Blogs, Tweets, and other types of social media may be the hottest tools for reaching customers today, but the Website remains the centerpiece of every small business’s online marketing strategy.
Not only do many of today’s customers expect businesses to have Websites, they have certain expectations about what those sites provide. The sites have to be well-designed, informative, easy to navigate and highly functional.
The Website should also convey a sense of trust and reliability about the business, providing visitors with a positive impression that you’re someone they want to do business with. Otherwise, they’ll simply surf over to someplace else.
One of the most common errors small businesses make with their Websites is neglecting them. Outdated or incomplete information may leave some visitors wondering if you’re still in business. If your products, services, prices, location, hours, contact information and marketing messages change, make the updates immediately.
Regularly review the site from a customer’s perspective to see if content needs “freshening up”, if there are new issues you should be addressing, or if there are new links that may be of interest to visitors.
If your Website has a business-related blog, make sure you make regular updates. Even brief posts and links to timely articles or news items will ensure visitors always see something new.
Also be sure your contact information in a prominent location. Many potential customers visit Websites merely for basic contact details. This is also an easy way to make your Website more accessible to users of mobile devices, which are increasingly used for searches.
Don’t simply assume that your Website is performing as you hope. Simple and inexpensive Web analytic tools will identify where visitors are coming from (e.g., search engines, links on other sites) what pages they visit, and where they go next.
Google Analytics is one of the most widely-used tools, but other options to consider include Yahoo.com’s web analytics, Piwik.org, WebTrends.com, and SiteCatalyst.com.
To learn more about online marketing for small business, contact Raleigh SCORE. We provide free, confidential business mentoring and training workshops for small business owners. To schedule a free appointment with our experienced counselors, go to http://raleigh.score.org, or call us at 919-856-4739.