“But I’m not ready for you to see my website!”

Cat with smily face placed over his mouth
Just fix it already

“I don’t like my website, I’m going to redo it soon” [like a year from now].

Does this sound familiar? Or how about “I’m going to invest in social media when I am ready for large orders.” But you aren’t ready for large orders because of several reasons, including not having a proper website for clients to view and/or place orders.

It’s 2017 and 39% of small business owners don’t have a website, and many that do are unhappy with the way it performs or looks. While there are several reasons that a website can do a poor job at generating leads, there are a few reasons that are unashamedly staring us all in the face.

Can People Even Find Your Website?

While Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a growing industry for tech savvy people, there are still things you can do on your own to help your website get indexed properly in Google searches.

Focus on content, naming of pages, and site descriptions. What keywords will a person use to search for the product or service that you offer? Since that is what you are offering after all, make sure those words are in your text content. You’ve experienced this before in your own searches: if you type in “dog grooming in Nevada City”, you are more likely to scan all the listings in the first page of results for something that has all those key words in the description and then click on that website.

Link your website to all your directory and social media listings. Make sure those directory listings are up to date. Sometimes a listing is made for you and you must claim it and put the correct information in it. Ask people to comment on your blog and share articles. Update your content regularly to keep Google indexing your site.

Is Your Website Mobile Optimized?

According to a 2017 Cutch (lead generation and reputation management company) study, 17% of business owners surveyed did not have a website that worked on smaller screens. With nearly 90% of people doing their research online before purchasing, and 50% of them being mobile users, there is no excuse not to catch up with the times. Not only are viewers being frustrated by a website that doesn’t scale down and re-flow to match their phone screen, Google is penalizing non-optimized sites by purposely not displaying them in search results. At least not as high up on the page as it would if the site was optimized.

What do People See When They Arrive at Your Website?

It takes only 3 seconds for a viewer to decide if your website is worth their time. The clients you WANT to have should be the ones that stay and interact with the pages. What kind of benefit statement or visual elements on your landing pages would motivate them to stay? They were looking for an answer to something specific when they found your website, so show them that you have the solution to their problem.

Not only should people be able to immediately figure out what it is you are offering and if they want it, they should feel like your site is legitimate. There are many ways to help people feel at ease doing business with you, but consistency and security are the most important:

  • Consistency in branding means making sure that all your promotional, printed, and digital materials carry the same branded look. This way, if a person has gotten your web address from one of your ads, they know that they have landed in the right place because the website has the same look and feel as the ad. If you have a designer/agency make new designs for you, make sure to show them what you have already and tell them if you plan on keeping that style.
  • Security, such as a secure page for logging in or making purchases, is a huge plus. Many people recognize a secure page as one with “https” in front of the address. This means it is encrypted and harder for people to steal users’ information.

Is Your Website Easy to Navigate?

Make sure all your menus are easy to understand and offer immediate understanding of how to navigate. One way to do this, is to make a set of index cards with all the names of pages that you have on your website. Ask about ten honest friends (preferably ones that match your target customer profile) to put them into categories of related content.  This is helpful because it removes you from the process and you can see how other people view what you have to offer based on the names of the pages. When they are done with the test, you might have to change the names or the content to better fit your vision, or you might have to change up your menus to match what your test users have told you is a better setup.

Final words

Sometimes business can go so well that you forget about all of these things. Don’t wait for the slump in business to start up again and let all your hard work go to waste. Keep up on the face and content of your company communications, and the leads will keep coming in. If you have questions or would like to learn about what we can do to help you with social media and website management and/or creation, contact us http://www.api-marketing.com/our-company/contact-us/

Here is the rest of the Clutch survey on small business websites: https://clutch.co/web-designers/resources/small-business-2017-website-survey

Published by

Danielle Apple

Danielle is head of our graphic design department. A self-proclaimed "sponge," she is addicted to learning about marketing and to eating chocolate.