It’s interesting to look at how the perception of business websites has changed in recent years. In the early days of the internet, websites were a novelty and only considered essential for web-based businesses. Gradually, more and more businesses learned the value of creating websites. Lately, however, the rise of Facebook and other social media sites has made some business owners think that all they need is social media. This, however, is an incorrect and potentially costly error. Websites are just as critical to the success of a small business as ever before.
Why Websites are Crucial
No matter what other marketing tools you use, nothing can replace your business website. For one thing, this is your own personal online property. When you post to a social media site, YouTube, or any other third-party site, you don’t control the process. You’re posting to someone else’s domain and they set the rules. When you own a site and domain, you can take measures to improve SEO and generate more unpaid or organic traffic. You also have complete control over the look and layout of your own site. Above all, your business name and logo appear at the top of the page. These are all essential aspects of building your brand.
How to Get the Most From Your Website
Now that we’ve established that small businesses need websites, let’s look at some guidelines to help make you get more traffic and engagement.
- Make sure your site is easy to load and navigate. If your pages don’t load quickly, you’ll lose traffic. Menus should be relevant and clearly visible.
- Your site must be mobile-friendly. More and more people are using smartphones and tablets to access the internet. Your site has to be responsive, meaning that your content is visible and easy to navigate from any device.
- Create relevant content and update your site frequently. Use strategic keywords that your customers are searching for. Stay current on the latest topics in your industry and post fresh content regularly.
- Link to your site. To increase targeted traffic, make sure you link to your site from as many places as possible. Include links in your social media posts, emails, business cards and any ads you place both online and offline.
- Provide contact information and solid customer support. Make sure your email, phone number and, if relevant, your physical location are prominently displayed. Offering multiple customer support options, such as email, phone and even chat bots helps visitors get the information they need from your site.
Websites are, and will continue to be, a crucial small business tool. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use other marketing tools such as social media and email. Indeed, these can actually help you send targeted traffic to your site. You also have to consider other elements essential to maintaining and growing your business, such as improving cash flow.
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