Your small business’ website is not only a way for potential customers to learn more about your business, it’s an opportunity to continue marketing your business and to capture more leads. Many small business owners still have static, under performing websites referred to as brochureware that resemble digital versions of a brochure. This represents a significant missed opportunity to leverage your website to grow your business. Below are 3 free ways to move beyond brochureware.
Blog – If you don’t have a blog, add one to your website. Many small business owners find the idea of blogging on a regular basis to be daunting. Don’t look at blogging as a chore, but as a great opportunity to tell potential customers more about your industry and more about your business. Blogging is one of the most effective ways to continue adding content to your website. Simply stated, the more you write, the more website traffic you will generate. Try to update your blog on a weekly basis with news about your industry. Provide insight into your customers’ problems without being overly sales driven. Your customers will appreciate the free source of industry knowledge without a sale being constantly pushed on them. Try to present yourself as an industry expert and don’t write exclusively about your own business.
Use Lead Capture Forms – When a potential customer finds his or her way to your website you want to have the best opportunity to capture as much information about that person as possible. This is why having multiple lead capture forms (those forms that ask you to enter your name, email address, etc.) on your website is so important. Capturing a potential customer’s information allows you to reach out to them in the future to offer your business’ services.
One section that almost every small business website has that can easily be converted into a lead capture form is the “contact us” page. Many small business owners only have an address, phone number, and an e-mail address in the contact us section of their website. The problem with this approach is that if anyone contacts you via those mechanisms, you won’t have any information about how they found you. This is a common mistake and a missed opportunity to gather more information about the potential client perusing your website.
If a web visitor has made it to the contact us section they’re more likely to become a potential customer in the future and you don’t want to miss the chance to collect their contact information. Replacing the address, phone, and e-mail with a lead capture form forces the customer to give you their contact information allowing you to build a good list of potential customers to contact in the near future. Removing e-mail addresses from the contact us page will also limit the amount of spam you receive in your inbox, and nobody likes wading through spam e-mails to pluck out potential customers.
Use Flash Sparingly – Another common mistake when small business owners design their website is to go too heavy on the web design tool called Flash. Flash, as indicated by its name, is indeed flashy and visually pleasing – it’s basically an animated version of a brochure. However, what you may gain in wow factor you lose in more important areas such as search engine optimization (SEO). Google uses the text of your website to define what you’re offering to your customers. When someone searches for a service, the keywords they type into Google are directly connected to the content of your website. What does all of this have to do with using Flash? Flash converts the text content of your website into an image which renders it invisible to Google and in turn your business invisible to a potential client that is searching for your services.
These 3 improvements to your website can significantly increase your website traffic and improve your ability to turn visitors into leads. Elevate your website from static and ineffective brochureware to an engine of growth for your business!
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