When I first started working online, now 13 (!) years ago there were many in the small business world that still felt that having a web presence was largely unnecessary.
For many, that may have been the case. The reason?
The ideal customers/clients for their small business just weren’t online yet.
Flash forward to 2022 and having a small business website has gone from an optional amenity to becoming a necessary tool in a small business digital marketing toolbox.
Your website has the ability to be useful in so many ways to your small business customers, acting as a sales & support information hub as well as a focal point for many of your digital marketing efforts.
Also, if there are search engine opportunities, your website’s information is a great way capture your customer’s search engine traffic — in 2020, 40% of trackable website traffic came from organic (i.e., non-paid positioning) search engine traffic alone.
Being in the right position in a search engine, at the right time (when your customers are searching) – over time – can yield sustainable traffic & resulting leads for years, with proper SEO practices applied, website content updating & maintenance.
While that is the ideal situation, it takes a tremendous amount of effort to have a website that is high ranking & productive for your small business.
For your website to really thrive for your business, every aspect of your website has to be in proper alignment to maximize results — and if they’re not you could lose out on important opportunities.
That said, below are some of the most common issues I’ve encountered over the years that hold back small business websites.
Websites are technology, and like all technology they can break down & not function as intended when your customers view your website.
Things like website browser compatibility, slow loading pages & poor mobile experience are just some of the technicial issues your customers could experience.
Websites can be built in hundreds of different ways using dozens of different platforms, so there really is no “one-size fits all” fix for technical issues.
If your website is experiencing any technical issues, however, those are most likely the first areas you want to start fixing before moving on to the following issues.
Have you ever visited a website and said: “what does this company even do?”.
That is an example of unclear messaging — and will confuse & frustrate your website visitors.
Along with that, it’s important to define the purpose of each page of your website.
Some small business owners attempt to overload a single page with too much information, which also can confuse the action you want users to take when they reach your website.
Defining the purpose of each page is a good way to avoid this.
Do you simply want visitors to simply learn about your company?
Do you want them to learn more details about your services or products?
Do you want them to take action and contact you for more information or to schedule an appointment?
Keeping things simple is usually the best route for correcting confusing messaging, so start with your home page ( for most small business websites, this will be your most important page ) and work on other pages after that.
Once you have a good understanding of the purpose of each page and the message you want to send is clear, the last thing you will want to look at is content.
Thin content (content that lacks any value to your visitors) and/or not enough content is one of the last things holding back your website.
Your visitors (and search engines) can only learn what they view & read on your website, so if you don’t have enough content to get them educated (or inspire them) you could miss out on fulfilling a particular users’ needs and ultimately cost you their opportunity.
Does this mean you have to post content (blogs, articles, videos, etc.) daily? Weekly? Monthly?
That’s really up to you — but for most small business websites, keeping a consistent content publishing schedule is one way to ensure you keep your website up-to-date and satisfy your visitor’s intent.
While there are other things that could be holding back your company’s website, if you are able to correct the three items mentioned above, you’ll be well on your way of having a great, productive website for years to come.
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