Small businesses have huge potential for growth and development online. However, it’s hard to know how exactly to get customers knocking on your door. Is your website producing results and generating revenue? How do you know if your small business website is doing the best job possible? There are common tell tale signs of effective websites and also of those who follow internet marketing misconceptions and myths.
This article explains the 5 characteristics of successful websites:
Simply put, search engine optimization is the process of targeting a specific keyword(s) on a certain webpage to gain higher SERP rank and web traffic. Google actually uses hundreds of factors in their ranking algorithms, and these factors are updated all the time.
Optimization makes your result visible to to internet users searching under a specific keyword or phrase. SEO is extremely important because a website is essentially useless if no one can find it. Optimized, successful websites can mean the difference between getting 200 visitors a month and 200 visitors a day. But, because search engines like Google are always changing their ranking criteria, many small businesses are at a loss of how to best optimize their individual pages.
So, here’s some practical tips taken from marketing and SEO gurus Niel Patel and Brian Dean that I try to incorporate in every blog page:
- Include your keyword in the title tag, page URL, and the meta description
- Target long-tail keywords. You have a better chance of ranking higher for lower search volume phrases
- Write long form content. More content means more space to include more of your keywords
- Use Alt tags for your images. Alt tags allow your images to be indexed by search engines and appear in the “image” results section as well
If a business is engaged online via blogging and social media, people are likely to think you’re serious about your customers. These associations tell potential customers you’re committed and care about forming customer relationships and success. The internet is a great, no-pressure zone for people who are interested but hesitant to take action. Not to mention, networking through social media gets you “out there,” and is a great way to build brand awareness with relatively low cost.
Do some research to determine what social media sites your industry leaders and target audience uses to put yourself and your business in their search path. Facebook is known to be the most popular social media site out there and Linkedin is essentially a professional Facebook. Anyone who wants to be taken seriously in their business world has a Linkedin account. So if you don’t yet have a profile set up, take a few minutes RIGHT NOW to do so.
A static website is not doing a whole lot of good, and possibly doing a lot of bad. Especially if there is no new information or worse, contains incorrect information. When people type in a phrase into Google, they’re looking for clear, accurate answers to their question or solutions to their problem. Searchers and search engines alike only want the most recent and updated information to be presented. Many times, if your website just looks old, visitors will bounce off immediately. Continuing to update your website shows your customers you care. Because if you don’t care enough to update and nurture your own website, why would you care about the success of your clients?
Tracking and Analytics
Analytics is a great way to understand the needs of the people coming to your website. Knowing how they found your site, where they went, how long they spent and what pages they clicked on is incredibly useful in building a site that serves the needs of your customers. To build a successful website, you need to know what your customers want from it. If you find, for example, your “about us” page is clicked on the most, you might consider expanding it and updating it, ultimately improving the quality of your site. Knowing your customers is extremely useful information and a business that tracks its site is undeniably ahead of the curve.
Easy Site Navigation
Are pages easy to access and does the layout make sense for the user? Navigation should be consistent across the entire site and relevant content should be easy to find. It is also essential that the load time of the website stay low. If a site is laden with graphics and animation causing it to run or load slow, people will look elsewhere. The average searcher spends about 8 seconds on a website – that’s it! Consequently, a site needs to capture attention, and fast. At a glance people should know your unique value: what makes you different and why they should care. Uncomplicated navigation and clear messaging keeps people on your website.
Your website is the most powerful and effective tool you will ever use to gain leads and convert them into paying customers. Having a successful website take time and resources, yes. But, the ROI you’ll receive in revenue and customer growth cannot be matched. The 5 practices mentioned above will ensure your website is always performing at capacity and working for you, instead of against you.