4 Things You Need to Know About Small Business Websites
#1: Your Small Business Needs a Website - This may sound obvious to many readers of this blog, but that doesn’t mean that all small business owners are listening to this advice. As Danny Sullivan noted on Search Engine Land back in the middle of October, he is still quite amazed at the amount of small businesses that don’t have even a basic website.
The bottom line is that more and more people are looking for small businesses online (even my Mom has said that she almost never consults the phone book anymore), so if your business doesn’t have a website, you are literally giving potential clients or customers to your competitors who have taken the time to create a website.
#2: Your Website Needs a Blog - Like #1, this should be obvious, but given the fact that a large percentage of small businesses don’t have websites, an even larger percent don’t have blogs.
As a result of all the Web 2.0 hype that has gone on over the years, the whole perception of blogs has gotten confused and distorted. All of the buzzwords aside, the simple fact is that a blog is a way to connect with your target audience. So, figure out what your target demographic wants to read and discuss, and then use your blog to start pushing that content out to them. If a tailor from Savile Row can use a blog to send his sales of $4000 suits through the roof, your small business can also benefit from starting a blog. If you need another example to make you motivated, just look at how the traffic for SEO Hosting took off once the blog was relaunched in June.
#3 Your Website Needs to Make It EASY to Contact Your Business - As great as social media tools like Twitter can be, chances are the average Internet user who lands on your small business website isn’t going to have a Twitter account. However, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to want to contact you. As I mentioned in #1, many people who previously used the phone book to find information about small businesses are now turning to the Internet. Therefore, in addition to having a Contact link in your menu bar, you should also prominently display your phone number at the top of every page, and place the physical address of your business in an easy to find location (such as the sidebar).
#4 Claim and Update Your Google Local Listing - Just yesterday, I Googled a small business and the first thing that appeared was their Google Local Listing. However, all of the information in their listing was outdated and incorrect. Because these listings appear so prominently in Google’s SERPs, if you don’t have a listing for your small business, create one today. Additionally, if Google has automatically created a listing for you (they can do this by using information from a variety of sources), you still need to claim your listing and ensure that all of the information is up to date.