How to Plan and Create an Effective Small Business Website

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Effective Small Business Website
Effective Small Business Website

Your small business website should be the centre of your digital world and is perhaps the most important element of your whole digital marketing strategy. However, to become truly valuable, the website should convert these website visitors to leads or enquiries. Traffic without conversion is just a waste of resources and effort.

To ensure your website converts it needs to have a smooth, intuitive customer journey that solves what the user is looking for as quickly as possible. 

The following key steps will help you in developing an effective website:

Planning

You should consider what your users will be searching for and what they will expect to find to address their needs when they arrive on your website. A key element of this is optimising your landing pages with the keywords that your users are typing into the search engines making them relevant to the users search. 

For example, if you offer accounting services, and the user is searching for ‘Business activity statement’ make sure when they arrive on your website that they immediately arrive at the very page where you talk about your business tax services. You should try to limit the amount of visitors that land on your homepage, unless they are arriving directly to your website, that is by typing in the URL.

TIP: I know this should be fairly obvious, however if you are planning on hiring a web designer have a look at their own website and criticise it for look, feel, functionality and customer journey. Examine their existing portfolio on the same lines and check their customers websites are ranking well and easy to find and ask for recommendations.

Memorable domain name

Try to include a relevant keyword in your domain name. Whilst limited these days for search engine optimisation (SEO) purposes it does make it more obvious to the user what your website is about. If it’s a domain name that’s catchy and memorable then that always helps.

If you want a global audience, try to obtain the .com domain name, however if you are targeting your local market, a local domain such as .com.au is a very good idea. I would suggest that you register both the .com.au and .com, for example, bamcreative.com.au and bamcreative.com. There is nothing to stop you buying multiple domains and then having them all redirect to your main website.

Content

Always ensure that your text and image content is created with both conversion and customer needs in mind. If you do this, then the chances are that your website will attract relevant customers, hold their appeal and then convert them. 

Think about the keywords that your users are using to find the solution to their problem and use the same keywords within your general content however do not compromise on the quality of the content as a result. For example, if you are an IT company selling managed services, perhaps you would have a page called Managed IT services Perth and that page would talk about that service, and only that service.

Really, you shouldn’t develop your content to satisfy the search engines over the needs of your user, plus the search engines these days reward well-constructed content and can penalise your website for trying to cheat the system, so please don’t try sneaky keyword stuffing tricks.

Testing

Before you launch your website, and announce it to the world, you must ensure that everything is working as expected. Get a customer or someone you know to independently test your customer journey and overall experience.

Your website will never be perfect, however you should do your utmost to eradicate any annoying bugs that could annoy your users, and cause them to leave your website.

Launch

When you launch your small business website for the first time it can take weeks or months for the search engines to crawl your website and for it to start to rank for certain keywords. Make sure your website is linked to your chosen social media channels and that you also have a subscribe form, so that you can begin to develop a mailing list. 

If you want to give your website a head start with traffic, consider using a PPC platform like Google Ads to promote your new website to everyone.

Evaluation

Make sure you install an analytics tool such as the very popular Google Analytics, which is free and very well known. Set up some goals for your website, measure how well your traffic is converting, where they are coming from and where the issues are. For example, where do people arrive and then where do they leave your website. 

The work should never stop though; you should continue to refine and test your website into the future. Good luck!

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