Surely, you don’t have a website for no reason. You want that website to be an asset for your business. You want it to contribute to the achievement of your business objectives such as increasing awareness of your brand, driving traffic, converting leads, and encouraging sales.
Is your website currently doing those things? Even if it is, could it be doing better? Sure! There’s always room for improvement, so consider 10 things you can do to make your small business website more effective.
10 Helpful Tips for a Successful Small Business Website
1. Make Your Site Search Engine-Friendly
For your website to achieve any of the goals you’ve set for it, people must first be able to find it in relevant search results. So making your site search engine-friendly should be your first priority. But what does this entail?
You should have descriptive page titles, meta descriptions, headings, image titles, and image alt text. This means they should include relevant keywords, to indicate to search engines what subject matter is contained on your site. Armed with that information they can display it more prominently when relevant searches are performed.
For more help with SEO, download our free SEO pocket guide below:
2. Optimize Your User Experience For Mobile
In addition to optimizing for search engines, you have to optimize for mobile. It’s not an option, especially now that mobile has surpassed desktop as the main source of website traffic.
But, perhaps a bit ironically, making your site mobile-friendly can also help you to rank higher in search results. How? When mobile users enjoy a more pleasant user experience, they stay on-site longer. Search engines take this as a sign that your content is relevant and valuable and, therefore, you can get a rankings boost.
3. Create Sitemaps
Sitemaps make each page on your site more easily discoverable by search engines, which improves the results of indexing. However, they also present information to your website visitors in a logical manner, which can be a big help when it comes to making wise choices along their purchasing journey. You should have a page per profit center and a page per location to see the best results.
4. Prominently Display Your Contact Info
Of course, drawing attention to your contact info can prompt people to reach out to you by calling, emailing, visiting you in-person, and so on.
However, consistent contact information also plays an important role in local search engine optimization. When individuals in your area are searching for a business like yours, your website is more likely to be seen by them since search engines can link you to that locale. This can have a direct impact on your bottom line.
5. Optimize Your Content
There are many facets to optimizing your content, two of which include taking your audience and search engines into consideration.
As far as your audience is concerned, you must ensure that what you produce is relevant and informative on all fronts, including when you’re describing your products and services. Your content should be updated periodically as the information it contains or your target market changes. Additionally, you should create separate web pages for each of your products, services, and locations, which can create a better user experience and boost conversions.
What about optimizing for search engines, though? All of the same methods apply. Informative content, especially when keyword-rich, can improve the results of indexing. Updating existing optimized content and adding new content to your site can positively impact your rankings. Separate pages for separate locations, for example, can increase awareness of your business nearby.
6. Improve Load Time
The slower your small business website loads, the less likely it is that people will stick around to explore it. In fact, if load time exceeds just a couple of seconds, your bounce rate can dramatically increase, costing you lots of site traffic. To prevent this, you compress your image files, avoid flash, and limit your use of animation and music.
7. Simplify Site Navigation
Confusion is costly. If users can’t quickly navigate to the portions of your site they’re most interested in, they will exit. It’s as simple as that.
Hence, your navigation menu should contain clear titles so users know exactly what page they’ll land on and what information they’ll find there. All menu links should be clickable and your main navigation should be above-the-fold (on the portion of a screen that can be seen without scrolling). It would also be wise to have a search feature. This can be especially helpful on smaller mobile devices.
8. Don’t Neglect Aesthetics
Of course, there are various technical aspects to making a small business website more effective. However, the way your website looks is just as important as those finer points.
First and foremost, your website should be on brand, being consistent with your brand tone, personality, and look. If branding is your first consideration, as it should be, it will be easier to choose appropriate colors, which can contribute to your site’s visual appeal.
Additionally, you must balance the amount of content on each page with the number of graphics. Speaking of graphics, you should create your own whenever possible. Besides all of this, you should ensure that text appearance is simple and that there are no distractions from what should be the focal points of your pages.
9. Use the Power of the Call to Action
Direct, eye-catching calls to action are necessary to convert as many visitors as possible into leads, prospects, and then customers. Use them. They can be especially powerful in generating excitement surrounding special offers.
10. Place Lead Capture Forms Wisely
Do you have a lead capture form only on your contact page? If so, this could be a mistake. It may be worthwhile to test out placement in several different spots on your site such as on pages where a consumer might want to give feedback, ask a question or be interested in a special offer.
You Can Improve Your Small Business Website
Maintaining and improving your website takes time, but is well worth the effort. Among many other things, you can gain more exposure and visibility online, delight your site visitors, and make it easier for potential customers to convert.
If it’s your aim to grow your small business, it’s imperative that you take action to make your site as effective as possible. Now you know how to do it!