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small business website tips

7 Small Business Website Tips for 2017

Designing a bad website can be like showing up to a first date with spinach in your teeth. From outside you seemed to have such potential, and then you opened your mouth and immediately turned off a potential suitor.

Instead of turning away potential customers, design your website to invite them in, enticing them with colorful content and helping them buy your goods or services with ease.

Here is a list of tips on how to create a website that will not only attract clients and customers, but will help you interact with them in the long haul.

1. Choose Your Domain Name Wisely.

Pick a name, any name. Actually, just pick your business’s name. This one may seem obvious but when selecting a domain name, avoid opting for a name that is too cute or clever Instead, choose a domain that is just that- obvious. For example, if you are a dog trainer, floridadogtrainer.com is MUCH better than pawfectorder.com.

While the 2nd is cute for a blog post, it will leave searchers confused when looking for a trainer online. Confusion=lost sales.

Having your service in your domain name also carries an SEO benefit. Google ranks sites higher in search when the domain matches the search terms your customers are using. Want to make more money and close more sales? Make your domain name clear. Also, buy several variations of your domain name – in case someone else already tries to purchase it, or your server company goes out of business.

You don’t want to end up like John Malkovich, having to pay thousands to reclaim your namesake online:

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With that said, chose a server company you trust. You can get a domain name through sites like Go Daddy and Register.com.

2. Tell us about yourself!

Don’t hide behind your computer screen. Instead, include an “About Us” or “Meet the Company page feels personal. This is called the KLT principle – when people know, like and trust you, they are way more likely to do business with you! This is especially true with industries like medicine, real estate or finance, when you have a direct impact on the livelihood of your clients.

How do you help people trust you as soon as the click on your site? Include headshots and bios that name your accomplishments, credentials and testimonials. Also, be sure to include this information “above the fold” which means the customer can see all of this information without scrolling their mouse. Putting faces to your company adds credibility, comfort, and most importantly trust for you customers.

Look how Ms. Wonderful Hair’s site uses the KLT Principle to sell their quality beauty products.  Seeing is truly believing with this site! And believe it or not, the company founder is featured dead center of this “above-the-fold” personable product display.

ms wonderful hair

Also on their “About Us” page, Ms. Wonderful Hair went one step further by creating a video that invites customers to take a sneak peek on the photo shoot, in which real women try on Ms. Wonderful Hair’s products. The best part is that videos don’t have to be professionally done to create this effect. In fact, sometimes a simple iPhone video performs better, as it makes you more relatable to your target prospects.

mswonderfulhair 2

This is something that can help gain you an edge over your competitors. A customer that can find personality within a company is more likely to choose them over their competitor.

3. Publish content that attracts your audience:

There should always be more than just the able bones of your website. Give it some fluff with content like social media posts or blog posts. Not only can these posts showcase your and your company’s personality; they also open the door for conversation between you and your audience.

Social media and blogs welcome comments from their readers. You can engage and converse with your customers or potential customers easily through this medium. This establishes a comradery between your business and the people interested in it. Additionally, great content attracts viewers! In facts, 56% of marketers say that “personalized content [for your audience] promotes higher engagement”. People will click on your site (giving it high SEO ranking) and share your posts (links back to your website).

This blog page for Ribshack Foods offers seasonal recipe guides and insider BBQ tips from the experts. This kind of content will get your company noticed. Want to take the effect even further?  Share that content in different ways across different social media channels.

ribshack

4. Repeat, Repeat, repeat!

Repetition makes your brand easily recognizable. Stamp your logo on things that are easy for internet searches to recognize. Blog posts, social media posts, different locations through your website’s pages. In addition to your logo, find color schemes and fonts that are somewhat similar to one another for social posts.

By doing this you’re creating a familiar image for potential customers. Without this kind of consistency, your viewers will be left with the same view of your company as a whole- inconsistent and sloppy.

Repetition also comes in your schedule of posting content. Be consistent. Every Wednesday? Every two days? Hubspot states that 75% of traffic on blog posts come from older blogs. These blogs are considered evergreen content. That means they will likely always be relevant; think tips, guides, how-to, etc. The most traffic from blog posting is considered to be with 16 blogs a month.

For a smaller business, that is a bit much. Post at least one a week consistently is key because sooner or later, someone will refer to an old post and give you some new traffic.

5. Please make your websites purpose known and easy to navigate.

Make sure you tell your potential customer directly on your site why it’s your services they are in need of (I’m talking as soon as they land on your site.) Using a concise and direct explanation of your products or services will clear any misunderstandings potential clients have of your business’s purpose.

Use a design that is simple for any user to guide through. Include menus at the top of your site explicitly stating what a site visitor will find there (about us, products, services, shopping cart, specials, etc.).

If you offer something that involves e-commerce, include easy access to your online shopping cart and checkout directed right on your website. You need something like CubeCart. CubeCart not only sets up your ability to sell online, it also gives you reporting on sales, item views, and even an option for accounting.

This will cut out confusion for your customer and for your own records. Cutting out confusion will almost always guarantee business.

6. Use strong calls-to-action.

Use your buttons or calls-to-action to entice readers by being the solution to their problem. Good CTA examples include: “Publish Better Content Today” or “Start Selling” or “Claim Your Free Report”.

These are much stronger and effective calls-to-action (CTAs) than phrases like “Learn More” or “Call Us.” Focus on how the visitor will benefit from your offer, and make that direct benefit your CTA. Additionally, noting limited time offers, deals, and sales also encourages clicks to your page.

Grey Goose Vodka used their call to action “Discover a cocktail tailored to your taste”. This is a great example of enticing a potential customer into trying their product; peaking their interest by making it personal to their interests.

CTA

7. Do what you know and love.

This last step is for the business owners that don’t have the time, patience, or desire to put together a site and its contents, which is completely understandable! In fact, the reason you’re a small business owner is because you’re passionate enough about something to do it for a living.

You shouldn’t have to worry about marketing it online. With that said, if you are not interested in running your website but also recognize its importance, consider hiring a digital marketing manager like Metrovista.

We are a web design company that can also run your SEO, social media campaigns, fill in your content, and ensure your business is gaining as much online traffic as it deserves. So go ahead, get back to your job while we expand it online.

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