7 Ways To Optimize Your Small Business Website

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7 Ways To Optimize Your Small Business Website

By |2018-09-05T15:50:01+00:00March 17th, 2017|

Small Business Websites: 7 Ways To Optimize Your Small Business Website

Small Business websites are essential for online marketing and sales of your products and services. They must be optimized with some key features to convert website visitors to customers and increase leads and sales.

American consumers now mainly use their smartphones to make online search queries and browse the web for information. Having a mobile friendly website is no longer an option, it’s a requirement to doing business. If your website is not mobile friendly, you will lose a large number of potential customers.

Every small business website must have the standard website features such as a logo, easy navigation, Home page, About Us page, Products or Services Pages. In addition we recommend that every website is optimized with the features listed below.

Here are 7 essential ways to optimize your small business website for todays competitive market.

1. Mobile Friendly Website with Responsive Design

Mobile devices continue to be the primary means by which consumers make online search queries and access websites. A Pew Research Center survey conducted in January 2017 found that 77% of Americans use smartphones, and 95% of Americans own a cell phone. A mobile friendly website is essential for a small business for digital marketing to connect with customers and increase leads and sales.

Here are some interesting statistics from Google

In 2015, the number of search queries on mobile devices on Google in the USA exceeded those on desktops.
• 94% of people in the USA who own smartphones use their smartphones to search for local information.
• 77% of mobile searches will occur at home or at work where desktop computers are also available.
• 82% of smartphone users search online to find local businesses.
• 82% of people check their smartphones while they are in a store to make shopping decisions.
• In 2012, 50% of people said they will use a business less often if its website is not mobile-friendly.

These statistics indicate how important it is that your small business website is mobile friendly. When a customer lands on your website, your website should perform well on a smartphone. All the information should be easy to read and the website should be simple to navigate.

If your website is not mobile friendly, the customer will have to pinch and zoom to read any information, scroll sideways to read pages which are wider than the mobile screen, and will have difficulty filling out any forms to contact you. After a few attempts they will end up leaving your website in complete frustration never to return.

In addition to being mobile friendly, your website must also be designed with Responsive Web Design (RWD).

Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a method used to develop mobile friendly websites. A website that is Responsive will scale in size to fit the size of the mobile phone, laptop or desktop that the customer is using to browse your website. Responsive web design ensures that all the information is available and is easy to use on all devices.

Google recommends using Responsive Web Design over other web design types.

The advantage of responsive web design or RWD is that you only have one website on a single URL to update and maintain. You will not need to have a separate mobile website and a desktop website with all the maintenance headaches of keeping 2 websites updated.

A single responsive website is designed to scale in size and perform well on all types of devices from smartphones to tablets to laptops to desktops. It is truly a “One Size Fits All” approach to web design.

A small business website that is responsive provides an optimum user experience and ensures that your website performs well in today’s multi device environment. It keeps your website visitors happy and they are likely to visit again.

To read more about why Mobile friendly websites are essential for online marketing, check out our article here:

2. SEO or Search Engine optimization

Even the best website will not help your business if no one can find it when they search online for your products or services. This is why, it is essential that a small business website is optimized for Search Engine Optimization or SEO.

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a marketing method of optimizing websites and web pages to improve their rankings in search engines. SEO helps increase the quality and quantity of organic (free or non-paid) traffic that your website receives.

SEO helps to improve your website’s rankings in competitive search engine listings on Google and other search engines. It is estimated that Google alone gets more than 70% of search traffic and it is the leading search engine today.

Your website needs to compete with millions of other listings and rank well on the Google search results in order to be found when your customers search for your products and services. If your website is listed on page 1 of Google search results pages, you will get the most referral traffic.

Search engines are the most important source of new visitors to websites. It is estimated that 85% of customers begin their search for products and services on the Internet.

With Search Engine Optimization, targeted traffic is directed to your website based on search keywords which are relevant to your business.

If you are a dentist in Dallas, you want customers looking for dental services in your area to be routed to your website. It won’t help if a customer looking for an architect in Chicago is sent to your website.

In April 2015, Google changed their search algorithm to give mobile-friendly sites a higher search ranking. This means that on Google search queries, responsive or mobile-friendly websites will get a higher search ranking compared to non-responsive websites.

Google is also testing a new Mobile-first search index. With the new Mobile-first search index, Google’s search ranking algorithms will use the mobile version of a website as the primary method to rank web pages. This is another important reason why your website must be mobile friendly and responsive to rank well on Google search rankings.

Your small business website must be optimized for local search as well. You should list your business in “Google My Business” with all relevant information including your business address, phone number, services and other details. A majority of consumers are using search engines to look for local businesses near them.

Here are some statistics from Google studies on local search:
4 in 5 consumers use search engines to look for local information
• 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphones visited a store within a day, and 34% of consumers who used their laptops or desktops to search did the same.
• 18% of local searches on smartphones lead to a purchase in 1 day vs. 7% of non-local searches

As Mobile-First becomes the new standard followed by Google and others, it is important to have a mobile friendly website which is optimized for SEO to rank well on search engine listings.

Read more about Google’s new Mobile-First search index in our article here:

3. Blog for content marketing

A small business website must have a blog with informative articles, videos, images and infographics relevant to your business. Your blog is important for content marketing to bring visitors back to your website.

