For most local companies the website is the heart and soul, so it’s not surprising that a lot of their initial investment is made when designing and hosting their site. However a lot of SMB seem to lack the understanding and importance of developing a site that can easily be found on search engines and that provides information, engagement and trust the customer is looking for. A recent survey carried out on 39000 SMB in the UK found deficiencies in most key categories. As an example one quarter of the audited SMB’s could not be found on Google search as it had a page ranking of zero or had no Google PageRank at all. Over 90% of SMB did not have a displayed email or a contact number on the homepage. Each of these deficiencies presents potential missed opportunities for SMBs to attract quality leads from the digital and mobile sources where consumers are increasingly searching for local business information. Below is a list of things every SMB should think about when designing a business website.
- Make contact information visible and consistent.
Having visible contact information is what may potentially turn a browser on your site into a potential customer, without displaying your contact details clearly you may miss out on plenty of opportunities.
- Design an appealing, easy to use interface.
The old saying don’t judge a book by its cover does not apply to website design. Having a contemporary website with appealing colours and seamless navigation send a positive message to your customer.
- Get conversation going with live chat and contact form.
Local businesses sometimes can afford to wait for a phone call, so having a live chat available to communicate with customers online is essential. Capture the customer while they are on your site to maximise potential.
- Use defining and searchable keywords on the front and backend.
In order to be found, your business website should consistently feature the keywords that consumers will use most when searching for your products and services. Before drafting content for your site, write down a list of keywords that are most applicable to your business and that you believe consumers will type in most to find you.
- Update your page with regular content.
A lot of SMB think they have accomplished their goal once they have a website up and running, however your website will need constant maintenance and updating. Without updating the content on your site, Google rating may fall resulting in a loss of traffic through the site.
- Feature you social media content to start engagement.
Research has shown that nearly 90% of SMBs are lacking or have no social media widgets/icons on their homepage. For those SMBs investing in their social media presence, missing widgets or links back to your channels from your website is a gross oversight. Consumers today expect to be able to engage local businesses through Facebook, Twitter and other platforms; if you have a presence on these sites, they should be visible on your website.
- Ensure your site is mobile friendly.
As technology develops people are becoming more reliant on their mobiles, so not having a mobile friendly website would be shooting yourself in the foot. Making sure your site is available on all tech platforms is a must as mobiles develop so must your site.
- Track stats and results.
Surprisingly research has shown that nearly 75% of SMB do not use any tracking or stat reporters such as Google analytics. Without these stats you can not run an effective business as you will never understand what trends occurring on your website results in sales.