You need to review your current business website so you'll understand what you need to change to grow your company.
First, what is the Purpose of having a website?
Simply, you need a website in order to be competitive and market your business.
- Over 85% of customers will find your business by searching the web (even the Yellow Pages is online now).
- This is your opportunity to convey a great first impression
- Your competitors already have a website.
- You can't afford to be invisible.
The good old days
Ten to fifteen years ago the main focus of business advertising was the Yellow Pages.
Display ads in the Yellow Pages varied in cost depending on their size and the geographic location of your business. “Business card-sized” ads were just that: a replica of a business' calling card and could cost between $250 and $400 a month.
A quarter-page ad might cost about $1,250 per month while a full-page ad might cost between $2,500 and $5,000 per month.
That was $30k – 60k a year, each and every year.
How could they charge so much?
Easy, the Yellow Pages was simply the only game in town. From an economics perspective, they had a “high barrier to entry.” You couldn't compete with the Yellow Pages because it was so expensive to replicate them and their client base was already so locked in.
In the Internet age that high barrier has been smashed.
Today with low entry barriers, many can develop websites – and do. There are even international players who will work for cheap.
The problem is, you still get what you pay for!
In reality, the web is littered with poor quality and ineffective websites.
There's a lot more to an effective site then most realize and it truly is a lot more technical.
One of the main quality factors is copywriting. That's right. Most sites have so much noise blaring at you that it's hard to determine what they even do. Great copy addresses that.
If you're interested, I have an article which discusses the importance of copy on your website entitled Clarify Your Message.
The review below goes into a sample of some of the other issues that plague many business sites, often without the owner even knowing.
Maybe it's time to check your website.
Who owns your website?
Most business owners don't understand how to develop a website. That's certainly understandable.
As a result, a number of companies such as Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace have developed super easy business websites. With prices ranging from $15 to $30 a month this actually works for some people.
In a real sense, however, this is like someone using a Flowbee to cut their hair instead of using a stylist. It gets the job done but as Kirt Russell in Captain Ron would often say “it shows boss.“
Most successful businesses use WordPress. The reason is that WordPress is the most powerful and flexible content management system available and powers most of the web.
Actually, WordPress itself is free and many of the plugins, which extend WordPress' power, are also free. The cost associated in using WordPress is in the development of the site and in the ongoing maintenance. Outside of development and maintenance, the cost of a WordPress powered website is nearly the same as Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. You'll need to pay approximately $12 a year for your domain name (yourbusiness.com) and $20 a month for some really reliable hosting.
So $252 for WordPress and $180 to $360 for Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace.
With WordPress you have so much more power and flexibility – and, you own the site. You can do whatever you want with your site. You can't with the other providers.
What can you do?
- collect emails and market your products and services
- track who visits your site and market to them
- integrate your social media accounts
- offer special coupons and discounts
- take payments and set up appointments
- and so much more…
Does anyone even look at your site?
Now I covered this before in my post on Does Your Website Suck, but, it's worth repeating.
Do you know if anyone even uses your website?
Here's how you find out.
Type in Semrush.com and enter your web address – “mycompany.com”.
The information should look like the following which I did for “Liberty Mutual:”
Here are the results:
So, if your site has 1.2 million organic visitors, you probably don't have anything to worry about. If it's zero or close to none, you may want to continue reading.
Now, I should explain, if your site shows zeros for organic and paid traffic, it doesn't mean no one sees your site. It's just that the traffic is so low that there aren't enough visitors to show up on their tracking.
Also, for some sites that may be okay. Some businesses don't need super traffic numbers to be successful. Each business needs to be analyzed on an individual basis.
Is your site indexed?
In order to be found on the web, your site needs to be indexed. In other words, Google needs to know you exist.
Are you indexed?
In the Google search bar type in “site:yourdomain.com” and hit enter. For example, if I type “site:seospaces.com” the following appears:
So I know that SEOSpaces.com is indexed and Google has 40 search results from the SEOSpaces.com site.
But, let's investigate another site:
The above site is simply not indexed.
