Right now the world has gone digital. If you’re a small business owner, chances are you are trying to figure out the best way to market your business online. Your biggest digital marketing asset that works even when you are not is your website. Having a website that isn’t optimized for search and isn’t user friendly is as useful as a car with no engine. That’s why I want to give you 3 ways you can improve your website today. These 3 things will get your target audience on your site. Visitors need to stay on your website long enough to learn all about what your company has to offer.
1. Make Sure You Have All 12 of These Pages on Your Website
If you are a small business owner, then your website needs to have all 12 of these pages. Most of them you should already have, but I’m sure there are a few you’ve missed.
- Press/Latest News
- Terms & Conditions
- Page Not Found
Your home page is the main page of your website. It should have a main title and subtitle that tells visitors what your site is about. In addition to the title and subtitle, the home page should list your services, give a brief overview of your company, highlight your latest blog posts or news, and have a call to action. Your home page really sets the tone for your website visitor to determine if they’ve gotten to the right place for what they searched.
Use your about page to give more details about your company mission, vision, and what it is that you do. Your about page is where you let your potential customers know if you two are a good fit for one another. If you share the same values then they will want to work with you. You should also include a blurb about yourself (if you’re a solopreneur) or the staff. Be sure to let your personality shine through. For solo business owners, be sure to share some fun facts about yourself. The point is really to create a personal connection with your potential clients. When they see you as human, they feel more comfortable.
Your contact page is obviously mandatory. This page is used to give people all the ways to contact you. There should be both instant options like an email or phone number listed for customer service issues. It should also include indirect options like a contact form. Don’t want to share your personal number? I don’t either, that’s why I offer for people to schedule a phone consultation with me. Contact forms are great for pre-screening. Besides your contact form, if you have a brick and mortar location, add your address and a map. Quick tip: when adding a phone number to your website, make sure it’s clickable by using the hyperlink HTML with no dashes between the numbers.
Service or Product Page
Your service or product page is where you highlight what you’re actually selling. This should be a page dedicated to talking all about the services or products you offer with descriptions. In the description, be sure to tell them what you offer, how it will benefit them, and how much it costs/how to get access to it. I like to have the main product and service page with a list of all the products/services. In addition, I link to the individual product or service page for each one that I offer.
A frequently asked questions (FAQs) page is where people will go to answer all the questions they have about your product or service. This page will be a lifesaver and will answer many of the questions your visitors will have that may make or break their buying decision. This page really acts as your customer support team, so make it thorough. I like to use this page to include important deadlines, inclusions and exclusions, fine print, timelines, and things people typically ask me.
Your testimonials page is crucial to your business. This page houses all the social proof your business needs to promote your products or services. Social proof is online validation that consumers get about your product or service from other consumers. They come in the form or product reviews (think star reviews on Yelp or Trip Advisor) or client testimonials for service-based businesses (think case studies and client transformations). Nowadays, people rely on social proof to make their buying decisions. In fact, according to Optin Monster, 92% of consumers are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations than any other type of advertising. Be sure to grab all the testimonials from sites like Facebook, Google, Yelp, Amazon, etc. and add them to a slider on your site. Better yet, use a plugin that can do it for you. If you use WordPress. I like the WP Review Slider Pro.
There are so many buzzwords like search engine optimization (SEO) being thrown around, but if you don’t come from a marketing background it’s all quite confusing. Let me make it easier for you. Search engines like Google have something that crawls (reads through code) on your website and looks for specific information that indicates what each page is about. The more information you give to Google, the better it understands. Remember, you are on a college reading level and Google’s crawlers are on an elementary reading level. It values simplicity, short sentences, and multiple words that all mean the same thing (i.e. keywords).
One of the best ways to tell Google what you’re website is all about is through content. Blog pages are the places to pack in valuable content for your target audience and an even better place to add all the keywords about your subject matter. Plus, having this content is free marketing, so you can provide content that your target audience cares about, and will, therefore, visit your website to consume. According to Hubspot, businesses that blog see monthly leads rise by 126% more than those that don’t. Who could use a 126% increase in leads? I sure can!
Press or Latest News Page
Been featured on a blog, podcast or publication? You should be sharing that news with the world. Along with sharing these things, you should also be sharing company news and product launches. Creating a press release allows other media aggregators to possibly pick up the story and share it. Plus, nothing makes you look like a thought leader more than being featured in a publication! It’s something to be proud of, so create a press page to share it on.
Your terms and agreements page is another legal page, although not required, if you’re ever sued, it’s the page that includes all of your liabilities. You don’t want to be held responsible for someone mistaking your website copy for law, medical advice, or financial advice, for example. The fact is, your content is your opinion and you don’t want to be held liable for someone using that advice the wrong way. If you offer a service, it outlines your responsibilities to the consumer. It will also tell them what your copyright information is in the event that someone tries to steal your copy. Use a free generator to come up with your terms and conditions.
Your sitemap page is yet another page that a website designer cares about, and you actually need it. Your sitemap helps those fun little search engine website crawlers navigate your website. It tells them all the pages your website has so it finds them all. This is not something you need to be concerned with once it’s generated. By using a plugin like the one I use called XML Sitemap and Google News to automatically create your sitemap and add new pages to it.
2. Add A Call to Action on Every Page
You’d be surprised at how much direction website visitors need. One of the main things you need to tell them is what to do next. That’s where your call to action (CTA) comes into play. On every single page of your website, you need to tell the website visitor what to do next. Examples of calls to action are below.
- Download– Perfect for your freebie downloads like a checklist, swipe file, or worksheet.
- Register– If you have a webinar or other event coming up, use this call to action to promote registration.
- Book– This call to action is for businesses that allow appointments whether it’s a beauty appointment or consultation appointment.
- Join– If you have a VIP list or group, this call to action is the perfect way to encourage new members to join.
- Learn More– When you’ve introduced an overview of a point, invite your website visitors to get more information.
- Sign Up– One of the most common calls to action is the signup button that usually allows people to get added to a list like your newsletter.
3. Add a Testimonials or Reviews Page
I’ve already pointed out that every small business needs a testimonial or review page on their website. One of the biggest reasons to have one is because they give credibility to your business. Many small businesses are unknown in the market, so having that social proof gives people the confidence to buy. Yes, social proof is another one of those buzzwords, but it’s an important one. Social proof is an SEO darling that tells Google and other search engines that people value your product or service. There are so many websites that allow your business to collect reviews:
- Trip Advisor
- Angie’s List
There are so many more, which means there are a lot of opportunities for people to review your business. If you don’t use any of these sites, you can always add a review plugin to your website or create a Google form. Want to know how to collect reviews? Entrepreneur posts some great tips here.
Not Sure What You Need To Update on Your Website?
I get it, you’re not a professional website designer so these tips may just be the tip of the iceberg of what you need to update. Let me give you a free website audit to assess your site for things that matter like branding and search optimization.