Category Archives: business website tips

worried businessman because website is bad

6 Ways Your Small Business Website is Missing the Mark

The saying, “the devil is in the details” definitely applies to small business websites. The truth is that many small business websites aren’t reaching local customers. The websites that do get found online are not converting visitors into paying customers.

In both instances, small businesses are leaving money on the proverbial table.

This is why those devilish details need to become a top priority for small businesses looking to market online. Since a small business website is the core of a solid online marketing plan, this is the place for businesses to start investing their efforts and tracking the results.

Website isn’t secure

Following search engine recommendations should be a top priority for small businesses. Search engines can be the source of a majority of website traffic, especially from local visitors. These recommendations are based off of the search engine’s goal of delivering lists of websites relevant to the search and that deliver a full customer experience.

The customer experience starts with a secure website. In 2015, Google admitted to giving a preference to HTTPS websites during the ranking process and promoting the widespread use. Recently, the search engine king started throwing up warning pages about sites that it didn’t feel were secure. The warning page strongly warns visitors about proceeding to these websites; essentially, these warning pages block new website visits and significantly lower website traffic.

Not mobile-friendly

A secure website is just the tip of the iceberg. Google also includes mobile-friendly as one of its more than 200 ranking signals. This preference is based off of statistics that show insight into consumer behavior. In 2016, Google reported that more than half of all online searches were done on a mobile device.

The use of mobile devices has exploded since then, making a mobile-friendly website an absolute top priority—and one that, surprisingly, many small businesses have not embraced in their website design. That choice can be a major turn-off for customers; Google has reported that “52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company.” 

Slow Website Loading

A slow website can sabotage the customer experience just as much as the lack of a mobile-friendly site. According to Google, forty-six percent of online users put “waiting for a website page to load” on their mobile devices at the top of their dislike list. The news—and the statistics—get worse for slow websites.

As the loading time of a webpage increases, the chance an online user moves on also increases. Google reports that when a website loading time increases from one to three seconds, the risk of an online user leaving increases by 32%. If the loading time goes from one to five seconds, the bounce rate increases to 90%. That number sky rockets to 106% when the loading time goes from one to ten seconds.

Poor customer experience

All of these factors are part of a strong customer experience. A well-structured website optimized for search engines and built with optimized content written for search engines and the target audience are also key elements in attracting the attention of search engines and visitors.

A website’s metadata and structure play an important role in what terms websites are ranked for, and how high the website is ranked. These optimization elements also determine what information is displayed in search engine rankings, which is a significant part of getting online users to choose the website. Website page headlines, content, and strategic call-to-actions are the last piece of the website optimization effort.

Lack of website promotion

Building a solid website is not enough. Website traffic only grows with solid website promotion tactics included in a solidly built marketing plan. The effort should be continual, which can be done by in-house or outsourced to experienced marketing professionals.

Website promotion should be strategic and include the tactics that reach the target audience. For local businesses, this plan should be aimed at local users that fit within the business’ target demographic. Website promotion ideas include regular social media posts, a complete Google My Business listing, and a complete online directory and review site monitoring strategy.

Irregular (or no) website content

Adding regular, optimized content to a website is an important part of earning search engine rankings and online users’ trust. The effort should be based off keyword research and optimized with topics relevant to target audience searches. Content should be added regularly to the website with minimal breaks in the content publishing calendar (which can be maintained in-house or via an experienced online marketing firm).

In addition to optimized text, a content publishing calendar should also include quality images and video. These images and videos should be carefully produced and strategically chosen as part of marketing efforts. The end result is a variety of marketing topics and pieces crafted for search engines and local visitors searching for the small business’ products and services.

8 Simple Ways to Improve Your Website

company manager looking at sales growth because of company websiteA bad company website is more than just an embarrassment, especially when an exceptional website is a key factor in business growth. A website plays a significant role in establishing a favorable first impression, building customer trust, and gaining sales. It is the foundation of all online marketing efforts. A terrible website does more than makes a company look bad. An awful, dysfunctional website costs a company trust—and lost sales.

This is the end of the bad news. The good news is that improving a company website is not as complicated as it may seems—or as expensive (depending on the website, of course). A bad company website is not always a lost cause or a complicated fix.

Add better images

Well-written websites are great. Well-written websites with compelling images and videos are AWESOME. One of the easiest ways to improve a company website is to start using quality images that capture customer attention and want to see more. Fortunately, obtaining quality images isn’t as hard as it used to be; smartphones and tablets can take quality photos and video. Free images can be found on Unsplash and Pexels, or purchased through a quality image site or from a local photographer. (Use these tips to choose the best images for a business website.)

Optimize, optimize, optimize

Optimization is one of the most overlooked aspects of a first-rate website. While the term may sound complicated, the basic principle is not: optimization is the process of making a website optimal for search engines. The simplest form of optimization is writing quality content for search engines and optimizing images (these tips for optimizing website images can help). One of the most effective ways to optimize a website, especially businesses with a local customer base, is to utilize local search engine optimization technology. Local optimization technology can be used to reach customers within 10-50 miles of a business location (or locations). (Use these tips to select the right local optimization technology.)

Write quality content

Search engines use many different signals (Google uses well over 200) to rank websites. One of the signals indicative of website quality is regular and relevant content (here is how content marketing works and benefits websites). Luckily, quality content is not as expensive as expected; custom content (drafted specifically for the company) can be produced in-house or outsourced to the professionals (very affordably). Be leery of marketing firms that sell sub-par content or duplicate content that has already been published.

Include (better) call-to-actions

A good call-to-action is strategically placed and easy for customers. A stellar website is full of excellent call-to-actions that don’t make a visitor feel like they are getting a concussion from “buy, buy, buy!” To meet the needs of a diverse audience, make sure that each call-to-action is linked to a different way that fits the preference of the target audience.

Add easy ways to continue the conversation

Social media is one of the most effective ways to communicate with potential customers and build the loyalty that retains existing customers (if managed correctly, use these tips for a successful social media strategy). Add links to existing company social media accounts throughout the website; commonly, businesses add these links to the Contact Us page, in the header and footer of each page, and on the Home page. Links to social media pages can also be added in the text.

Improve website speed

Google recently wrote that a one second delay while loading a mobile website can decrease conversions by up to 20%. Customers don’t want to wait, and page loading speed is another factor when search engines rank websites. Literally, it makes cents (pun intended) to decrease page loading times. The exact way to speed up the website depends on the construction; contact a marketing firm for ways to improve page loading times or ask for a quote to build a new (and better) website.

Fix dead end pages

Customers love an easy-to-navigate website, which is way website pages with errors can be so frustrating. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to end up with dead ends and errors, especially with websites with a lot of pages. Websites with errors can also be a black eye to search engines; spending time clearing errors or hiring the professionals to find and fix bad website pages can be worth the time and funds.

Be mobile-friendly

A mobile-friendly website is not just an option any more. According to Google, the amount of searches on mobile devices surpassed searches on desktops. Desktop websites do not always function properly on mobile devices, causing frustration and loss of sales.