3 Ideas to Improve Your Small Business Website
Looking for some different ideas to boost the value of your small business website? Silly question, right? If that weren’t the case you wouldn’t even be here!
When it comes to the online real estate owned by a small business (specifically its website, not its social presence) you can kind of narrow down what it means to “improve” it into 3 main categories. Well, at least in my world that’s true!
And those three categories are:
- How much traffic the website gets
- How much money the website generates
- The quality of the website in terms of its visual structure and ease of use
Now of course, contained within each of those 3 simple areas lies a world of complexity, subsets and massive arrays of ideas. So, with the interest of keeping this article relatively brief I am only going to offer one suggestion from each category and try to keep that suggestion more or less digestible. If you chose to actually use and put into practice all or any of these ideas I will offer pointers to get you going in the proper direction.
In other words, you can think of this as a launching pad of sorts.
Category 1: Web Traffic
Tip: Is Your Site Mobile Friendly?
If it isn’t already, make 200% sure that your website is mobile friendly (responsive, mobile optimized – whichever term you prefer).
If you already have this handled, then awesome for you! In reality this should have been handled for every site on the web AT LEAST 4 years ago (at the time of this writing). A website that isn’t optimized for mobile devices really shouldn’t even exist in 2019 – but the number of them still out there is staggering. Make absolutely sure yours isn’t one of them.
Now, if you don’t understand what mobile friendly really means and you just assume that if people can visit your website on a mobile device that this means all is well – then now isn’t the time for you to feel silly – but now IS the time to learn the difference and to address this issue if indeed your website is suffering in this way. There are lots of ways you can test your website for this but if you are a complete newbie you might consider Google’s super fast option at this address.
Why This Is Important
Actually, there are many reasons. But I will just give you the most important one and that is MOBILEGEDDON. What the hell is Mobilegeddon you ask? Well, if you follow this link you can read up on it fully (or simply do some extra research on your own) but the idea, in a nutshell, is that a little over 4 years ago (again, at the time of this writing) Google did something about the fact that they were getting fed up with the fact that so many websites were still not mobile optimized. Their solution, called Mobilegeddon, basically drastically decreased a website’s ability to rank in the Google search engine – which is significant because…well…do you know anyone that actually uses BING?
Category 2: Money Generated
Tip: Offer Gift Certificates
A ridiculously simple way to increase the amount of money your website generates for you – and this can apply to ALMOST any product or service – is the ability for people to purchase gift certificates from your website.
No, that doesn’t mean…
“Give us a call during business hours and if you’re lucky enough to reach us we will take your credit card information and you’ll hopefully receive a gift card in a few weeks.”
It also doesn’t mean to slap up a PayPal button – or any other number of ridiculous options you see everywhere!
What I AM talking about is a simple, convenient option for your customers to choose to purchase a Gift Card directly on your website and have the person they are gifting it to receive it INSTANTLY in their email account or as a text message. This way any and all questions are eliminated from their mind as to whether their card will be delivered in time (or at all). They also know that if they’re on the verge of being late in purchasing a gift for a particular birthday or anniversary – or whatever the case may be – that they are 100% covered.
Maybe you scoff at this idea, but I have added this functionality to several of my clients sites and, if I told you the stories of the amount of money they have generated using this simple strategy you would swear that I am lying. It makes me wish I could offer gift cards myself…
There are several ways to offer gift cards instantly. For example, if your website is created with WordPress you could explore many different plugin options that could handle this for you (or have your developer look into it for you). Another option that just about anyone can set up and that I highly recommend is a service called The Gift Card Cafè. The great thing about this option is that it requires very little technical ability to set up. As long as you have access to the backend of your website and can follow simple directions you can be up and running and making extra money in 15 minutes. The other nice thing about this option is that if you are motivated (even in the least bit) about promoting this new feature of your website in any number of different ways…the sky is the limit as to what you can do and the amount of extra cash you could pull in.
Category 3: Visual Appeal
Tip: Do your due diligence, then do it right!
Never underestimate the importance of a nice looking website. A huge portion of our population are visually dominant and, if your website doesn’t appeal to them on a conscious or subconscious level, you can pretty much kiss them goodbye.
Granted, it would be absolutely impossible to please everyone. Nor would/should you want to. But you should, at the very least, have an idea of WHO your audience is (or who you’d like them to be) and then base the structure and design of your website with those folks in mind. Do a touch of due diligence and research design trends specific to your industry. This isn’t peer reviewed science or anything so you don’t have to spend days on end doing this; just enough to feel confident when it’s time to forge ahead.
A good idea might be to find examples of 3 or 4 websites in your industry that really appeal to you. Then, reach out to some folks you know that are also interested in the same subject matter and ask them to take a look at these same websites. Get as many good ideas as you can before you pull the trigger.
Avoid AT ALL COST the slick advertisements you’ll see by companies like WIX or GoDaddy touting the greatness of their Do-It-Yourself website builders. That is, unless you don’t take your business seriously – in which case, go ahead. To explain WHY I tell people to avoid these garbage website builders is beyond the scope of this article (you could read this one though!) – suffice it to say that while you may achieve a nice LOOK for your website (and as the section of my article makes clear, LOOKS ARE IMPORTANT…just not at the expense of everything else.
I HIGHLY recommend hiring a professional to build a website for your small business rather than hack something together. After all, just because you could figure out how to put up a shelter that might keep the rain out, that really doesn’t make you an architect and you probably aren’t going to want to live in your shelter in January.
I have done my best to give some rudimentary pointers for the owners of small business websites or those just getting started. Maybe you’re already ahead of the game and have all 3 taken care of? If so, great! If you know someone that could benefit from this information, please feel free to pass it along using the social share buttons below – or any way that you see fit!
If you’d like assistance with any (or all) of these items feel free to check out my business website Thirsty Fish Graphic Design. I love helping small businesses out! Thanks for taking the time to read.
Marc is a Dad, a Web Designer, a Creator of Branding and an occasional blogger . (and probably in that order!) with some affiliate marketing thrown in for good measure.
He owns Thirsty Fish Graphic Design, A one-man web design biz., based in Corning, NY which is in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate NY.
He enjoys physical fitness and healthy eating to an annoying degree, playing guitar, playing piano, sketching and most of all hanging with his daughter doing just about anything!