Once upon a time, you were the face of your small business. When it grew a bit, your staff also became representatives. But in the digital age, your website is the face of your business. And unlike you, it’s smiling and awake every hour of the day, every month of the year.
Building and growing a robust, compelling online presence is mandatory to strengthen your brand and take your business to the next level. But, not all websites are the same.
What works for your sector and industry may not for another, which is why it is essential that small business owners select the necessary elements to give potential clients and existing customers what they need.
There can be many permutations and combinations, but it’s important for every small business owner to know the ABC of a robust website.
A for Accurate
Inaccurate information, outdated facts, wrong numbers, and simple grammatical errors are a no-no. They create a terrible impression on clients and potential prospects, and must be avoided at all costs. Make sure you check every bit of information on your website before it goes live and keeps checking periodically, to make updates as and when needed.
C for Content
Customer may be King, but content competes neck to neck for the title. A vast repository of fresh, relevant content can ensure that your website is compelling and becomes known for its expertise. It’s simply not okay to set up a website and let it sit static.
Creating and uploading a constant stream of fresh content – it could be small blogs, long articles, videos, photos, virtual tours, and more – can help your website climb up the search engine ranks.
C for Call to action
Each page on your website should be a “call to action” – meaning it should encourage the visitor to do something, either call, sign up for a service, buy a product, read a blog, download a video, or more.
There should be a clear invitation to do just that – a button or a link will work well and should ideally be in the top section of the page.
D for Design
There is no need to go overboard with the design of the website – it must be simple, intuitive, easy to navigate, and aesthetically pleasing. Limit the use of fonts, colours and animated gifs as these can distract from the main focus of the website – your product.
The idea is to showcase your product or service best so do all that it takes to make information easily available. Beautiful photos, short paragraphs, and bullet points are ideal.
D for Data
Going online gives you so much data that it’s unbelievable. But this data can be the key to further sales, profit, and growth. Use analytics to see how many visitors visit your site, where they come from, what they do while there, and how long they stay.
You can also check the “bounce rate”—the percentage of users who come to your site and leave after having only viewed one page. Track these insights regularly and change your strategies accordingly to tap every opportunity.
D for Digital Payments
The coronavirus-led change in consumer behaviour showed all small businesses the importance of enabling digital, contactless payments. And made them realise that digital, contactless payments were here to stay, notwithstanding fact that India began opening up slowly and steadily.
Digital payments can help improve customer experience, reduce costs, help manage accounts effortlessly, cut down on errors, provide better insights into cash flow, and reduce the risk of fraud.
E for Easy
There is no point in having an extremely fancy website if it doesn’t work well for your market audience. Make sure that you keep things simple. Limit your top-level navigation menu to five or six tabs, and organise all related pages under them.
Make it really easy for everyone – even first-time users – to get back to the home page, so that there’s no confusion.
I for Information
Your website is the repository for all information related to your company, products, pricing, and contact details so it’s imperative that it’s always updated and relevant. Also, make sure that the information is easy to find and navigate through.
Place your contact information on top so that prospects don’t need to search in case they want to get in touch.
M for Marketing
Your website is more than your digital face. It is one of the most efficient and cost-efficient marketing tools that you can use to grow your business. Digital marketing can have a huge impact on potential clients and can influence their decisions.
The “shareability” of social media and the flexibility of the internet makes it easy to market your business in ways that are new and much more appealing to the younger generation.
M for Mobile
More and more consumers are now relying on their mobile devices to communicate, research products, and acquire information. This makes it vital to ensure that your website is optimised for mobile experiences.
Also, retailers must prioritise mobile as a key communication and engagement channel to ensure consumers get quick access to vital product information.
O for Optimisation
What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)? This set of practices needs to be applied to your website to ensure a search engine index, rank it appropriately, and show it to search engine users.
Once your website is “crawled” by search engines, it will compete with websites that offer similar content. An optimised website shows up higher on search engine result pages.
How can you do this? Via keyword research and implementation, optimal website code, high-quality backlinks, positive reviews, and social media.
S for Speed
Most website creation companies say people have negative associations with brands that have slow websites and apps. Most of them don’t have the patience to wait and tend to go to the next website that pops up if the first website takes too long to load.
Make sure your software is updated, optimise for videos and images, and use a website host that can handle your bandwidth demands.
S for Social Media
Social media channels are the easiest and best way to increase website traffic. Tap Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other channels, not just in metros and Tier I cities, but also in Tier II, III, IV, India and beyond.
Regularly sharing content will keep your profiles active, grow your following, and increase your client share organically.
T for Testimonials
A website is the best way to display social proof and grow your business as people tend to follow other people. The idea is that since so many other people behave in a certain way, it must be the right behaviour.
Use social proof to benefit your business by sharing how popular your product/service is, courtesy testimonials, reviews, ratings, and videos.
U for User Experience
Since your website is aimed at users, it is essential to make the experience positive for visitors. This means ensuring potential clients can easily navigate, find the information or products they are looking for, and engage easily, either by contacting you or making a purchase.
The experience is important as it affects conversion rates. Top-notch relevant content, a functional interface, and credibility are also important.
In an age when almost everyone searches online before deciding on a product or service, it’s imperative that your website ticks off all the boxes. Boost360 can help create and maintain a compelling online presence.