The core of your online presence is your website. Ensuring that your site is really working for you, meaning it engages, informs, develops relationships, flows well and promotes action, is vital to your online marketing success.

Is your website a passive, pretty placeholder or worse yet ugly and useless?

This question may seem harsh and at the same time it’s so important to really think of your website as a money engine for your business (you do have a website because you hope to get more business, right?). In order for that to happen, you must have several elements in place.

One of the biggest mistakes I see online marketers making is not really thinking about their overall web flow and strategy.

So, take a moment and ask yourself three questions.

1. Why do I have a website? (I.e. what is my ultimate goal?)
2. What do I hope to achieve when people visit my site?
3. Is my website doing what I hoped it would do?

Often people understand that a website is a vital marketing tool and at the same time, they fail to utilize this tool to the fullest. If you’re not getting the results you had hoped for from your website, chances are you’re missing one of five vital elements.

Truly successful websites engage, inform, develop relationships, flow well and promote action. They are irresistible.

If your website is a passive, pretty placeholder chances are it looks good but doesn’t really get any action. (Note: Some designers will sway you towards designs that appease their artistic talents but the design doesn’t support flow or results/sales.)

If your website is ugly and useless chances are it’s cluttered with too much information, the design is not appealing and people are confused when they visit so they do nothing. (Note: This generally means your site lacks overall strategy as well as individual page strategy and this can be the case for passive, pretty placeholder sites, too.)

Here are some signs that your site is working for you (and 5 vital elements to successful websites).

Your website:

* Engages: This means people can interact (perhaps via your blog). Your information is clearly stated so potential customers can find what they are looking for easily.

* Informs: This means you provide information that is useful to visitors (this could be resources, links to your blog, or details on how your products and services work.).

* Develops relationships: This means people begin to get a sense of what you can offer them (including your “free taste” or possibly video/audio messages to connect – again, depends on your strategy.).

* Flows well: This means there is a logical, proven flow for your content (people can find your “free stuff” easily and they can find information for various services or products easily).

* Promotes action: This means you invite visitors to do something that engages, informs and develops your relationship (offering a “free taste” and inviting them to take the next logical step to do business with you which results in sales.).

If all of these elements are in place and you’re still not getting results it usually because of one or two things or a combination of both.

1. Your copy is not connecting with your ideal clients in a way they are responsive to (it’s not irresistible).

2. You’re approaching your website with an attitude of “if I build they will come” with no strategy in place to regularly drive traffic to your website.

You can ensure your website is really working for you by having a clear strategy, incorporating the 5 key elements of successful websites, improving your copy (making it irresistible) and regularly marketing your website. Often it only takes minor adjustments to get turn your website into relationship building money engine.

Author's Bio: 

Lisa Manyon specializes in POWERFULLY communicating your marketing messages to increase results. She’s a Professional Copywriter dedicated to making life easier for business owners and entrepreneurs by knocking one more thing off your “to do“ list. Manyon is the Copywriting Expert for The International Association of Web Entrepreneurs. Get a Free Copywriting Action Plan & discover 7 Power-packed Insider Tricks of the Copywriting Trade to Dramatically Increase Sales of your Products & Services