A lot of small businesses think that getting a website up is enough for their online presence but this could not be further from the truth. With over 1 billion websites on the internet today, you need to make sure that you are found by potential customers. Get it wrong and you will struggle to make your digital presence effective.
If the thought of your digital presence makes you feel overwhelmed, worry not as Websmart are here to help you make sure that you don’t make these common mistakes!
1) Don’t Ignore Local SEO!
Gone are the days of flipping through the Yellow Pages or having a Local Directory drop through your door! People are searching for your business online and to put it into numbers, that’s 97% of internet users!
Local SEO means that if your business is in King’s Lynn for example, people in and around that area searching for your trade will be more likely to see you rather than someone in New York who they will never do business with. It narrows the field using the location of the person conducting the search. By making sure that you optimise your site for local queries, you are helping customers discover your business and services. This result in website hits mean conversions which mean sales!
The best ways to boost your local SEO are:
> Make sure that your contact information is consistent across your online profiles: This means that your website, your social profiles and any listings you join need to all display the same information, so if you think there may be discrepancies, take a look at your online profiles now and update them if needed.
> Verify your Google My Business listing. Google My Business helps to connect your business with customers. Once you verify your page you can update your details (NAP), add the right categories for your business and write a relevant description. This helps customers find more information about your business and increase the chances of attracting more visits.
> Embed a Google Map in your website. A Google Map that links to the Google Plus local listing allows your business to show your customer easily where you are and how far they may have to travel in order to do business with you, as well as providing helpful directions, all in one place!
> Optimise meta tags and page content for local keywords. Adding your town or city to the meta tags can help to increase the clicks derived from local search results.
2) Are you Mobile Friendly?
We all have one; you may even be reading this on yours right now. Mobile devices such as phones or tablets are becoming the norm when it comes to browsing the internet, both on the go and at home, so it is important that you ensure your website delivers the same experience no matter how your customer may be viewing it. 72% of people told Google recently that it is a deciding factor in whether they chose to do business with a site, followed by site speed.
A one second delay can make people think twice about your site and a 3 second delay or more means that you have lost the sale completely, with 40% of people stating that drop in speed would make them abandon your site.
There are ways to monitor your site performance and to make adjustments to keep your site speed up which our team would be happy to talk to you about (link to contact us page)
Check out Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) which attempts to increase the number of fast mobile web pages and reduce the chances of you losing a sale because of slow loading times.
Making sure that your site meets the demands of the modern user ensures that even if your business is small, when it comes to your online presence, you can still take on the big boys and deliver a fast and efficient service to your potential audience.
Why not check your site with Googles FREE tool to see what Google says about your site > https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
3) Are you taking advantage of Customer reviews?
Online reviews are an often overlooked but very important part of online shopping. Unlike a real shop, you can’t walk in and get a sense of the business. You can’t feel the product for quality, meet the friendly staff and feel at ease in your surrounds. The only way that people will know that they can trust your business is from word of mouth and online reviews are just that. 88% of people trust online reviews from previous customers as much as they would a recommendation from a friend, so the more you have, the better!
Make sure you encourage your customers to leave you reviews, offering rewards for doing so and asking them for their input at the right stage of the sales process.
Negative reviews don’t have to be a bad thing either, but instead can be a great way for you to showcase your customer service skills. How you deal with a negative customer experience can help to build trust if done well can even result in a more loyal customer than if everything went smoothly.
Online reviews also count as fresh content for a website, which is important if you want good SEO results, accounting for 9.8% of the total ranking factors that define a page’s position on search results.
4) Have you joined up your data between online, offline and mobile?
As every small business owner knows, it is vital to know where every penny you spend is going and how well it is performing. Lining up your online and offline marketing and closely monitoring each ones results as a whole will give you a much better understanding of just how much bang for your buck you are getting and make appropriate tweaks going forward to maximise results. Knowledge is power as they say, so the more in the know you are the better!
5) How well do you know your customers?
You may know that Carol has a Dalmatian dog and that her last holiday was in Mauritius as you have a little chat with her every time she comes in to your store, but how do you do this for your online customers? It is essential that you know about your customers’ needs and wants so that you can meet them and deliver a solution.
Paying attention to your online customers buying habits and listening to them when they tell you what they need is vital to any small business that wants to do well online. People want to buy from people, even if it is through a website and taking the time to build a relationship and to let them know that the person behind the computer screen values and cares for their customer can help in leaps and bounds.
And as always, taking an analytical view of this can help you to fill in the gaps and ensure that you are doing everything you can to be a success online in the future.
If all this still seems a little daunting, don’t fret! Our team of experienced SEO account managers know how to do this all for you and can guide you along the way to ensure that your site performs exactly how it should.
We work with small businesses nationwide to make sure that they stand out from the crowd and that their customers are getting an unrivalled service when using your web site.
Talk to us today by calling 01553 766760 or email firstname.lastname@example.org