A blog brings visitors back to your website regularly to read articles. Once you regularly continue to provide engaging and informative articles to your visitors, they are more likely to come back and engage with your business. They will sign up for your newsletter, contact you for more information or make a purchase.

Content marketing with a blog is also very important for SEO. You can have articles with important keywords that will rank well in the search engines and bring visitors directly to your website.

A Blog also helps with Inbound marketing. This is a method of attracting target customers to your business at a minimal marketing cost compared to outbound marketing methods like radio and print ads.

Once your target customers are on your website, it gives you more opportunities to engage with your visitors and convert them to customers.

Your blog should also be easy for you to use and post articles several times a month on your own without the help of a web developer. For this reason, having a WordPress blog on your website will make it easy for you to post your own articles regularly.

4. Fast Website Speed

As mobile websites become the norm, website page speed and page size become increasingly important. Web pages that load fast are essential as a majority of consumers are browsing websites on their smartphones.

According to a Google report,
53% of mobile site visitors will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load
• As page load time increases from 1s to 3s, the bounce rate increases by 32%
• As page load time goes from 1s to 10s, the bounce rate increases to 123%

For your web pages to load fast, images have to be kept small and compressed. Large, slow-loading images may look great once loaded, but no one is going to wait around for them to load to be impressed.

Page Speed and page size have to be kept low for optimum mobile web experiences.
The values recommended by Google are:
• Average page speed should be 3 seconds or less.
• Web page size should be 500KB or less.

To test how your website performs for mobile friendliness and mobile page speed, check out the Mobile Website Testing Tool
from Google. They will even send you a detailed report to pass onto your web developer.
https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com

5. Contact forms with few fields

Your website needs to have simple contact forms for visitors to contact you. While it may be tempting to get a bunch of details from visitors including business names, addresses and phone numbers, studies have indicated that its best to keep requested information to a minimum.

Contact forms that request only names and email addresses have a higher conversion rate than longer forms. So it’s best to limit the number of fields on your contact forms and request the minimum information from your visitors.

6. Google analytics tracking

Your business website must have Google Analytics tracking turned on to track useful information about your website visitors and site traffic. This is an important way to track your traffic and make site improvements.

Google Analytics is a free tool from Google that enables you to collect a lot of useful information about your website. You will need to set up a Google analytics account and Google will provide you with some code to add to your website. Your web developer can easily integrate the code into your website.

Google analytics provides a wealth of useful information about your website traffic.
This includes
• information about the number of site visitors
• your website bounce rate
• which countries and cities your visitors are coming from
• which social media accounts or websites are sending you the most traffic
• pages your visitors are landing on
• pages they are exiting from
• how much time they are spending on your site
• how they travel through your site

This information is valuable for a business. Without it, you have no visibility into what is going on in your website. This insight can help you improve your website, focus on your key marketing channels and target your advertising more accurately.

7. Integration with social media

Social media marketing is very important for every small business to increase brand recognition and sales. Regularly posting interesting articles and blog posts on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ and others can increase your marketing reach and bring in customers.

According to the Pew Research Center study done in November 2016, Americans are using social media accounts as follows:
• 79% of Internet users use Facebook making it the most popular social media platform
• 32% of Internet users use Instagram
• 24% of Internet users use Twitter
• 29% of Internet users use LinkedIn
• 31% of Internet users use Pinterest

Your website must be integrated with your social media accounts so that people can follow you on social media. Social media buttons that are connected to your social media accounts can be displayed on your website footer. Social media share buttons should also be displayed on your blog posts so that readers can easily share your articles with their social media networks.

Conclusion

A small business website is the foundation of your online marketing and sales strategy. It has to be optimized so that it will perform at its full potential to bring in leads and sales.

To effectively reach and convert a maximum number of visitors, your small business website must be mobile friendly, load fast and be search engine optimized. Having a blog for content marketing and enabling people to easily share articles to their social media accounts is also essential.

We hope you found this article helpful for optimizing your small business website and increasing your customer conversion rate. Please check back soon for more articles and remember to follow us on social media.

References

1. Google, Understanding Consumers Local Search Behavior, https://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/how-advertisers-can-extend-their-relevance-with-search_research-studies.pdf
2. Google, Find out how you stack up to new industry benchmarks for mobile page speed, https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/mobile-page-speed-new-industry-benchmarks.html
3. Google, What users want most from mobile sites today, https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/research-studies/what-users-want-most-from-mobile-sites-today.html
4. Pew Research Center, Mobile Fact Sheet, January 2017, http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/
5. Pew Research Center, Demographics of social media users in 2016, November 2016, http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-2016/

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Gold Mango Design LLC. helps small and medium businesses establish a strong online marketing presence. Our digital marketing services include Responsive or Mobile Friendly Web Design, WordPress Web Design, SEO or Search Engine Optimization and Adwords PPC services. Contact us at https://goldmangodesign.com

 
 

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About the Author:

Tanuja Mahdavi, MBA, is a digital marketing consultant, web developer, and engineer. She is the owner of Gold Mango Design LLC, a web design and digital marketing company located in Plano, TX near Dallas. She has over 18 years of diverse experience in information technology, digital marketing and telecom engineering. Follow her on twitter @goldmangodesign.