FOUR STEPS to a website that GENERATES new business
Just over half of all small businesses in Australia have a website but how many of them can truly say that their sites are actually generating business? Even in this day and age, some business owners still believe that a website is nothing more than an on-line business card. They don’t understand that potential for business growth that lies beneath every website page.
Luckily, for small business site owners, there are four simple steps that you can take to convert that website of yours from an on-line brochure into an inbound marketing machine!
Step One – Make sure that your site is easy to find (in Google)
Jump on Google right now and find out where your site resides in the search results in relation to Google. If your site not on the first page of results then you are missing out on 94% of people looking for you!
If this is you, do three things:
– Grab a pencil and paper, sit down with a cup of coffee and write down all the important words that relate your business. Write down any words that you believe potential customers will use in the search engines to try and find you. These are known as your keywords.
– Write a brief description (one or two sentences) about the services or products your business supplies to its customers.
– Get these keywords and the description on your website pages. You may need to contact your site developer or, if your site has been built with WordPress, install the YOAST SEO plugin and it will step you through the process of add these all important, Google-friendly words to your site.
The next time that Google “sweeps” past your site on its never-ending trawl of the internet, it will notice these keywords and use them to index your site, hopefully, if you have done your work properly, making it easier for people to find.
Step Two – Use the home page to talk about your customers’ needs/wants
Of course, most people like to know a little bit about the business (and the people behind it) that they are dealing with. However, it is a mistake to put this information up front on the very first page, the home page of your site. People aren’t visiting the site to find out about your history, they initially don’t care. They want to know if you can solve their problems or supply the items that they are seeking.
Use the home page to talk about your customers and what you can do for them. If you can, try and supply this information in a very (very) short personal story aimed at your ideal customer. People love stories and they especially love stories that are about them.
Step Three – Make your visitors interact with your site
Nothing is more boring that a stagnant site that makes visitors simply sift through the information. Unless you are a gripping author, this is unlikely to make your site any more memorable than the many others that are out there.
Instead, give the visitors something do. With a whole range of multimedia possibilities now open to us, why not use technology to interact. Calculators, videos, podcast downloads, fact sheets (PDFs), personalised games, pop-up chat rooms, discussion forums and the good old fashioned sign-up.
By making your potential customers interact with your website, you are inadvertently connecting them directly with you as the business owner and this will stick in their minds “Which small business helped me with downloadable fact sheets on their site?” or “XYZ had the interest-free calculator on their site – I’ll get in touch with them.” It may not be an instant sale but sometimes a seed needs to be planted.
Step Four – Make your Call to Action OBVIOUS
It’s time that small business owners paid their websites the respect and attention that they deserve. After all, your site is your number one sales avenue – it should be online and working for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Part of this respect and attention should be directed at the sales funnel of the site – how do people interact with the site so that they can either: find out more or make a purchase.
Isolate how your customer wants to achieve this and make it as simple as possible. It might a great big button that declares “LET’S DO IT!” or a newsletter subscription that reads “Indulge in our new services today.” You may need to even lead the customer through a series of steps to enact the solution they came looking for. As you can see from these examples, a Call to Action (CTA) needs to personalised to the business to which it is being applied but at the same time, be enticing to the site visitor.
If you merely want people to get in touch, make sure that your phone number is located at the top of every page, preferably on the right hand side. Make your Contact Us page easy to access and easy to use. Don’t put any roadblocks in the way that may impact the success of the CTA.
Once you have these steps in place, you’ll need some way to measure your site’s success. Google Analytics is a free and accurate way to track the changes in the way people find, visit and use your website. It may take a few weeks to gain the traction that you expect your site to make and you will have to make some tweaks and changes along the way (if you haven’t got a CMS website, get one!) but with effective strategies now in place, watch as your small business website starts to really work for you.