8 Essential Elements For Small Business Websites

If you want your website to be a valuable tool for your business, it needs to keep up to date with the latest trends in 2019, not just set-and-forget about maintaining it. Taking a regular audit of how your website is performing is essential for business success. Here are 8 of the most important and practical elements that affect your website driving more revenue into your business:

Search Engine Optimisation

If your business is going to be around for the long term, SEO is an essential marketing strategy that is worth investing in. Although it can take a couple of months to start ranking in top positions, once you get to the top, you will see a dramatic increase in traffic and conversions with zero cost. Yes, it does cost in time or money to get established with SEO, however, it will pay itself off many, MANY times over once you are in the #1 position for high traffic keywords. Getting the SEO fundamentals right from the start is important to give you a head start and prepare for any potential future SEO efforts, so make sure you have an SEO optimised website by covering all the basics.

Hot Tips:

  • Make sure your Heading Tags are used correctly
  • For some free backlinks, create social media accounts for your business and list your business on Business Listings websites like Yellow Pages and True Local
  • Start a Blog and post articles that answers the most frequently asked questions by your customers. This is a great resource to help your customers while improving your website SEO and ranking for different keywords.

Performance

Your website performance is based on your website loading speed and the size of the website page. These are both critical in 2018 as the attention span of people of people, particularly on mobile devices, has shrunk considerably and people just won’t wait for a slow website to load. Google Says that “2 seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half second.” Now, not everyone has the server power of Google to load in less than half a second, but it’s not too difficult to get your website load speed down to under 2 seconds if best practices are followed and a few speed optimisation tweaks are worked in.

Also, with most website traffic coming from mobile devices in 2018, mobile data speed is a big factor in website load time. If your home page has a bunch of beautiful high-resolution images, they might take a while to download on a visitor’s phone using mobile data. With a few technical optimisations, you can still have the great looking photos but also load lightning quick on mobiles.

Hot Tips:

  • Use a good website hosting provider who has servers in close proximity to your visitors. EG Don’t host your website in the USA if your customers are all in Australia. Hosting on Australian servers will shave a few hundred milliseconds off your load time.
  • Optimise your images for resolution, quality and file type to make them as small in size as possible. The #1 reason for slow website load speeds is unnecessarily high-resolution images.
  • Use a Cache Plugin to automatically preload pages and combine website code so it can be delivered to your visitors even faster

Usability

The biggest usability hurdle websites face in 2018 is mobile responsiveness. Most websites are designed on desktop computers where making the site compatible on mobile devices is an afterthought. In reality, more than 60% of website visitors are on a Mobile Device, and the percentage is growing every month!

Optimising your website for Mobile Devices is the best thing you can do to increase your visitor retention, engagement and ultimately, your conversions.

Hot Tips:

  • Use a responsive website theme
  • Double Check the breakpoints for the website, sometimes text can get a bit buggy when squished before the responsive breakpoint.
  • Check all your website pages on a few different mobiles, different resolutions and different browsers will affect how it is displayed.

Security

Keeping your website secure is not only to protect your website but also to protect the privacy of your website visitors and customers. With the recent surges in data breaches, it is more important now more than ever to implement a security strategy. Thankfully, it isn’t too difficult.

Installing an SSL Certificate will encrypt the communication between your website and your visitor’s computers meaning hackers cannot intercept and steal or change the information being passed. Also, using a security plugin can help stop your website from being compromised by blocking brute force attempts and blocking suspicious IP addresses. Lastly, make sure you have a strong unique password on your website login accounts is also a critical defensive move.

Hot Tips:

  • Let’s Encrypt provides FREE SSL Certificates so there is no reason to NOT have one!
  • Wordfence and iThemes are both highly rated WordPress security plugins that share information on security threats with all other Websites using the same plugin in real time so you can be prepared for potential incoming threats
  • Look at using a Password Manager to remembers your long, complicated passwords for you, keeping ALL your online accounts secure and your mind clear, only having to remember 1 Master Password.

Trust

Building trust with your website visitors is one of the key steps in the buyer’s decision-making process. Showcasing your client testimonials, product reviews, secure payment options and money-back guarantees are all great steps to building trust with visitors. As well as the security benefits from using an SSL certificate, web browsers like Google Chrome will show a locked padlock icon when your website is secured by SSL which also helps build trust with visitors.

Hot Tips:

  • Add Customer/Client Testimonials to your homepage.
  • Install an SSL certificate to get your website padlock
  • Add a picture of the company owner/CEO to put a face on the company. People love to deal with other people, not faceless companies.

Message

Once someone does land on your website, you only have a few seconds to capture their attention and interest before they move onto something else. Make those seconds count! Too many websites have confusing messages trying to be clever and advertise their services without clearly conveying the “why”.

It is also important to give your visitors a clear path to follow with a strong call-to-action so that they know exactly what to do next, whether that is to read more, download an info-pack or pick up the phone, be strong and specific.

Hot Tips:

  • Have a strong and clear Unique Value Proposition
  • Make sure your Phone Number is visible in your website header for easy contact
  • Lead your visitors on a journey with a strong path from your home page through the pages you want them to read

Marketing

Having a great website is pointless if nobody visits it. Marketing your business by sending traffic to your website is easier today than ever before. Social media has provided plenty of free ways to generate traffic and attract the attention of potential customers. However, organic posting doesn’t reach as many people as it used to as all the major social media platforms encourage businesses to use their paid advertising platforms to get the attention of the right people for your business.

If you really want to get serious about driving visitors to your website, leveraging the low cost of Google Ads, Facebook ads and Instagram ads are super effective ways to drive people to your website.

Hot Tips:

  • If your customers need a solution fast, they will probably use Google to find a solution, so that’s where your ads need to be.
  • Look at what demographics are using what platforms to help narrow down where you should allocate your advertising budget.
  • Install the Facebook Pixel so you can send low-cost ads to people who have already visited your website to encourage them to return.

Analytics

Once you have your website all set up, it is important to keep an eye on how people actually interact with your website. You might have the best-looking website in the world, but if it isn’t converting visitors into leads or customers, looking at your website analytics is the best way to find out why and what is happening. Google Analytics is a free comprehensive tool that provides feedback on your visitors like their demographics, how they arrived on your website, what pages they visited and how long they stayed for.

Hot Tips:

  • Keep an eye on your Bounce Rate: the percentage of visitors that only visit one page on your website. You might need to add some incentives for people to explore other pages.
  • Check out how many page views each of your pages and blog posts get so you can prioritise where you put your content creation effort.
  • You can set up “Custom Conversions” to track stats around actions you want people to take, eg 2 out of every 100 visitors purchased $50 worth of product.

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