or a family run business, you can highlight your qualifications and past experience. And if the website is of a large enterprise, it should mention about their work force, the top management and work policy and hr policy etc. Whoever your buyers might be , they are always interested to know and learn about whom they are buying from.
- Sitemap – It does not matter if your website is a 5 page brochure or a 200 page ecommerce catalogue or a 50,000 post filled message board. In order to be accessible to all your visitors , display openly a well formed and regularly updated website Sitemap . In order to submit this to search engines like Google , Yahoo or Bing, you might want to create an XML sitemap . But at the very least , surely try to keep a HTML only sitemap . So that people who does not want to scroll through every page on your website , can go to the sitemap and click on the page he/she feels interest in.
There are many more equally important or lesser important items probably , but next time you think of creating or updating your business website , have a look at this ckeck-list and see if you have all of these items in your website. And do let me know if you would have added anything or replaced anything in this list .