Over the past few years we have been fortunate enough to work with savvy business owners and entrepreneurs of all levels. Admittedly, the years of experience we’ve had with our partners and the results from working to meet their challenges has caused us to be well rounded and knowledgeable in a number of different industries. Take a look at our own list of 7 fundamental tips that we think every business owner should know about having a website and marketing it successfully online.
1. Identify who your website visitors are and create a high quality site designed for them
People often make the mistake of putting a website together and focusing solely on themselves and their company. That’s what a website should be, right? Self promotion and all. But the truth is that a website visitor doesn’t care about you or your business as much as they care about themselves. They probably have a problem or pain point, and they quickly want to figure out if you are able to reliably fix that problem for them at a fair price.
You should take some time to identify who your primary website visitors will be. Get to know them internally and try to imagine what they want to see when they land on your website. Take into consideration where the visitor has came from – did they click a link from another website, did they make a search on Google, were they viewing your company’s Yelp page, or a combination of the above. Use all this knowledge to determine the highlighted information that you want the visitor to see and present it to them in a clear and attractive way.
2. Create informative, balanced content with a healthy mixture of images and copy
Nobody wants to read a wall of text when they land on your website. They want to skim. They want to glance at pictures, pour over headlines, pick out phrases, all while silently judging your website and its content. It’s a little intimidating knowing that there’s a critical 10 second period when your visitor first lands on your website where they harshly judge everything about it and quickly make their decision: stay and browse, convert, or leave. It’s just the nature of the beast. So make sure that the first impression is a pleasant one. Don’t overdo the text copy, and don’t just slap images and video everywhere either. A healthy balance will go a long way.
3. Monitor your competition for new ideas and strategies
As an entrepreneur and small business owner this may come as second nature to you, yet you might be lacking when it comes down to your website. In order to stay competitive you have to keep an eye on what your competition is doing, and the same applies for your website. There may be certain techniques or elements that your competitor is using to bring in more business which you aren’t capitalizing on, and you’ll just never know until you do the research.
Ideally you’ll do a significant amount of this type of reconnaissance work before building your website so that you can be sure you’re spending time and money in the right places. Some widely-used functionality you’ll probably want to include on your business website: lead generating contact forms, newsletter opt-in forms, appointment scheduling functionality, video / text customer testimonials, image gallery / portfolio, the list goes on.
4. Make good use of analytics – analyze your visitors and conversions
When your website goes live, make sure you have some statistic tracking software installed. Google Analytics is a popular and widely used tracking software which is free to use. You’ll be able to track almost everything about your visitors except their name and home address (which eerily doesn’t sound so farfetched with today’s technology). Some important pieces of information to track are daily / monthly visits, bounce rate (the percentage of single-page visits), average visit duration, pages per visit, and more. You can see which sources sent you the most traffic (search engines, referral websites, social media, etc.) and what geographic location your visitors came from.
With a bit of configuration you can tell your analytics software what you consider to be a conversion. It may be a phone call, it might be filling out your Free Estimate form, or it could mean purchasing a product in your online store. Once you’ve set up your conversion tracking, you’ll be able to determine which traffic sources are bringing you the most conversions. You can check which pages are converting the best, and which ones are falling short. You should optimize the ones with less conversions and continue tweaking your site until it’s working at its highest capacity.
5. Write interesting and informative content in your blog regularly
When it comes to SEO, Google reeeally wants you to to add fresh content on a regular basis, especially content that people enjoy reading and want to share. They even have sophisticated algorithms that can determine the quality of your work by seeing how much time your visitors spend reading your articles, how many times they get shared through social channels. If they determine an article is important and considered to be valuable content, they’ll bump it up in the search results so that more people can find it. So if you consistently and successfully create useful content that entices your readers to share, you’ll be able to exponentially increase your website’s exposure and traffic. This is a good thing, people!
6. Utilize video and rich imagery to supplement your text copy
Don’t miss out on opportunities to “OOHHH” and “AAAAHHH” your visitors. Use professional high resolution images on your site rather than dull, blurry, pixelated images. You could have a sub-par website but if the images of your work look slick and professional, the viewer just might take your bad website design with a grain of salt. And vice-versa, if you have a stunning website but your images are amateurish, it can take a lot away from your credibility.
Video is an excellent way to craft and convey messages to your potential customers. If you’re low on a budget you could even put together a basic montage style video which serves as an animated portfolio or a quick explanation of your services. You should look for unique ways to offer your visitors content in video format since it is proven to be a highly effective selling tool.
7. Combine SEO + PPC advertising to bring a stream of visitors to your website
And yet, a pretty website won’t do very much on its own. You need to supplement it with a traffic source. For some companies with popularity this may come naturally, for others they might need to run PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising or a strong SEO (Search Engine Optimization) campaign. Factor in the inbound marketing phase so that you don’t run out of steam after building your company website. Once you’ve crossed your T’s and you feel that your website is complete and ready for the public eye, you should be working on driving traffic to it every month. Having a regularly updated blog helps with the SEO side of things, and allows you to connect with other bloggers and industry leaders in your field. Write guest blog posts and ask other bloggers to share your articles with their readers. If you prefer to have a full service web agency handle all of these tasks for you, you can head over to the Contact Us page and drop us a line!
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