You run a small business so the likelihood is you are extremely busy doing all sorts of things, that said I have a question for you, when was the last time you took a good hard look at your website and what it is doing for your business?
If you are anything like many small business owners I speak to then your website is most likely one of those assets that slips under the radar of business priorities, it is often left to one individual in the office who is generally considered the ‘techy’ one with a belief the website will sustain itself.
Now you will notice in that previous paragraph I referred to your website as an ‘asset’, it really is and if your small business is neglecting it or not focusing enough time and energy on it you may be missing out on lots of conversions and enquires. In this post I am going to look at some of the best ways to evaluate and improve your conversion rate and how to incorporate your website into the DNA of your small business.
Conduct a test run
First thing first either yourself or a non-technical member of your team should go through the website and try to find a particular piece of information for example a contact name for a specific role/department or a useful piece of content that is not immediately available – the purpose of this is to test the usability of your website, you have to be sure there are no faults, pages are loading and everyone your users could want is readily available.
Next, make your website clear concise and easy to use, if your small business has 3 core sections to it, then have all 3 clearly visible from the homepage and on every page, you don’t want your users guessing. I recently read a really good article on creating specific landing page for products or services and it stated having specific landing pages can increase conversion rates significantly, I would have to agree.
Ensure the fundamentals are in place
Some quick wins when it comes to ensuring your website is doing as much for your small business as possible are as follows:
- Make your phone number really prominent
- Add Live-chat to your website (if possible)
- Have a mini-contact form on every page of your website in the sidebar or similar
In addition to those quick wins and if you are not receiving the Google traffic you would have hoped for simply reviewing or having your web developers provide a report on the following can shine a light on some otherwise missed opportunities:
- Your page titles and meta descriptions
- A/B test headlines and sub-headlines
- Use enticing calls to action on all ‘important’ pages such as product or service pages
- Ensure forms are easy to submit (no overly complex captcha codes)
Put a content strategy in place
Many small business owners fall foul of the philosophy of ‘any old content will do’ fortunately for us all those days are gone and now quality is key. Take your time and invest in content for your business website, users and Google alike will thank you for it. Put a business website forecast together, what will your website be talking about in 6 or 12 months, have a plan. It does not necessarily matter if you do not stick to it 100%, but at least it will give your team a focus and goals to aim for, rather than just writing another 500 word blog post that no one is going to share or show any interest in.
Being honest and open with your users is one of the best business practices there are, your website is a great vehicle for doing this, bring a sense of family and togetherness to your website, put faces to names and if appropriate a little humour and personalisation also.
Incorporate the trust factors into your site, adding a prominent phone number, a physical address and having live-chat are all very important when trying to re-assure users that your new business is reputable and the one they should use. Should your business have terms and conditions be sure they are simple to understand and to the point, no one likes masses of ‘small print’ so avoid where possible or better still offer a summary or outline so the user knows what a given section is about before having to read the entire entry.
Lastly know what your competition is up to, I read a really interesting article on average conversion rates a few months ago, depending on your sector this article will give you an idea of the sort of conversion rates you could possibly expect to see if you ensured all of the above was taken care of.
A website converting can be a very valuable asset for any small business, so the question remains can you neglect your website any longer? I would love to know your thoughts on this, let me know what content strategies your business is using/has used in the comments below.
About the Author: Aaron Hawkins, originally from a web development and SEO background I now write content for some of the most well-known online publications. I have a passion for small business and hope to set up my own small business one day from my base in Hertfordshire.