Around 50% of small businesses now have a website. This is still a low number considering over 90% use the internet to search for a business. Having a website puts you ahead of 50% of your competitors. However, is there anything you can do to make your website work harder for your business?
Fortunately the answer is yes! This is because there are lots of strategies you can do to make your website stand out from your competition and bring in lots of happy customers.
1. Create Great Informative Content
The days of using your website for 'hard selling' are long gone. Most people are now looking for information before they decide to make a purchase. If they do not find the information they are looking for, they will quickly go elsewhere. For example, if you are sell beauty products your customers will want to know more about the brands you are selling - eg how many shades a particular foundation comes in. If you build fences, your customers will want to know about the different types of fences they can choose from.
This is why it is important to create informative content on your website, rather than just creating a visually appealing website. In fact, creating great content is one of the best ways to show you are an expert in you field.
2. Have a Plan
Some small business owners sometimes naively believe that they can simply set up a new website and it will quickly find it's way to page one of Google by itself. Unfortunately, this does not happen - particularly for more competitive industries. For example if you type in 'Plumbers Melbourne' you will get approximately 40,000,000 results. It takes a lot of effort involving an extensive suite of tools and techniques to get any website onto page one.
3. Make your Website Fast
The one thing that will make your visitors leave your website quickly is having a slow website. In particular, your website needs to load quickly on mobile phones. This is because people using mobile phones are even more impatient than people using desktops. Even though it is estimated that it takes an average of 22 seconds for a mobile page to load, over 50% of people will leave a website if the page takes more than 3 seconds to load.
It can be challenging to get websites this fast. However, there are lots of techniques that can be used to achieve it. These techniques include compressing images on the page, making your website secure, and enabling file caching.
4. Have lots of calls to action
Calls to action are ways to encourage your customers to do something. For example, it might be something as simple as 'CALL NOW' button. Calls to action are extremely effective in getting people to call, email, subscribe or whatever it is that you would like them to do.
To successfully use calls to actions on your website you need to use them prominently. There is no point having only one call to action at the bottom of a page - as it is unlikely to be successful.
5. Making the Most out of SEO
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), when managed correctly, is one of the most cost effective ways to get more people to your website in the long term. However, it is not a quick solution. That is why we recommend you run an SEO campaign for at least 6 months (or at least 12 months if you are in a particularly competitive industry). That's because it will take at least this amount of time before you see any improvement.
Some small businesses think there are lots of tricks you can use (eg hidden keywords, lots of (usually irrelevant) backlinks) to get your business onto page one. These 'tricks' may have worked in the past but they don't anymore. Any good SEO campaign should revolve around creating great content. This content should use niche keyword terms your customers are using to find your business, but your competitors are not focused.
Creating a new website is just the first step in getting your website to work harder for you. Given this, time should be spent on a plan to make the website successful in bringing new customers to your business.
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Dynamic Websites is one of Melbourne's leading web design companies for small and medium sized businesses, based in Hawthorn. We understand what it takes to get a business online. We specialise in providing exceptional web design services and digital marketing services. Our digital marketing expertise extends to Google AdWords, search engine optimisation, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing and blog writing.