Your website is the face of your business to the world; essentially it’s your chance to make a great first impression, so it has to be a good one. A great website starts with clarity and design, and a cost-effective and efficient ways you can produce leads for your small business is with an attractive and clear website. Just the opposite holds true, too – a poorly built site will lead to lost sales and enable the competition to get a hold of your customers. With an increasing number of consumers making a purchase online each year, it reiterates the importance of an attractive website for any business. Just as essential as it is to have a professional site, that’s not all you need to know. It’s equally as important to monitor your site’s performance so you can tweak it to perform better, attract and retain the interest of your viewers, and convert those visitors into repeat customers. Here are five things you can do to poise your business for success in the rapidly growing online world. #1. Implement responsive design More than half of all business, product or service searches begin on a device. If your haven’t made sure your business offers you, prospective customers, mobile-friendly experiences, you are losing countless leads that are coming your way. Whether you offer private jet rental or handmade boutique items, no one can afford to lose that many customers. A mobile friendly site is one that accommodates the size of the mobile device it is viewed on – this is a responsive design. Some businesses choose to have a different website that is built specifically for mobile devices, but a responsive site is ideal for improving SEO. #2. Share fresh content Similar to how a brick and mortar shop regularly changes its window display, you should offer fresh content on your homepage. People get tired of seeing the same thing every time they go to your site. New, relevant content help you get more business and you maximize your reach. Make it a point to learn the ways to make your content more visually appealing. If you successfully make it more attractive, you can earn more conversions and encourage more brand loyalty. Mobile devices demand higher visual appeal than a standard desktop. Since mobile devices usually have smaller screens, visually accessible content is typically prioritized. Now that 80 percent of Internet users own smartphones, it’s time to satisfy that demand. If you fail to succeed at offering visually appealing content, it can leave your viewers with a negative impression of your brand. Think about sites like Amazon and how well it works for them. Each time you visit the site, there are sales being shared and new content for their customers to see. These actions convey the important message that Amazon is an at the moment, current retailer and leader in their niche. It’s also vital to write content that your visitors can share. Shareable content allows your followers to act as your marketing ambassadors, simultaneously helping your SEO. Fresh content is one of many ways you can use your website to grow your business. #3. Compose concise messaging People don’t have the same mindset and urge to pay attention when they are reading a site versus a printed paper. It’s common to see websites are full of long text blocks with little print – something that immediately turns a prospective customer away. Online spaces are a place where it’s vital you can’t beat around the bush with your words and use a smart layout with a larger font. People come to your site to get a solution for their problems and an answer to the questions, so give them what they want. Make it easier on everyone. Don’t make your users figure it all out themselves – this will make them head to your competitors as soon as possible. Give your prospective customers what they’re searching for and make sure there is no question why your business provides great value. #4. Utilize behavior metrics In order to better your website, business owners have to see how users behave when browsing the site– this is how you will make changes to grow your business. The good news is you can easily find out this information for free. Google Analytics is an easy-to-use tool that will provide you just what you need: detailed user behavior on your site. Once you know what is working and what isn’t, you can fine-tune what you offer online to help increase your sales. You can also turn to the tool Crazy Egg to get a map of your website and details about where users are clicking. These facts can enable you to change your pages to make them more effective. It’s best to review your analytics monthly. #5. Layer your landing pages You need to get people to your website, but the best place to get them is to the landing pages that dig deeper into your site. Many businesses offer various products or services, so it’s vital to have individual landing pages for the various categories of things they sell. This is the way to develop a presence in each particular market. For example, think of children’s shoes. A website likely sells various kinds and styles of shoes – but you don’t want them all displayed on the site’s homepage. Not only does this fail to be visually appealing, you also miss opportunities to reach customers when they perform a specific search. Instead, you need to have a shoe category and have landing pages for each type of shoes you offer. If you run a pay-per-click, or PPC, campaign, ensure you direct your customers to that specific landing page instead of your homepage. The landing page needs effective messages to encourage your customers to make a purchase. You need to take these steps to make your site rank higher on search engines — and this is how to lower your pay-per-click costs too. There are a handful of the biggest rules you need to follow in order to establish your business as one that everyone wants to support. Make it a point to stay current, examine your results and adjust your site to best reach your customers as needed. These steps are what will help you stay two steps ahead of your competition in the online world and prevent you from losing your share of the market.