Every month or so we feature an exemplary website created by a Webs user, and talk about what makes their site effective (view all of our examples sites here). So today, in case you missed any along the way, we’re going to take a look back at some highlights. As you go through the examples below, think about how they might apply to a website you currently have, or one that you might be building in the year to come.

1. A Great Online Store: Beachcat Sail Company
There is a lot going for this ecommerce website. First, it’s very attractive and looks professional. While this is a plus for every website, it’s even more important if you’re going to be asking people to give you their money. Beachcat also does a great job of introducing their product, giving solid reasons why it’s a superior choice, and answering any questions a shopper might come up with along the way. Check them out to get some great web store ideas (or a custom sailboat, if you’re in that market).

2. A Successful Redesign: Kim & Ellory’s Kitchen
We first featured this catering website in June, 2011. And while it was a good site then, we were delighted with their redesign of the site in 2013. They carried over some important features and tools from their old site — like web forms and dropdown navigation — and made big improvements to usability, like an improved header, new font, better imagery, and integrated social media. See the transformation for yourself by viewing the before and after.

3. Promoting Your Business With Events: Beantown Cornhole
During a series on website and small business promotion we featured Beantown Cornhole, which does a great job getting exposure for their brand by hosting events, which they feature on their website. They host weekly contests, tournaments, and leagues, all of which feature their beautiful cornhole boards and bags. It gives them something fun to show on their website, and promotes their products in real-life situations. Learn more about Beantown (and cornhole, for that matter) on their website.

4. Using Customer Testimonials: T-N-T Fitness
Sometimes in website marketing, you have to talk about yourself. It can be hard for some small business owners to do. Other times, the best thing you can do for your business is let your customers talk about you instead. Even the most persuasive website copy you can write will be far less convincing than a few words from a customer. Your potential clients will be far more likely to believe the claims that you really are the best if they come from someone else. In-home personal training firm T-N-T Fitness does a great job with this, and you can check them out for yourself here.

5. Driving Traffic Through Content: Wisconsin Microfarmer
Content marketing is an inexpensive and effective strategy for driving traffic to your website and improving your ranking in search engine results. It involves thinking about who your ideal customers are, and figuring out what they might be searching the web for that could lead them to you. Wisconsin Microfarmer does this by creating compelling content like recipes to help a) bring in search traffic, and b) establish their expertise and endear themselves to people who appreciate free recipes made with fresh produce. Learn more about this micro-farming family of five.

We hope this example site roundup has been helpful in planning your own website ventures and maybe setting up some Near Year’s resolutions in advance!

About the Author: Sarah Matista is the Online Content Specialist and resident blogger at Webs. Loves branding, marketing, whales. Get more from Sarah on Webs’ Blog and Google+.

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