I don’t need to tell you how important it is to have a website as a small business. A website is your shop window online to your products or services, and although you could just set up a Facebook business page and hope for the best, owning your own site means the content is yours.
While setting up a website can be as simple as signing up for a drag and drop website builders such as Wix or Squarespace, it’s not enough to build a successful site without the following five elements.
Basic SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
SEO is not a sexy subject, but if you want your website to stand a chance at being found online by prospective customers, you do need the basics in place.
The basics include:
- Meta titles for every page (these are the clickable headlines that appear in the search results)
- Meta descriptions for every page (the text below the clickable headlines that describe the content of a page)
- The right keywords to match the user intent
- Navigational linking (using links on your site to direct users to other pages onsite and offsite to enrich their experience)
- Good quality, regularly updated content – more on this later
The basics do not require a lot of technical knowledge – but it can help to enlist the help of a copywriter and/or website developer to put the foundations in place.
Strong call to actions
Consider the pages of your website as a sales pitch. You tell the visitor the information they need in order to decide if they want to purchase from you, or at the very least inquire. But what is it that makes them press that button/pick up the phone/sign up to your mailing list? A strong call to action, of course!
Creating an effective call to action is no easy task. Luckily, Wordstream has a fantastic article sharing seven tips for a killer call to action. Always use the KISS method (keep it simple, stupid) because as soon as you complicate a call to action, you significantly decrease the chance of someone fulfilling it!
What makes your brand, and by extension your website really stand out? With so much content on the web, you need to make sure the personality of your business shines through on every inch of your website.
This is no easy feat, and can take time to master. Think about your audience and how best to address them – if you were purchasing from a business like yours, how would you want to be spoken to? Is a casual tone of voice appropriate, or would it be more suitable to use technical language?
The About page on your website is a great opportunity to add a more personal touch. Tell the story of how your business came to be and avoid generic language that could easily be copied and pasted from one of your competitors!
It might seem obvious, but there are many websites out there that bury their contact information way too deep! Be accessible to your target and existing customer base. By hiding or restricting the ways to get in touch with you, you’re automatically and inadvertently coming across as untrustworthy or dishonest.
There’s no need to plaster the details all over the website – just place them where it counts. For example, have a clear contact page in your menu navigation, and you could also have the basic details in the footer of your site so it appears on every page.
Last but certainly not least, a crucial part of your website is the regularity of your content! If you had your website designed and built in 2007 and haven’t updated the content since then you seriously need to refresh it.
But how do you ensure you are updating your website enough to appease search engines that are crawling it to ascertain that it is up to date?
- Review and update the content on your website pages as soon as it’s out of date. No longer offer a certain service, or have a new product offering? Update existing pages or create new ones to reflect the change!
- Blog – blogging is a surefire way of telling Google and other search engines that your site is still “active”. No, you don’t need to blog every day or even every week. Creating long-form blog content (1000 words+) even once a month is a significant improvement on no blog at all!
Is your website more of a hindrance than a help to your business?
I can create a SWOT analysis of your website and conduct thorough research to help your business flourish online. Want to find out more? Get in touch.