John W. Tomac
By Daniel Bortz
June 10, 2015

A surprising 45% of U.S. and U.K. small businesses don’t have websites, a 2014 survey by Internet services company Hibu found. Without your own URL, you’ll miss a chance to drive sales. Plus 56% of consumers recently polled by Weebly said they don’t trust a business that has no web presence. Build a site that sells with these tips:

Greet customers. Your homepage must capture people instantly. Focus on visuals, like a carousel of product photos. Include a shot of the team; faces help people establish trust, says Patrick Schwerdtfeger, author of Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed.

Earn their business. Don’t go straight for a hard sell. Instead, lead with value: Blog posts offering rich content that uses the right keywords (use Google AdWords to find them) build credibility and draw traffic, says Atlanta small business web designer Tom Nguyen.

Close the deal. “Businesses do all this work to perfect their sites but forget to ask for a purchase,” says Rebecca Murtagh, author of Million Dollar Websites. Use a clickable call to action (like “Buy now”) to convert shoppers to customers.

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