Let’s just take a look back at how we got to where we are today.
Do you remember a few years ago, when it seemed that everyone was telling you about the benefits of having a website for your small business? In fact, that advice still holds true today.
According to Espresso Digital, a WordPress site design studio headquartered in Seattle, Washington, there are a number of important stats to bear in mind, such as the fact that only 48% of small businesses actually have a website, 97% of these are ineffective, and 23% of small business sites are updated less than once per year. For the full list, take a look at this link: https://espresso.digital/small-business-website-statistics/
So, some companies really haven’t progressed at all, and still don’t have a site (where would they be if they did?). However, much has changed, and there certainly has been an evolution. Many small companies do now have a business website up and running, and many more find significant numbers of new business opportunities through their online activities.
But then again, there are many who don’t. Not because they don’t have a site. Because they have a site that is not working effectively.
Does the following story sound familiar?
“Sure, we have a website. It cost USD $XXX, and we’ve had it for a year or so now. I’m not really sure if it helps or not, but it’s nice to be able to have one and refer clients to it.”
This is the kind of story that it repeating itself all over the US, and in fact all over the world. Many small company owners see their website as a “nice-to-have”, but they really have no idea as to its effectiveness. For lots of executives and entrepreneurs, their website has become a kind of storefront, another place where potential clients can find them….but, without an effective strategy, they often don’t, or, even if they do, they don’t follow-up with an action such as contacting the company.
So what exactly is an effective strategy?
Allow me to suggest a strategy that works. One that is designed to bring in new clients on a continuous basis. This is by no means a comprehensive, detailed guide, but it should give you a good idea of where to get started:
1. Set up your website, preferably in WordPress
Why WordPress? Well, because it has become the Content Management System (or platform) of choice for many small businesses. It’s easy to learn, there are many plugins available that offer additional features, and thousands of developers available should you need a little extra help.
The site should have pages that refer to your business lines and the products and services you offer, together with your contact details.
2. Optimize for Search Engines
SEO is key for any successful site. Techniques such as writing for keywords, optimizing title tags and increasing page speed should be taken into consideration. This is another area where a developer can help.
3. Add a Blog Section
I don’t think it matters that much whether you blog section is fully displayed on your home page, or whether you go for a more discreet blog link, but either way this section is important as it is where your frequent content updates go. You don’t need to be a “blogger”, but you should write, or hire a company to write, information that is going to be useful for your customers.
These ongoing updates are going to improve your Google ranking and make it clear to your potential customers that you are up-to-date and waiting to hear from them!
4. Make it easy for clients to contact you
Have you ever visited a website where it is difficult to find any way to contact the company? Whatever your preferred communication channel – phone, email, or other, make sure it is easy for potential customers to get in touch.
5. Add Calls to Action
It’s not just about getting visitors to your site, it’s about what they do when they get there. If you want them to check out a video or sign up for a demo, make sure there are “Call to Action” buttons clearly labeled with the action you want them to take. It works!
6. Integrate with Social Media
It’s clear that social media is an important part of an overall online strategy, so make sure there are links from your site to any social media platforms you use. Social signals are also used in Google rankings so it would be advisable to take social seriously!
7. Create a Plan to Increase Traffic
Just as a great store is not going to sell much if it’s in the middle of nowhere, a great site is not going to sell if it does not attract traffic. Therefore, attracting (targeted) traffic is an important part of this process. Some strategies included paid advertising (PPC, such as Google AdWords), social media sharing (linking back to your site) and optimizing content for SEO, among plenty of others.
8. Update Content Regularly
Of course there are some parts of the above strategy that only need to be performed once, but updating your site and in particular your content, on a frequent basis, is what is going to attract visitors and ultimately customers in the long term.
Many small business owners have a good understanding of the process. They might not be experts in all of the specifics (they are experts in their business!) but many successful entrepreneurs have come to understand the value of ongoing content creation.
So, What’s the Issue?
TIME! Many small business owners and executives have so much on their plate – from accounting to sales to operations, and a whole host of other activities, that it is often difficult for them to find the time to focus on content creation.
What is the Solution?
One possible solution is to work with a content creator. Here at BigBoxContent.com, we produce content for companies of all different sizes, allowing them to focus on their core business, and helping them to increase sales. Interested? Get started here.