While it may seem like a minute part of owning a business, your website plays a much larger role than you’d expect. It gives prospective leads and clients a glimpse of what they can expect from you and your company. If it has a terrible mobile user experience, or it’s hard to locate the “Contact Us” button, the customer will likely take their business elsewhere.
Creating a user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing website may feel like an impossible feat—but it’s easier than you think. Before you splurge thousands on a web developer, look into these points to improve your small business’ website.
Why You Need A Website For Your Business
Websites are crucial for any kind of business. When a consumer is ready to purchase a product or service, they’re most likely going to do so through the internet. It’s a matter of convenience and accessibility. The same goes for relationships that you make in person. While you can network all you want, having a website strengthens your credibility as a business.
The impression that users get from your website can affect the way that they think of your business. A website that is easy to navigate, loads quickly, and looks professional reaffirms your reliability. A site that doesn’t tick all these boxes can do more harm than good.
How To Improve Your Small Business Website
Maximize Your SEO Potential
The first—and most important—thing you must do is maximize your SEO potential. New customers are not going to give you their time, effort, and trust if they can’t even find your website. Ranking in relevant search results is the easiest way to get more traffic on your site. Of course, this is easier said than done, but it’s not impossible.
To get in the good graces of the Google bots, you will need to have descriptive page titles, meta descriptions, headings, image titles (that typically involve your selected keyword), and image alt text—just to name a few. Sound overwhelming? We get it. That’s why we’ve put together seven smart tips to help you succeed.
Related: A Simple Guide to Keyword Research
Ensure The Site Is Mobile-Friendly
Did you know that according to a study done by Statista, mobile devices account for 54.8% of global website traffic? Another research done by Website Builder found that 52% of potential customers are driven away by a bad mobile experience. If that wasn’t enough, even Google will flag you for poor mobile experience. We’d say those are pretty good reasons to ensure that you’re providing a top-notch mobile user experience.
So what are some things you should be looking out for? Ideally, you want all elements of a site to automatically adjust display based on the size and type of screen the site is being viewed on. This means the text is easy to read, and the page does not have to be moved around manually to view images. Whether you’re using Wordpress, Squarespace, or WIX, you should be able to preview the mobile view so you can see if there are any adjustments you may need to make.
You want your audience to be able to find what they’re looking for as fast as possible. This all boils down to your navigation. Typically this involves your top categories sitting on the top of your site. Take a look at CloudFriday, for example. At the top of our site, we have broken it down into “Services,” “Blog,” “Pricing,” “About,” etc.
This lets our users understand exactly where to find the information they need. They aren’t left confused or questioning where they ended up. The same goes for our blog. It’s broken down into different categories, highlighting the latest published content.
Stay On Top Of Design Trends
Trends aren’t only for clothing and accessories. It also applies to websites. It’s recommended to incorporate current website or UX/UI design trends to appear current and relevant. As visual beings, people are becoming increasingly judgemental about aesthetics—how a website looks, how the visuals relate to the products/services being offered. This does not mean you need to revamp your website every couple of months; though it may be good to update it every couple of years.
While we always recommend hiring a professional to help you, if that is not within your budget, hosting platforms have in-app themes that you can purchase and are easily customized. It will cost you a fraction of the cost versus getting a web designer; plus, it won’t require years of education to use and personalize.
Keep Content Updated
There’s no bigger turn-off than ending up on a website only to find that they haven’t updated their content in months (even years!). If you have holiday content on your homepage in the middle of April, it shows the user that you don’t care enough to keep your content up-to-date.
This is not to say that you have to be posting daily blogs, but it is wise to have a blog that you update a few times a month. If a blog doesn’t make sense for your business (i.e., a restaurant or cafe), update it monthly with events, specials, etc.
Include Eye-Catching Images
As mentioned earlier, humans are visual. Relevant imagery will not only hold your audience’s attention, but it may also land you in Google’s image search results. If you own an e-commerce business, make sure you have simple, clean images that show off your products. If you offer a service, include high-resolution and high-quality images that paint a picture of what you have to offer.
Include A Clear Call To Action
When creating your call-to-action (CTA), ask yourself one question: What is the one thing that you want your website visitors to do when visiting your website? It could be signing up for your email list, subscribing to your podcast, shopping your products, filling out a lead form, etc.
Make your CTAs direct and eye-catching. These are best showcased by large, smartly placed buttons at the top of your site that are easy to click on. The wording is up to you, though some of the most common include “Learn More,” “Subscribe,” “Contact,” or “Get Started.”
Optimize Load Times
Even the most aesthetically pleasing, mobile-friendly website won’t help you grow your business if loading times drag on. Not only do users jump off the website if it loads poorly on the mobile, but they also dip if it takes too long for your site to load—we’re talking 40% of users leaving if a site doesn’t load in three seconds.
Unfortunately, to optimize your load times, you will have to get pretty technical and make a lot of back-end changes. This may require a developer’s help. However, there are hosting platforms that perform better than others, so if you are just starting or looking to change platforms, you may want to compare the different hosts!
Final Thoughts On Improving Your Small Business Website
Improving and maintaining a small business website is no small feat. But we promise you that it is worth the time and effort. Making these small changes will help you gain exposure, convert users to customers, and grow your business as a whole.