Don’t Tackle the 21st Century With a 20th Century Website

Taken a look at your website recently? If not you’d better, because you may not like everything you see. And if you’re not happy with it, it’s quite likely your potential customers certainly won’t be either.

Don't Tackle The 21st CenturyWhile a website remains the anchor of most small business marketing strategies, the way visitors access and interact with them has changed.

More than just electronic billboards and menus for your product or service, websites are now considered repositories of information that visitors use to learn more about what you do, specifics of your products or services, or examples of how you’ve helped people like them.

If you’re blogging and want to direct readers to a specific section of your website, you want that information to be complete, timely, and relevant. You also want to make it easy for visitors to find related information (e.g., similar products or other client case studies), and move around to other areas of the site.

Don’t leave them on an island in cyberspace.

Search engine optimization (SEO) has also never been more important in raising a website’s profile, which is why your content should be filled with the keywords that prospective customers are likely to use. In addition, your website information should also be updated regularly.

Fresh content is more likely to be spotted by a search engine than something that hasn’t changed in decades. Sites such as Search Engine Watch (searchenginewatch.com) are great resources for keeping up with the ever-expanding range of search engine technology.

Finally, don’t forget mobile devices. Because more web searches are being performed with smartphones and similar “on the go” tools, it may be worthwhile to develop a dedicated mobile site, or at least make your current website more readable on those small screens.

Entrepreneur.com technology editor Jason Fell recommends displaying your company’s important information (name, address, contact information, etc.) at the top of the page in plain text, and configuring other pages for convenience so that visitors don’t have to jump from one to the other.

Flash-based videos should also be avoided on mobile sites, as their large size can take longer to download—something that may tax a visitor’s patience.

To learn more about technology issues that affect your small business, contact Raleigh SCORE. We provide free, confidential business mentoring and training workshops to 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.

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