5 Website Tips for Small Business Owners
A business website is vital to an entrepreneur’s success. How can you make your small business website the best marketing and sales tool it can be? Here are 5 of the most important website tips for small business owners to know.
- Have a website. That may sound obvious, but almost half of small business owners still don’t have a business website, according to a CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey. What reason could entrepreneurs possibly have for neglecting to build websites? Some small business owners still believe that websites are too expensive or complicated to build. Others believe that, because they have a strong presence on social media, they don’t need a separate business website.
Yes, Instagram, Facebook or YouTube may be an important part of your online marketing strategy — but what happens if one of those social media sites updates its algorithm or makes another change that makes your business less visible to followers? When a social media platform that someone else owns is the only place your business hangs out online, you’re giving another company control of your online image. When you have your own website, you’re in charge of its look, feel and content.
What’s more, customers rely on business websites to make purchasing decisions. 49% consumers say they’ve used a business website to find information about local businesses.
- Keep your website updated. With website design trends changing faster than ever, your business website can quickly start to look outdated. In today’s economy, your business website is your storefront, and letting your website lag behind the trends is like leaving your holiday window display up until July. At least once a year, enlist some customers and impartial users to use your website. Find out what they like, what they don’t like, and what they wish your site had that it doesn’t.
- Make it mobile-friendly. Mobile optimization is vital to attracting website visitors. According to comScore, the majority of time online is spent on a mobile device, and that trend is only going to accelerate in the coming years. Need more proof? More than six in 10 mobile users say they’re more likely to contact a local business if it has a mobile website than if it doesn’t.
Mobile optimization (or lack of it) also affects your Google search engine results ranking. If your site isn’t mobile-optimized, it will show up lower in search engine results. However, the majority of small business websites are still not optimized for mobile use.
- Grow your website traffic with SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of attracting more website visitors by optimizing your website for search engines. There are two types of search: organic search and paid search. To get started with both types of SEO, use a keyword tool (Google AdWords Keyword Planner is popular) to figure out which keywords customers typically use when searching for your products or services.
Improve your organic SEO by using those keywords in key places on your business website, such as title tags, meta description, headlines, subheads and captions. Then, use paid search advertising (such as pay-per-click ads) to get even more website visitors.
- Start selling on your website. Last year, ecommerce accounted for almost half of all growth in U.S. retail sales. But that doesn’t mean brick-and-mortar is on the way out. Millennial and Generation Z shoppers actually enjoy shopping in-store. However, they also want to be able to shop online with equal ease. Adding ecommerce functionality to your website is a great way to create another income stream—one that can supplement, rather than replace, your physical business presence. Bump up sales even more by selling on marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay in addition to your own website.
Bonus tip: Get professional help. Do all of the tasks above sound like a lot of work? Managing a website is definitely complex — especially for the typical time-crunched small business owner. If technology isn’t your strong suit, the DIY approach might not be the best use of your time. Worse, it can put your business website at risk of falling behind your competition. In today’s marketplace, that’s something you can’t afford.
That’s why it makes sense to call in the pros. Freelance and professional services marketplaces can help with all aspects of designing, developing and updating your website, as well as SEO and enabling e-commerce. Just tell them what you need, and they’ll connect you with the right developers and designers. There’s no need to scroll through page after page of potential freelancers to decipher who would be best for your project. Freelance marketplaces handle all the matchmaking, saving you time and headaches. Plus, you’ll always get a flat rate quote, so you save money, too.
By following these tips, you’ll turn your website into a marketing and sale engine, raising your business profile and boosting your sales.