Back in the day, if your small business had a snappy window sign and plenty of advertising in the local newspaper — and a good business model — you were set. The way customers and potential customers viewed your business was really only based on a few simple factors.
Like most things today, the Internet changed that. Now those potential customers are searching the web for your website, and if it’s not up to snuff, it could be tough to land some business.
Creating a great website can be a daunting task, but there are plenty of tools, and even affordable developers, out there that can make sure the right people are looking at your sight, and most importantly, buying into your business after seeing it.
Once you’re website is up and running, there are a few things you can do to make sure it’s in tip-top shape, and helping you drive more eyeballs toward your business.
Tracking The Numbers
You can have the most attractive website out of all your competitors, but if you don’t know how many people are visiting each day, where they’re coming to your site from (most likely a search engine, but which one?), how long they’re staying on your front page, or what other pages on your site they’re checking out, then it’s pretty useless.
Most content management systems for websites — we’re talking things like WordPress, Blogger or Moveable Types — have plugins that help you track those types of analytics. Google Analytics is probably the preferred choice of small business owners, but as long as you have something that can help track the progress of your site, you can be miles ahead of your competitors.
By knowing that people come to your site after searching a specific keyword, for instance, you can start creating content for the site that uses that keyword. Or maybe you’d be intrigued to buy some advertising from Google that would give sponsored results when people search that keyword.
By measuring the sheer number of visitors to your website, you can tell if new products are spurring more visitors, or if your potential customers are shopping around with the competition.
Don’t Stop Improving
A small business website is a living, breathing entity. If it remains stagnant, you’ll ultimately lose website visitors. That’s why it’s important to make sure the content is optimized for the best search engines, but also that it’s looking fresh and updated.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a convoluted term these days, but it can be summed up by saying, you want your site to constantly reflect the keywords that people are searching for when looking for websites. The better you strategize that content to those keywords, the more traffic you potentially receive.
Remember, everyone loves a great looking website. You don’t want your business being the one that looks like it’s from the early 2000s, while your competitors are offering dynamically designed sites geared toward mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets.
Treat your small business website like you would a storefront window: It requires at least weekly cleaning, and it always needs to look professional and fresh. Follow that rule and start to expect more traffic, and more importantly, more business.