Easy Hacks to Improve Your Small Business Today!

Easy Hacks to Improve Your Small Business Today!

Improve/Rewrite Your Content

First and foremost, we do need to recognize that the aesthetics are a portion of the appeal of your small business website. However, what will keep your customers on your page is providing the content they desire. Are you writing content that keeps your visitors engaged?

Does the information you provide an answer to the questions that brought visitors to your site? I know what this sounds like. Write long articles to keep visitors occupied reading through vast amounts of text so that they stay on your website longer. You’d be wrong in that assumption.

If this is the trick that you think will bring traffic to your site, you’ll be looking at your site analytics and find that your site looks similar to those Wild West scenes where tumbleweeds are the only thing to blow through your page.

What you want to do is write your content both as a business owner who wants to deliver a clear message and as a potential customer who is seeking information. Be excited and enthusiastic about your business, but cut to the chase to give potential and returning customers a pleasurable experience.  They want their questions answered, but in today’s “I need it now” society, you only have a few seconds to grab and keep the attention of those who actively search for or happen to come upon your small business website.

Here’s the deal. If you aren’t confident that you can write high-quality content for your website, you can outsource the work to a professional. But here is something to think about. NO ONE is going to be as passionate and knowledgeable of your small business as YOU are. Get writing!

Update Your Small Business Site’s Look by Utilizing Templates

Is the look of your site, not appealing to you? Are you unsure that your small business site’s design is lacking? Don’t fret. You can get this done easily by utilizing templates. There are free site templates out there that are efficient to get the job done.

However, purchasing a theme will ensure that you are getting the best for your site. Purchasing templates for your small business website mean that your site will look professional and because the themes are made by people who are dedicated to only creating and maintaining them, your site’s look will more than likely always be optimized and updated for fast load times, mobile devices and the like. All you have to do is purchase and apply the templates to your site.

I suggest paid templates versus free templates as these are templates are constantly maintained and updated as opposed to free ones that may only have been created for the developer to get a start in the field of web design. You don’t have to know code or have any advanced experience with computers to apply a theme to your small business website.

The work is done for you. All you have to do is fill it with the content. You want your site’s visitors to see. WordPress is one of the most popular sites to use for themes but there are also a couple of other sites you can browse as well. TemplateMonster and ThemeForest are two that come to mind.

Check Your Site for Broken Links AND FIX THEM!

OOPS! 404 Error, Page Not Found…

Nothing will irritate your small business website visitors more than not finding the information they seek. Nothing will bring them to that irreversible conclusion that they need to seek information and take their business elsewhere faster than not even getting a chance to view your site. If you have broken or outdated links, you need to find and fix them ASAP!

You get one shot at a first impression and if that impression is that you don’t have what your potential customers are looking for, then you’ve lost. Unfortunately, there are no retrials in this game. You’ve just lost that customer to someone else who has the information you failed to provide. You will have to try your luck with the next person to happen upon your small business website.

The best method to find these broken links is to get out onto your website and scour each and every page and the links on each as if you were a user searching on your website to find answers to specific questions. However, if you are relatively busy and your website is a bit larger than you have time to do all the deep mining through your website, there are free online tools you can use that will detect and report broken links on your website for you.

These tools can be found. By completing a quick google search and deciding which tools best suit your needs. Either way, you go, it is imperative that this action is taken. Not only will this save you from losing potential customers. It will also help you rank better in search results for major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Don’t wait to do this!

Grab your visitors’ attention at first glance

Let’s face it. In today’s “I need it yesterday” approach to gathering information and seeking results, you don’t have much time to grab and keep the attention of those seeking to do business with you online. This may sound like you are dumbing down your content, but trust me, you are not. YOU NEED IMAGES!!! And you need good images at that.

That means both quality images and relative images. You don’t want your site’s visitors to come to a page with creative and catchy images that have nothing to do with your business or the written content you feature on your webpage.

This will grab attention but it will just as quickly let consumers know that you aren’t serious about your website. If you aren’t a photographer or just don’t have access to a quality camera or other necessary equipment, there are many resources to use stock photos that are many online resources that offer license/royalty-free stock images.

Will it take away from the personalization of your small business website? Yes and no. You won’t have control over how you want the images to look and feel but you will be able to choose their relevance to your site.

It is important to use images in the aesthetic appeal of you website because at first glance, words aren’t going to convey to your visitors what they are in for when they reach your website. Simply put, if your business is food and there are no photos of food on your site, it looks as though you have something to hide. That is the last message you want to convey to potential  customers.

If you own hardware business, it is important to give your potential consumers the confidence that you know what you are talking about when it comes to what type of tools to use for getting a specific job done. If you feature no photos of tools or you’ve got a picture of a claw hammer for a job that requires a ball peen hammer, you lose a bit of credibility with customers. Your strategic use of images can go a long way to helping your business online. Do not skimp on this very important aspect of your website.

Limit unnecessary bells and whistles

One major influencer in visitors staying on your small business website is the load time of each page. The average time a user is willing to wait for a webpage to load is A LOT shorter than you think. This isn’t the time it takes for the content of your page to catch the visitors attention.

Which are 5-8 seconds. Visitors will wait approximately 3 seconds or less for your webpage to load before they decide it is time to move on to another, faster, optimized webpage! Yes, your website may have loads of high-resolution photos and cool videos for all to see. You may have the best plug-ins and widgets for your site, but you also have to realize that each image you place on your webpage, each bit of media you place directly on your website takes up more of the storage you’re allotted for you particular website based on who you choose for hosting.

The larger each of those files you use (images, videos, plug-ins, etc.), the slower your website will load.

DO NOT try to make your small business website perform acrobatics when all you need to do is KISS (keep it simple, silly). What good are all of the images, videos, sounds, and other media going to be on your website if no one stays on it long enough for it to load? I will answer that for you. NONE!

You will lose interest, you will fall in the ranks of the SEO algorithms, you will lose business, you will lose business, YOU WILL LOSE BUSINESS! Please do not make this mistake. This harkens back to my opening hack to improve your website. Provide high-quality content, meaning answer your visitors’ questions thoroughly, efficiently and as quickly as possible.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your pretty or tech-heavy small business website will outperform the site that loads fast and answers the questions your customers are searching for better than you can.

Limit the number of time visitors spend clicking through your site

This hack is very simple. Get your consumers where they want to go on your site with a few clicks and scrolls as possible. It can be very frustrating and confusing to visit a website and have to click more than a couple of times to get to a page, form, or check out when you are ready to get there.

Mining through your website for something that should be simple to get to will drive traffic away from your small business website. If clicking through your site ends up feeling more like a labyrinth than a leisurely stroll through the park on a nice, sunny day, you have lost business and that is never a good thing.

Make sure that any clickable item or link on your website goes to where it needs to in the least amount of time as you possibly can make it. If you cannot get it under 3 clicks, you may want to rethink the structure of your website or that page in particular. The three strikes rule applies here.

If after three clicks, the user has not gotten to their intended destination, the next click they make will be in the address bar to find another site to take their dollars. Time spent by users on your website does play a factor in SEO, but you don’t want to try to attain a positive rank in that category by making your site difficult to navigate. Be smart about your sitemap. Also, try to keep the idea that less is more in mind when it comes to site navigation.

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen; Easy, do it yourself hacks to improve your small business website not just now, but right now! Good luck making those improvemnts!

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