So you own a small business? Or, maybe you manage a more medium sized one instead? Either way there's once crucial thing your business absolutely needs: a website. This isn't just my opinion. It's fact.
A website is the most important marketing tool out there for any business size. Why? Because it gives you what I call greater VAC - Visibility, Accessibility, and Credibility. Don’t just take my word for it though. 86.6% of your fellow SMB business owners say their websites are their most important digital marketing tool.
Now, we’ve already covered how important websites are for businesses. We’ve even talked about what free services are out there to build your website.
But once you’ve got your site all setup, what do you do with it? How do you really make the most of it to help your business grow? Well, let’s take a look at some quick fixes to make sure your website is functioning at its best.
1. Link Your Website Everywhere You Can
You’ve just created your website and it’s looking great! Congrats! But who knows it’s up besides me, you, and your mother? In order to make the most out of your business’ website you need to get the word out there. You just spent the time to make a new website, so be proud of it and tell everyone.
What you want to do is link your website everywhere possible. Some places that can help give your new site some exposure:
1. Emails: For any emails you send out to customers include the link to your website in your signature. Think about sending out a few emails specifically acquainting customers with your new website.
2. Facebook: If you have a Facebook page, definitely include a link to your website in your “about” description. Also, when you first create your website, think about making a few posts surrounding an introduction of your website.
3. Twitter: Similarly to Facebook, include a link to your website in your Twitter profile and make a few tweets announcing the launch of your site inviting consumers to check it out.
4. Online Directories: If your business is listed on online directories like Google and Yelp, be sure to include a link to your website in your profile.
All of these channels act as great avenues for you to give your website the exposure it needs and drive more customers over to it.
*If you don’t happen to have social pages like Facebook and/or Twitter setting accounts up for your business just takes a second.
2. Use Lots of Visuals
A picture is worth 1,000 words. Sometimes it’s more effective to show customers how your business is the solution for them rather than tell them. For many online searchers, your website will act as your business’ first impression. So, make sure it has some relevant, eye-catching, high quality visuals.
Consider using pictures of your employees in action. Showcase your employees masterfully working their craft. You can take this route for visuals, or you could have pictures of your service's end results - happy customers. Whatever you choose, a good rule of thumb: your images should communicate the exact value your services provide and the outcome customers can expect.
A website with lots of blank space or too much text can cause visitors to leave your site, so let those cameras flash and get some photos up on your website.
3. Simple and Clear Navigation
This is elementary, but key. An effective navigation bar can truly make or break your website. If customers can’t figure out how to get to where they want to go they’re just going to leave your site.
Simplicity is the key. Have a main navigation bar at the top of your website that clearly indicates and provides links to important sections. Particular tabs you want to be easily accessible would probably be:
1. About: This should just be a brief section identifying what exactly your business does, what sets you apart, and what your business’ personality is.
2. Services/Products: You want customers to easily be able to access and browse through all the services and/or products that you offer.
3. Contact: Customers shouldn’t have to scour your website in order to contact your business. If they can’t locate your contact information easily, there's a good chance they'll move on to a competitor with a more efficiently organized website.
4. Online Booking: If you have online booking you definitely want to highlight it. One of the biggest advantages of having an online booking system is that it’s super convenient for customers, allowing them to book with the click of a button. So, if you’ve got it, flaunt it, and make sure it is readily visible for all visiting customers.
5. Specials: People are always looking for a good deal. So, if you like to use specials to get customers in the door, make sure your deals are easily accessible. Consider creating a "Deals" or "Specials Offers" tab on your navigation bar that allows customers to browse through any and all existing specials you’re currently promoting.
4. Online Booking
I always like saving the best for last, and one of the best ways to really get the most out of your business’ website is by integrating an online booking system. By integrating online booking your website becomes a lean, mean, revenue generating machine which also helps...
1. Time Saving: Online booking eliminates the necessity to field and manually record all your business’ appointments. The more your customers book online through your website, the more time you and your employees will have to focus on all your in-person visitors.
2. 24/7 Availability: Your clients don’t operate on a 9 - 5 schedule, and neither should your business. Online booking integrations with your website allows your customers to book appointments at 3 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning - whatever works best for them.
3. Automated Reminders: Last minute cancellations, rescheduled appointments and no-shows are the bane of every service business’ existence. Integrating an online booking system to your website allows you the option to set automated appointment reminders which you can preset to warn customers about upcoming appointments reducing the numbers of no-call, no-shows.
If you remember to follow these 4 simple steps when creating your website, the increase in your business' Visibility, Accessibility, and Credibility will certainly lead you on your way to experiencing some major growth and success.
So, how does your business make the most out of its website? What's your secret? Make sure to leave us a comment below!
About the Author
John Rigo is a content marketer with Booker. His areas of expertise are writing and market research. John brings a unique perspective to the blogosphere with his extensive background in publishing. He also has a love for small and local businesses – how they work, how they grow, and why they succeed.More Content by John Rigo