For many small business owners the company website has come to be at the core of their marketing campaigns. Here are a few pointers on making it a success.
The company website plays a central role in the marketing campaigns of many local and small businesses. Unfortunately, many of these businesses still face the continued struggle of having a seo strategy and website that can really work for them by engaging visitors and search engines and generating those all important leads.
A lead generating website should be the primary functional aim of your small or local business site and although getting it done properly can seem like a costly affair the rewards for doing so far outweigh the costs. There are masses of SME’s with websites that can drive traffic but not convert or look amazing but get no traffic or lack even the basic structure of simple customer exception.
Your website is you when you’re not there to be you. It is your 24 hour representative and should be just as professional as any service you might offer through it. Any and all the deficiencies of your website will result in masses of missed lead opportunities.
Accessible contact Information.
If you want to convert more visitors into sales you need to have your contact information clearly available and / or sign posted. I realise that this seems pretty obvious must research on small and local businesses shows that this can be often overlooked.
You need to display your contact information in a prominent position on as many pages of your website as possible and not make the mistake of burying it somewhere on a single page. If you want visitors to call you make sure your phone number is nice and big, if you want them to email or use the contact form put emphasis on contacting you that way.
Additionally you will need to put together a Google places listing or a Google+ page with the exact same address and contact details. Doing this will help to Google deliver your website, map listing or Google+ page to your propects when they use general search terms and are located in your town or city.
Engaging contact forms & live chat.
Contact forms are a great route to encouraging your prospects to engage with your website and get in touch. We recently designed a contact form that integrated into a search module. When the user made the product selections with the search mechanism they were given the opportunity to forward their choice along with their personal details to an account manager for discussion. Another one we designed was based on a BMI checker that would check your BMI and if you qualifies for professional help you could forward your BMI and details to a dedicated weight loss consultant.
As a local business (and this applies to all sorts of small businesses) you needn’t wait for prospects to contact you to engage in conversation with them. Using a live chat system will enable you to catch prospects as they wander around your site and engage with them immediately. There is an incorrect general assumption that doing this is disruptive to the surfing experience but research has shown that people appreciate that there is someone there to answer basic questions without having to take the time to speak on the phone until their ready.
Consistent, professional design.
It’s true that when asked most people say they do not judge a book by it’s cover. It’s also true that in private most people always judge a book by its cover….it’s the easiest way to judge things. So with that in mind it’s incredibly important to ensure your website is up to date, contemporary and visually appealing.
Doing this and having this done will ensure that you are minimising the amount of people that will leave your small business website just because they don’t like the look of it. Visitors will generally judge the quality of your service by the quality of your website. After all, they haven’t got anything else to go on so they have to judge your book by its cover and as i’ve already stated “your website is you when you’re not there to be you.”
These days it’s a good idea to invest in a website design with mobile capabilities such as one with responsive capabilities. The volume of mobile searches for services and products has increased massively over the past 2 years and you only have to check your analytics to see if it’s a commercially via option for you.
Correctly researched & written seo.
Small business seo and local seo is the cornerstone of any online marketing campaign. If you want to be found by your prospects and compete with your competitors your small business website should have good quality, well researched Newport seo written into the meta data and on the pages. Without it, basically, you’re dead! There’s a great little article here on small business and local seo which will tell you more about the subject.
The top and bottom of it is that there are number of factors that need to be considered and written with a high degree of seo copywriting. They are as follows:
- Keyword research – find out what people are searching for to find you or your competitors
- Page titles – these should be loaded with your most important keywords
- Page descriptions – these should be written to engage both people and search engines
- H1 to H6 tags – putting your main keywords into these tags will help search engines
- On-page seo copywriting – you will need to dot about keywords into the text on the page
- Schema for local businesses – using this will help search engines deliver your site to the right people
- URL descriptions – making these keyword orientated will help search engines deliver your site
- Photo naming – name your images descriptively with keywords in both the image name and the alt tag
It’s important to make sure that you don’t overdo it with your keywords and that each sentence any keyword appears in is as coherent for people as it can be. You don’t want to risk getting an over optimisation penalty.
Other things to consider:
- Update your website regularly with industry relevant information such as blog posts or refreshing the home page. Anything to increase your internet footprint and the authority of your website.
- Get used to checking your analytics regularly to see how many visitors you’re getting, what they’re looking at, how long they’re staying, how they got there, what device they’re using & where they are located.
- Get a facebook page together or a twitter account and interact with your prospects as regularly as you can. Make regular offers and do a bit of social media marketing.