As a small business owner it has never been more important to have a strong online presence. But simply having a website isn’t going to cut it anymore. Your potential customers are probably checking you out online before purchasing anything from you, or even talking to you, so implement the tips below to make sure you have one of the best small business websites in town.
1. Make it responsive.
According to Google, in the U.S., mobile traffic has outpaced desktop traffic. This means if your site looks great on desktop, but is unreadable on a smartphone, you are leaving money on a table.
2. Give every page a purpose.
Your website is a conversation between you and your visitors, not simply an online brochure. Give every page a purpose, and guide your visitor to a desired outcome, whether it is another page, an email opt-in or an online purchase.
3. Organize your content.
Small business websites can increase search engine rankings by creating a large amount of relevant content, but make sure that your content doesn’t overwhelm your visitors. Ensure that your blog posts are categorized so that people can find what they are looking for easily.
4. Make important information easy to find.
Don’t make your website visitors work too hard to find the information they are looking for. If you have a restaurant, put your hours, address, phone number and a link to your menu right on the home page.
5. Create a new visitor area.
Think about the information someone who is new to your business would need to know to make a buying decision. As an example, if you have a yoga studio, put a big link on the home page that says “Interested in Your First Yoga Class?” that directs visitors to a page that explains what to expect from your classes and how to sign up.
6. Give people a reason to opt in.
New visitors and customers are great, but small business owners know that a repeat customer is even more valuable than a new customer. Give your loyal customers a reason to opt-in to your email list so that you can keep in touch with them and keep them coming back for more. (You do have an email list don’t you?)
7. Speed up your site.
Website visitors are impatient. If a website takes more than a second or two to load, your potential customers will hit the back button and find one of your competitors instead. Check out Google Page Speed Insights to see how you can speed up your site.
8. Remove unnecessary plugins.
One of the main culprits in slowing down small business websites is too many plugins. As you modify your site over time, you have probably been collecting plugins for various tasks. Plugins can be great, but only use the ones that are absolutely necessary and keep them up to date.
9. Make sure your Google Business page is up-to-date.
Google wants to be the most relevant search engine, and in their effort to do so, offers small business owners amazing tools to feature themselves for free. Make sure you register your business at Google.com/business, and include your website, address, phone number and other relevant information so that you will come up in featured search results.
10. Fix problem areas.
Sometimes as the creator of a website, it is hard to see the problem areas on our own sites. Fortunately, there are some excellent analytics tools on the market that can help us understand how visitors interact with our site, and track how various changes perform. We love HotJar for their heat maps that show you exactly what areas on your site people click and hover on, and which items people ignore completely. When paired with an A/B testing tool like Optimizely, you can design a site that your visitors love to use.
Great small business websites don’t happen by accident. Do you have any other suggestions for making good small business websites great? Let us know in the comments below. If you’d like to have us take a look at your site and make some recommendations, contact us. We’d love to help.