Drive Sales 24 Hours a Day!
That’s why having a content-rich, user-friendly website that provides all the information your target market is looking for, can mean the difference between a thriving or failing business.
This is known as “inbound marketing” – meaning that customers find you – that’s why a successful, optimized website is vital to accelerating sales.
Of the 88% of Americans on the web, 97% of those shop for goods and services online
Here are a few more important statistics to prove why having a well-oiled business website is crucial:
- 90% of consumers use search engines as their go-to online shopping resource
- In 2015, 64% of all in-store sales ($2.2 trillion in sales) were influenced by the internet
- 4 out of 5 consumers use a Smartphone to shop
There’s nothing worse than visiting a website and finding outdated information – or worse yet, visiting the actual restaurant for their mouth-watering “surf and turf special,” just to find out that special promoted on their website was from last month. Just as annoying are broken links and confusing navigation. My philosophy is…if you can’t maintain it, don’t do it, as you actually scorn your reputation, ruin your credibility and lose customers.
Ok, now let’s start from the beginning. First and foremost, you must know your small business target audience and what’s important to them:
- Who are your ideal clients and what do they have in common?
- What problems do they face that you can solve?
- Why would they come to you vs. your competition?
- What end-result will they receive after working with you?
- What are their buying habits?
You also need to identify your small business objectives:
- Why are you in business?
- What do you want to achieve with your website?
- Do you want to manage your site or have someone manage it for you?
- What is your ideal number of customers?
- How will you track and determine success?
Once you’ve outlined your target market and small business objectives, work on your content:
Content and Navigation:
Your website should be easy-to-follow. If content is long, then be sure to have many paragraphs or even break into multiple pages. Most people only read the first line of each paragraph to determine if it’s worth reading.
Content Management System:
If money is an issue choose a Content Management System (CMS) website that allows you to update content yourself, without having to rely on a web developer. The most popular (and our favorite) CMS is WordPress, powering over 1/4 of all websites in the world.
Include industry-relevant data, via a blog. This will help your audience see you as a leading expert and go-to source. This also keeps your content fresh, as you can add a new blog to your website every week or month…another great tool for search engine optimization (see more on SEO below).
There should be creative synergy with your branding (i.e. corporate colors, fonts, etc.) and value to the marketplace (i.e. your competitive edge).
Capture, Capture, Capture:
At minimum, the overall goal of your website should be to capture customer and prospect information. This in turn, will help you qualify leads and build a quality lead database. Always have a “Contact Us” form as well as an incentive for capturing information, i.e. free newsletter, free e-book, or free consultation. Then, ask a question or two that will help you determine the quality of the lead, but be short and sweet – no one wants to fill out a lengthy form.
Just as important as targeting the right audience with the right content, is search engine optimization, also known as SEO. Organic SEO is simply the process of improving the visibility and “finding” of a website, or a web page, by search engines, via the natural way without paid search results.
Here are key components for onsite search engine optimization:
- Keywords or phrases: These are the words that someone would type in a search engine to find you – the more niche, the more qualified the audience, the higher your optimization, i.e. “small business marketing firm in Westchester County, NY” will get better results than just “marketing firm.”
- Inbound and outbound links: This refers to you linking to other valuable information/sites, and them linking back to you – i.e. blogs, groups, forums, suppliers, etc. Search engines see a value in having in- and outbound links, and hence rank you higher. Even better, if you can get backlinks to your website from authoritative sites such as .gov’s, .edu’s and .org’s, Google sees this favorably and may rank you higher in search results.
- Amount of time spent on site: The more worthy your content, the longer people will stay, and the higher your site ranking.
- Tools: Some great free tools to find and help you optimize your keywords are keywordtool.io, SERPS, and Ubersuggest
- Important…do not forsake valuable content just to drive SEO: Once the consumer visits your site, they will only stay and contact you if you have quality, relevant content.
- Mobile: The #1 search engine, Google started to significantly use mobile compatibility as a factor when ranking websites. And…70% of mobile searches result in an online action within an hour of the search being conducted.
- More on SEO: To learn more about optimizing your website, be sure to visit our blog on the “5 SEO Must-Haves to Rank #1 on Google.”
It’s also important to consider your small business website design. First impressions are 94% design-related. People will judge a book by its cover. If your site is not attractive, people may dismiss it as being amateur or unprofessional without ever looking at your content. Don’t forsake quality design, content and programming skills just to save money in the short-term, as it will cost you more in the long-term.
It’s also important to focus on your domain name. It should be short, sweet and unique, as well as easy to pronounce and spell. Ideally, if you can incorporate a keyword into your domain, that is also great for SEO. You can even have multiple domain names (your personal name, your company name, your product name) and have them all simply point to your host site.
Furthermore, it’s important to track your site. You can get valuable information from number of visitors and clicks, to length of time spent on each page. Google Analytics is free, and is an industry favorite. It’s easy to sync to your website and user-friendly.
And, there’s more, and more and more…so if you’re feeling overwhelmed we’re here to help. At Exceller Marketing we offer a FREE no-obligation website audit to determine how your website is performing and where it can improve. As the best website designers and developers in Westchester County, NY, our team of seasoned copywriters, stellar business strategists and SEO experts can build a website that is a lean, mean, lead generation machine for your small business.
Best regards, until next time!
Founder and Chief Consultant
Exceller Marketing, Inc.
Exceller Marketing is a full-service marketing firm and website design agency servicing small and medium businesses, as well as entrepreneurs in Westchester County, NY and the tri-state area. With powerful traditional and digital marketing communications, coupled with business development, we keep our clients ahead of their competition.
Source: Hosting Facts
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