Once your small business website is up and running, it’s easy to let it be. But successful websites are regularly improved and tweaked. Let this be a call to review your site and make sure links are working and everything looks right. While you’re at it, here are five things you can do to jazz up your site that won’t take a ton of time.
1. Rework your “About” page. Maybe you don’t think anyone cares about your background or that of your business. You’re wrong! People love to know more about the businesses they support, or are thinking of supporting. Here are some things to work on including in an About section. Note that in many cases it makes more sense to create separate pages and link them to your main About page.
- Photo of you and your employees, especially those who customers might come in contact with.
- Photo of your business.
- Google map and directions to your physical location.
- Hours of operation. These should be on your home page too.
- History of your business. When was it started, what major improvements have you made each year?
- Bios of owners and key employees. These can be very straightforward or very fun, depending on the type of business and tone of your website.
- Most important products and services.
2. Add photos. But these shouldn’t be just any photos; it’s way too easy to tell when a site owner has gone crazy with the stock photos. These should be photos that are relevant to your business, your products or your services.
Want to know what a lot of readers like? Before and after shots. Nothing showcases what your business is capable of doing for a customer than letting them compare something that doesn’t have your expertise with something that does.
Photos with stories, that are relevant to your site, keep people looking longer. The longer someone stays on your site, the more invested they become in your company and your brand – in other words, the more memorable you will be when they need your products or services.
If you’ve tried taking your own photos and can’t get them looking just right, consider hiring a professional. We’re not just saying this because we provide professional photography; it’s important to make a good impression on your website visitors with sharp, well-lit images.
While you’re at it, use good ALT attribute text for your images.
Once you have access to Google Analytics, you can have the program send you an email with specific information on a regular schedule. Go to your Dashboard and look for the “email” button above your stats. Click it and work through the form under the Schedule tab. You can have reports sent to you daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly so you don’t even need to visit the Analytics website to see your information.
4. Make sure your site shows up correctly in popular browsers. We suggest making sure that the site looks OK in current versions of Internet Explorer 7 and 8, Safari and Firefox. You can ask all your friends to see if you can find enough people who have all the different variations of browsers on Windows and Mac, or you can try one of several testing tools.
Try a tool like CrossBrowserTesting.com, which gives you a free demo so you can see if there are any glaring problems. Or, Litmus gives you the ability to test for free in Explorer 7 and Firefox 2, and then you can see if you want to get a project pass that gives you a couple weeks to review your site in many different browsers. See problems? Unfortunately, coding a site to show correctly in all browsers can be a challenge. Talk to your web designer (or us!) if you’d like help.
5. Write and send out a press release. What’s big news at your company? Do you have a new product, service, employee? Did you win an award or get a particularly memorable kudos? Draft a press release and send it to the local newspapers and radio stations. Look for blogs that cover your city and send it to them. Also include local business news websites and magazines.
The hope, of course, is that one of these news outlets will run more information about your company. If you also get links to your site from theirs, it will do a lot to increase traffic and could improve your search engine rankings. Links from other sites are one of the main things that search engines like Google take into account when ranking your site.
You can also post your press release to your website, which serves the dual purpose of informing your visitors about what’s going on at your business and of adding fresh content to your site.
Of course, once you get into your site, you may find some other things that need to be fixed or improved. Got questions or a problem that would take too much time and energy to solve yourself? Give us a call: 541-752-9922.