1. DO think about what actions you want potential customers to take on your website
What’s your goal? Is it just to provide information and contact details to site visitors, or do you want them to purchase or become a member? Thinking through the role of your website as an integral part of your small business can help you decide what content you need to achieve your goals.
Get to know your potential customers, and understand what they’re looking for when they arrive at your site. Why are they there? What problem are they trying to solve? How can your business help? By understanding customer needs, you’ll know what your website needs to do and what content you need to provide.
Prioritise the content you want to include on your website. Ask yourself what pieces of information are most important to your potential customers, and place these where they will be easily seen. Ask three friends whose opinions you value to take a look at your website. What stands out to them? Is it the most important piece of content on the page?
There are certain “hot spots” on a page to which people’s eyes are naturally drawn, such as the upper-right corner. So consider putting your important information or registration form there.
2. DO perform search engine optimisation (SEO)
No doubt there are many other small and large businesses offer offering the same products or services as you. If you rank lower than your competitors in search results, it’s harder for people to find you.
In fact, 75% of users never scroll past the first page of Google results (source: Hubspot). To rank as high as possible, you will need to engage an SEO professional, but there are some things you can do that could help your ranking.
Look for backlink opportunities. Put simply, a backlink is when another website that has content related to your particular industry links back to your site. This can be difficult to arrange, and you may even be asked to pay for these links.
Ensure your content is relevant and well written. Strong content is critical to SEO, so it’s important to think through the keywords you use on your site; make sure they are relevant to what people are searching for,
If potential new customers can’t find your website in search results, your business could be missing valuable opportunities.
3. DO optimise your website for mobile devices
A mobile Path-to-Purchase Study conducted by Nielsen found, “73% of mobile searchers look up and call a business phone number and 84% look up business locations, maps and directions.” (source: Nielson)
Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices are extremely important tools your website must accommodate. Make sure your site is mobile responsive so potential new customers can browse your site at home, at work, or while commuting.
Focus on developing mobile features that shine the spotlight on your products and services. On-the-go site visitors typically find your site when they’re searching for a particular service or product in their area. You want them to identify right away what it is that you do.
Your contact details should be front and center on your mobile website. Keep in mind your own experiences with mobile web browsing. You were probably in a bit of a rush – in fact, you may have been in the neighborhood – and wanted to find out where a store was or if it was open. Make it really easy for customers to find vital information like your opening hours, address and phone number. Better yet, make that information impossible to miss.
Don’t pack too much into one page. Remember, mobile consumers have to use their fingers to navigate your site, rather than a mouse. Forcing them to scroll for a too long is a great strategy … if you want them to click the back button and leave your website!
If customers are unable to access your website on their smartphones or tablets, their next port of call may well be the mobile-optimised site of your biggest competitor. Looking for a great way to lose business? DON’T optimise your site for mobile.