The internet is the number one resource for purchasing decisions. There are numerous reasons why every business can benefit from having a strong web presence.
Your website represents your business and is often the first point of contact. When customers visit a modern, intelligent and professional website, the trust and credibility of your business will increase.
A properly created website will extend the reach of your business by appearing higher in search rankings, increasing the likelihood of connecting with new customers.
When customers can use your website to easily find relevant information, customer satisfaction will increase.
A well designed website will differentiate your business from your competition. If your competitors are falling short with their website, this is an effective way of gaining an edge.
Here are 10 steps you can take to make sure you are leveraging the web to your advantage:
Ensure you have a modern, professionally designed website. Having a clear and consistent value proposition is crucial to creating trust with potential customers. The average shelf life of a website is 4 years. We recommend beginning the process of modernizing your website after 3 years, giving you time to approach the process properly.
Ensure your website is well designed for mobile. The majority of visits to your website will be from a mobile device. This is often the single most important change a business can make. Search engines will often penalize websites for not offering a mobile friendly browsing experience.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This will make sure your website appears higher in search rankings, bringing more customers to your website. It is important that your site features keywords relevant to your business. These keywords should include your key services as well as geographic references (city, town, etc.).
Create and maintain your Google Business Listing. This is crucial to ensure that customers are able to find your business on Google and Google Maps easily. It is important to periodically review this information, as incorrect information appearing in your Google Business Listing may frustrate customers. Incorrect address, phone numbers or hours of operation can easily cost you customers.
Ask your customers for reviews. Ask for reviews on a job well done on both your Google profile as well as Facebook. Customers trust social proof that you offer great customer service. A long list of positive reviews will let people know you will come through for them. Positive reviews will have a positive impact on your search engine results. Regularly monitor your reviews and publicly respond to any negative reviews openly and honestly.
Ensure your contact info appears exactly the same on all of your online assets. This includes your Facebook page, Google Business Listing, Website, Yellow Pages listing, etc. Search engines use your address to identify your business. If the formatting of the address is different, Google may mistake you for two businesses and lower your overall ranking. (example St. vs Street)
Have your website host set up your website with HTTPS (secure server). Hosting your site over HTTPS is an easy way to increase your website ranking with search engines. Websites are penalized for not hosting with HTTPS. This change happens in the background and has no impact on your website itself.
Consider an AdWords campaign. Google provides the ability to purchase ads at the top of their search listings page. This is a cost effective way to drive additional traffic, and customers to your website
Regularly update website content.
Search engines regularly visit your page and pay attention to how often content is being updated. More dynamic sites will rank better on search results.
Work with professionals.
Ensure you are working with the right professionals when developing your website and online marketing materials. Using the right company can pay dividends
Many of these tips can be done in-house, depending on the technical ability of your team. If not, there are a variety of highly qualified New Brunswick marketing companies that can assist. Ask for proof of results for other customers and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions. Always compare multiple companies. Know that the web reinvents itself every few years, so ensure that your service provider is changing with the times.
Becci Taylor, BBA Marketing and Program Coordinator