7 Simple Fixes for Your Small Business Website
When I hear “business website” I think “business storefront”. To me, both are synonymous. Yet, most business owners ignore their website, take shortcuts, and generally treat it as a secondary priority.
Would you leave your stores’ windows shattered? Why do the same for your website? The following are 7 really easy and often overlooked fixes you can implement on your website to fix it up.
- Make Your Navigation Easy
- Create a Portal Homepage
- Build a Contact Form
- Update Your Blog Often
- Tell Your Story on an About Page
- Add Informative Title Tags
- Get Rid of the Flash Intro!
The most important aspect of a website is the site navigation. How do I get from one page to another? If your site is confusing to navigate, you won’t even get a chance to convince them to stay.
Making it easy to go from one page to another is important. First focus on your main navigation, then make sure you have other navigation points throughout the site.
The two biggest opportunities for this is in your main navigation and then in sidebar through modules that list “Most Popular” or “Related” articles. If you don’t have articles it would be good to make sure people can find important resources or pages quickly.
The best way to check your site navigation is to watch people use your site.
Ask them to find directions to your store or a specific product on your site. Watch how they use your site – do they get lost? Are they using the back button a lot? These are indicators that your navigation needs to be rethought.
It’s common for a site’s homepage to receive the most traffic compared to the rest of the site. This is where you get a chance to make your first impression as people are introduced to your brand.
It’s important to clearly define your value proposition and make it easy for people to go deeper into your website.
Your homepage should act as a portal driving people to other pages, with an emphasis on pages you’ve decided are goals. Highlight popular products and content so users can quickly find stuff others have liked.
Reduce the number of decisions users have to make and recommend next steps for them.
As you start to build interest in your website and brand, more people will have questions. Having a contact form makes it easy for people to contact you and connect with the brand through email.
But why use a contact form instead of just an email? Two reasons. The first is spam. Posting your email address is a sure-fire way to start receiving spam. Secondly, contact forms can easily route emails to the right person.
For example, create a check box for “Press Inquiries”. That way you know when journalists are reaching out to you. Another option could be “Need More Information About Your Product” – this way you know when people check this option they’re interested in your product and are potential consumers.
Driving traffic to your contact page and then quickly segmenting the leads makes an efficient process for taking potential customers and turning them into paying customers.
Search engines and people love websites that are updated often. Having a blog makes this process really easy.
A brand blog is an extremely powerful tool for marketing your business online. It grows an online readership, builds thought-leadership, and cements your reputation in the industry.
If you don’t have a blog already, it’s really simple to add one. Check out WordPress as a free blogging solution that can easily be added to your current website.
Every business has a story behind them. How were you created? What are you great at? What makes you different than anyone else?
It’s important to make sure you tell this story and no page is better than your “About” page. Make it easy for consumers to learn more about who you are and what makes you tick. It will make them feel more invested in you and more connected.
Also, creating a clear “About” page ensures consumers know exactly what you’re selling and what services you offer. You never know who might become paying a customer, if only they knew that you offer the service they need.
These fix is a technical one. When you create a webpage you’re given the option of adding code that defines some “meta” information. This information includes the title, description, and important keywords for the page.
The title or title tag is an extremely important “meta” tag. Google uses the title tag to determine what the page is about. In regards to your website homepage, it will use the title tag to really learn what your business is about.
The tag is also displayed in Google’s search results and also as the headline when people share your content on Facebook or on Twitter. It’s important to make sure you clearly define the title tag and that each page has a unique title.
Make it easy for people to know exactly what they’ll find on your page by looking at the title. This will ensure people actually click on the link and read your content. Without a title, the link and headline may have nothing to do with the content actually on the page.
Sometimes business owners enter a mindset where they believe that similar to their stores, their websites should guide consumers through an experience. The truth is that online consumers just want to get to the information or products they need as quickly as possible.
The flash intro is one of the least effective ways to ingrain users into your brand experience. It can be intrusive and generally annoying. The flash intro and splash video is concerned to be an outdated web tactic.
Aside from turning off consumers, the flash intro and overall use of flash can hurt your rankings in search engines.
Flash is cheaper to use when building websites, which is why many developers turn to it. However, a well-built WordPress site will be more visible in search engines and reach more consumers. Don’t take the shortcut, build a website and plan for continue growth.
When reviewing the effectiveness of your website, the single most important thing to keep in mind is – how are people finding the information they need and do we answer all their questions. Do you have the content people want to read? Are you making it easy for them to find you online?
Small business websites come in many different forms and shapes. None-the-less they all perform the same function – increase the brand reach and impact the business’ bottom line.
What fixes have you found to make the largest impacts? What have you changed that you were happiest about? Let us know what you did! Leave a comment and share your thoughts.