Now your site might show up on Google's snack pack, which are the free listings Google provides some businesses. But these are based on a number of factors, such a Yelp and Google ratings. Additionally, you might be number 3 one day and number 23 the next. You have no control.
So how does someone find you if you're not indexed?
Normally, someone searches “business type near me” or “business type city-state”. For example, “fences near me”. If you're not indexed, however, your site won't appear with this type of search.
There are two ways someone can find you if you're not indexed. They can type in your exact website address, or they may find you in the review aggregators, such as Yelp or Google+.
If all you have is your Yelp page, which has bad reviews – you're in trouble.
A word to the wise – Get Indexed.
Is your SEO adequate?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is how free traffic gets to your site.
Most businesses are local. You don't need to stress about SEO like national businesses. Local companies only need to do the following:
- Develop a consistent looking modern website.
- By consistent, I mean branding – logo, colors, and font.
- Register with Google Local.
- File some Citations – name, address, telephone listings.
- Manage your Yelp/Google etc. ratings – solicit and address bad reviews.
- Ensure you're being indexed through Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
- Provide content that answers your client and prospect questions.
- If a fencing company describe the types of fences are available, what the cost points, how long they last, what type of maintenance is required etc.,
- If a dentist, how often cleanings are necessary, what toothbrushes and toothpaste work best, how to manage healthy teeth, tec.,
- Look at the most commonly asked questions and be the authority with answers that really help your prospects.
SEO needs to be set up correctly. In some cases, more extensive SEO efforts are needed. This is something that is business dependent.
Is your site fast?
Neither Google nor prospects like slow sites. In fact, if your site takes over 2 to 3 seconds to load, Google will not show you as much and customers will drop you and not return.
How fast does your site load?
Go to GTMetrix.com and enter in your web address. The results might surprise you.
Let's check SEOSpaces.com (since I believe in practicing what I preach) and we see that it loads in six-tenths of a second.
What does your site show? Too many are way over 3 seconds. If that's the case, you're losing customers.
Is your site mobile-friendly?
More than half of prospects and customers use their smartphones to find your site.
Is your site mobile friendly?
To create a website that's mobile friendly you really have to develop multiple websites, one for desktops and another for tablets and smartphones.
Your smartphone mobile-friendly site should include the following:
- a telephone number which automatically dials your business and is at the top of your front page (this is critical if you get business by appointments)
- a clear and concise statement stating what your business is about
- easy to see menu options and text
- easy to see logo and images
- an easy to use “call to action button”
Here's what this site's smartphone front page looks like. Notice an easy to see and touch telephone number. A clear and concise storyline, and an easy to use Call to Action button.
Does your site contain the right information?
The purpose of your website is to convince prospects to buy your products or use your services and get the answers to common questions they may have.
If you confuse your user with too much information, or fail to answer their questions, or fail to give them a call to action, your business will not be all that it can be.
What should you include:
- Straight and simple statement on “what do you do” – your products and services, and what problems you resolve for your customers and clients.
- Simple and straightforward contact and miscellaneous information – telephone number, address, email, map, hours of operation etc.
- A “call to action” to get them to use your business.
- Some positive testimonies of what other customers think of your business in order to assure your prospects that you shine.
- Quality images and short bios about you and your competent staff (see sample here).
- Images of happy customers.
- Answers to their most common questions, usually, in blog posts.
When websites first started to appear, developers would seemingly include everything but the kitchen sink. Part of this was due to the new nature of the Internet. Part may have been due to justifying development fees. In any event, to be effective, it needs to be modern, streamlined and functional.
What you say on your website is critical. I use the concept of “Story Branding” which effectively attracts and retains attention to your site. There are a number of important concepts behind the idea of producing a Story Brand and I have an entire post devoted to developing and explaining this groundbreaking concept.
Is your site secure?
Sites that are “https://” vs. (sites which are just “http://“) are secure and means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted.
This is required if any financial transactions are being consummated on your site.
It's also viewed more favorable by Google which can help in your SEO efforts.
How did your business site fare?
Look, SEOSpaces is here to help. I know what makes a business successful with the right website. My approach is straightforward and effective.
Let me review your website so you can grow your business.
To set up an appointment – call me now – (805) 807-3219.