The Pareto Principle (also called the 80-20 rule) states that, for many events, approximately 80 percent of your results come from roughly 20 percent of your input.

Examples of how the rule might apply to the business world include a company that generates 80 percent of its revenue from 20 percent of its customers, or the top 20 percent of a sales force bringing in 80 percent of all sales.

The same rule can also be applied when attempting to improve your online marketing results.

It goes without saying that your company’s website is a critical sales tool. Regardless of whether it’s geared toward e-commerce, or simply as a source of information for potential customers, any website that’s lacking a few key elements, or executes them poorly, likely will not generate the level of sales or interest your business hopes to achieve.

Each key element is a relatively simple component of proper online marketing as a whole, i.e., the “20 percent” that can impact “80 percent” of your website’s effectiveness.

So take some time to scrutinize your company’s website and see if any of the following should be addressed.

1) No call to action.

This one’s straight from copywriting 101, but too often it’s lacking.

If your website exists to sell stuff, and there’s a hot new product featured on your homepage, you need to tell visitors what to do after they’ve read about, or watched a video about, the hot new product.

Whether it’s “click here to learn more,” “sign up for our hot deals newsletter,” “chat live with a product expert” or “click here for special offers,” your goal is to persuade a website visitor to move one step closer to becoming a customer.

And if the preceding copy does a good job of explaining your hot new product’s benefits, a strong call to action increases the likelihood that you’ll make a sale at some point.

2) Unclear business purpose.

Yet another sometimes-overlooked must-do is to clearly—and immediately—spell out what product(s) or service(s) your company offers.

Never assume website visitors will read your company name, see a picture or two, and then know what you’re in the business of providing.

3) No obvious customer benefit in headlines.

If your website includes a blog, your goal should be to convince every visitor to read it. That’s where effective headline writing comes in.

Uninspiring headlines yield unimpressive click-through rates, so make sure to tell your visitors how they’ll benefit from reading your content.

4) No email list.

Make it easy for those who find your website to stay engaged with your business, regardless of whether they buy something.

By asking visitors to sign up for some sort of regular communication (again, by using a strong call to action), whether it’s a weekly “what’s new” update or a list of special offers, you’ll end up maintaining an important connection with a significant percentage of them. Maybe they’ll never end up buying anything from you, but if you stay in front of them, they could very well refer another person to your website who will.

5) Not paying proper attention to existing customers.

Simply put, every one of your existing customers should be viewed as a potential repeat customer or someone who will refer others to your business, or both.

So take the necessary steps to ensure you’re staying connected to your customers. Whether it’s through newsletter subscriptions, blog subscriptions, quick email blasts or snail-mail communications, there are simple communication methods your business can implement to improve the chances that those who’ve paid for your product(s) or service(s) in the past will help drive future bottom-line results as well.

(Note: This article includes information courtesy of Copyblogger.)