Websites are often sort of “there.” Making sure that we have an online presence to attract customers, give them a reason to work with us, and convert them into customers is vital to the growth and success of our companies.
Our websites need to work for us.
Unfortunately, many small businesses struggle with keeping sites up to date because of a lack of knowledge or changes in staff or don’t have access to a webmaster. The good news is that there are a number of ways to keep our website working for us.
1. Quality Content
Good content is designed to help us connect more effectively with our prospects. It should be optimized for visitors and search engines, and free of errors. Content helps us to communicate:
- information about our products/services,
- our understanding of the pain points our customers’ experience,
- proof of our expertise in solving those pain points.
Further, good content needs to be easily scannable. If there are large blocks of text, it can be challenging to read. We can break up text blocks into bite-size chunks and add lots of white space (like you can see in this post). And, we can use subheads to break up topic areas.
Additionally, Google quality guidelines (PDF) suggest a minimum of 16-point font size to make sure the average person can read it easily.
A call-to-action (CTA) is a prompt that ensures people know what to do next. When we think about the purpose of the information that we are showing visitors, the next steps tend to flow naturally.
Calls-to-action can be used for getting people to sign up for your newsletter, make an appointment, buy a product, or even just to learn more on a topic.
Visual CTAs (an image with a headline a button drawn on it) can be an effective way to get people to see where they need to click and what they can expect to find next.
Buttons, in the header area, help convert buyers.
“Flowww” – in a nutshell– is the application of links, CTAs, side navigation, and buttons to draw visitors through a naturally-appearing sales funnel and converting them from visitors to leads and advocated in the process.
3. Regular Updates
Updating content regularly makes sure our websites don’t get stale. There’s nothing worse than featuring winter holiday information in June or content dated back two or three years. Plus, when we update content, Google sends in the bots to index our site changes, a fantastic part of making our pages rank.
Content can be updated for a number of reasons, not just search engine optimization. It’s good to maintain accurate information and provide lots of reasons for visitors to return.
4. Password Management
Believe me, we never want anyone accessing our sites but ourselves. Solid password management is our first line of defense against hackers and bad actors. We make it a point to never share our passwords with anyone, and especially, never email them. Email just isn’t secure.
Each user should have their own account and their own password that we don’t know either. Finally, we change our passwords regularly and don’t reuse them in more than one place.
Managing our passwords doesn’t have to be overwhelming, as inexpensive password software like 1Password and LastPass are available to help manage the safekeeping for us.
There’s no harm in admitting that we can’t do it all ourselves. Not everyone knows how to scan for malware or optimize for search engines like Google. That’s where partners come in.
As our primary prospect-facing marketing tool, our websites have an opportunity to take centre stage. A lack of time, or skills, doesn’t have to stand in our way. It’s all about finding a web and marketing partner who can make sure that our website is performing the way that it needs to be.