Updated: Mar 18
Small companies should have a website, according to one of the most consistent pieces of online marketing "advice." I wouldn't go so far as to say it's the only thing small businesses need, but their websites are an essential component of their marketing plan.
In fact, Dennis Consorte, a small business expert at Digital.com, commented on how, despite the excuses many small company owners offer for not having a website, creating a long-term brand without one in the 21st century is almost impossible.
So, what strategies should small businesses use when building their website?
Many small business owners take for granted that simply having a website is enough to generate revenue. This may be true for some small businesses, but even then, they might not be meeting their full potential.
If you are one of these small businesses that already have a website, let me ask you some quick questions...
When was the last time you updated the content?
Is it optimized correctly for the audience you want to target?
Does it generate any business for you?
38% of people will stop interacting with a poorly designed site
Regardless of whether your charleston sc website design is high-quality or not, I can assure you there is always something that can be improved. You may not need all of these small tweaks and changes, but any one of them could make a big difference in your small business' success.
So, let's get started with the three crucial elements to a successful small business website.
Does Your Small Business Website Convert on What Matters?
It is a common story; a small business owner will pay a designer way too much money to create a website that looks like a "work of art" only to have it sit there collecting "world wide web dust". Unfortunately, this happens all too often and small businesses are the ones that suffer in the long run.
If your site does not help you achieve your goal - whether it is generating revenue, raising awareness, creating donations, etc, you are wasting your time and money.
And, if you are one of these small businesses, it is time to rethink your website strategy. Here are three tips to help make your small business website more effective.
Keep it simple (KIS)
When building your small business website, resist the urge to add every marketing feature you can think of--particularly if you hire someone else to build it for you. There are quite a few small businesses that have shortsightedly "outsourced" their charleston sc website design and/or content development only to come back a year or two later asking why their site isn't producing any leads or sales. It is not unusual for small business websites to have 30, 50, or more additional pages beyond what they need for no other reason than somebody wanted them there.
If you are hiring someone to build your Charleston small business website, give them some parameters (i.e. don't let them talk you into 10 additional pages); and make sure they understand the importance of keeping it simple.
Make It Easy
One of the worst things you can do is make your small business website difficult to navigate. People should be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. This includes having a clear and concise menu bar, as well as easy-to-read text. You don't want people to get frustrated and leave your site before they've even had a chance to learn about what you have to offer.
Include A Call To Action
Your small business website should always include a call to action, such as requesting that visitors sign up for your email list or download a white paper or e-book. If you don't give people a way take the next step, they may never get that far in the buying cycle.
If small businesses want their websites to be found online, they need to optimize them properly. This means having good internal links on your site (to take visitors deeper into your small business' information), as well as including the right keywords and keyword phrases in the correct places for search engines to find them easily.
46% of all Google searches have local intent.
If you are not sure what keywords are best for your enterprise, you should spend some time doing research to find out. Once you know what keywords will work best, you should make sure they are included in your website's HTML code, in your title tags, headings and in the body of your web pages.
Be Optimized for Mobile
It's also important to make your small business website easy to navigate, fast-loading and mobile-friendly. When potential customers are browsing for businesses, they will likely be using their smartphones to do so.
Make sure your Charleston SC website design is easy to access and navigate on a mobile device. There are many small businesses that simply build a standard website that looks great, but when viewed on a smartphone, requires refreshing every few seconds as the page continues to load. This can turn off even those interested in what you have to offer, as no one wants to wait more than a few seconds for information these days.
If you already have a website builder or web designer, make sure your sites responsive design functions well from desktop-to-mobile
Once your site is optimized, you will discover that visitors will be able to find your information much more easily.
Charleston Small Business Web Design Consultant
A small business website is a work of commerce, not a work of art. Not to say that being creative with your Charleston small business website is a waste...it isn't. However, you need someone who can help you merge both creativity AND commerce together in order to achieve success.
Whether you are creating a new small business website, or updating one already in existence, ask yourself, what are the key goals that you want the site to achieve?
A successful small business website is one that is updated regularly with fresh content, optimized for SEO, and generates traffic. If you are unsure of how to make these things happen, consider working with a digital marketing company for Charleston small businesses.
As a small business owner in Charleston or surrounding Lowcountry areas, especially one with precious marketing resources, it is vital to find a small business digital marketing company who understands both ends of the website development spectrum - from design to marketing, while acting as a continuing partner in achieving your small business goals.
Would love to hear your thoughts.