4 Ways Small Business Websites Can Drive More Sales
You don’t have the resources to invest in a web designer or consultant, so how do you go about optimizing your website on your own? Try the following tips.
1. Keep Content Fresh
Give current and potential customers a reason to revisit your website. Think about the websites you visit regularly and what attracts you to them. How can you tweak those attractive elements to be more appropriate for your website and your industry? Start by integrating your blog, Twitter stream, Facebook profile, and other feeds that will automatically update your website when you post content elsewhere.
Publishing white papers, podcasts, videos and other content related to business trends can help establish you as a thought leader in your industry. Encourage visitors (read: make it easy for them) to comment on your content, and start building relationships with current and potential clients to spur engagement. In this new era, it’s all about providing your users with relevant information. Doing so will help drive new and continued traffic to your website.
2. Integrate With Social Media
Engaging users and providing relevant information via social media channels is an important factor in driving traffic to your website. The more your content is shared via social media, the better your website will rank in search engines, and the more referrals you will receive.
The ultimate goal is to build relationships with your site visitors, thus creating long-term customers and brand advocates. So you need to make it as easy as possible for visitors to find and share your content and refer your services to others. Include social media toolbars on your homepage so visitors can easily find all of your profiles. Add sharing buttons to content and to your website, and encourage people to use them. Share your content on social profiles and content aggregators such as Slideshare, and do your best to bring the conversation to your website.
3. Make Ecommerce Easy
The massive amount of information on the Internet has shortened our attention spans and made it easier than ever to ”shop around” for lower cost competitors. Because of this, you need to make it as easy as possible for visitors to purchase what they want, when they want.
It is extremely important to evaluate all possible “purchase scenarios,” meaning the different routes a visitor could take in order to complete a purchase. For example, a visitor coming in through a paid search advertisement may land on a different page than a visitor who was referred from a Facebook link. Making it as easy as possible for these visitors to start and complete the purchase process will have a positive effect on your conversion rate.
4. Use SEO to its Full Potential
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a huge topic, far too vast and complex to address succinctly. That said, I can recommend three relatively straightforward steps that will likely increase your website’s search engine rankings, and thus make it easier for people to find your business.
- Identify your keywords. Start by building a list of the keywords that you think potential customers will use in searches to find your business. Once you have your list, use a keyword tool like Google AdWords to determine the frequency that those keywords are used and to find other related keywords. With this information, you’ll be able to quickly identify the most important keywords for your business.
- Use your keywords in your website. For each page on your website, figure out which keywords you want to target, then use those keywords in both the page content and the meta-data (the title, description and keywords of the page, which search engines use to determine what the page is about). Then, create links on other pages of your site to this targeted page, using the selected key words in the link title.
- External link building. When other websites link to your site, it indicates to search engines that the content on your site has value, and that boosts your SEO. For that reason, external link building is perhaps the most important aspect of SEO – but it can also be the most difficult, because you have limited control. It’s best to focus on the things that are in your control, such as your Facebook and Google+ pages, Twitter feed, blog, and Yellow Pages listings. Be sure to link to your website from all of these channels.
SEO is an ongoing process, so it’s essential that you monitor your keywords, stay on top of Internet trends, and adapt your strategy accordingly.