Let’s discuss how to make your small business website profitable.
As we move further into the digital age, there’s an urgent need for small businesses to be represented online. It’s easy to say, ‘if you don’t have a website, your customers will choose your competitor who does,’ but that isn’t necessarily true.
A website has to do more than simply exist.
Without these 5 active elements, your website is like a billboard in the desert. And what’s the point of that?
It has to engage and grab the attention of users and customers and lead them somewhere.
Let’s find out what you need to make your website as profitable as possible.
1. Effective Content
You’ve heard it once, and you’ll hear it again; content is king. But not just any old content—it has to be USEFUL, RELEVANT content. Content that answers your customers’ questions. Otherwise, your website will be talking to the void and miss the mark.
What does effective content mean exactly?
Clear conversion paths
Any copywriter who understands the digital space will know there are rules to writing effective and engaging content. This always starts with the content funnel:
This content funnel is an almost foolproof way to get your customers through the door and, most importantly, spending!
Now you have an idea of how to structure your content, you need to know about how to make sure your content is easily found.
Writing for search engines
The beauty of the internet’s evolution (and that of Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.) is search engines are smarter than ever. Once upon a time, keyword stuffing and overcompensating content used to be the game (to the detriment of actual people looking for you!).
The good news?
There’s no game anymore. There’s no ‘tricking’ Google. Just write content relevant to your website visitors. If you’re a plumber and you’ve created a page about ‘Common Causes of Blocked Drains’ then by-gum, you write about common causes of blocked drains until you can write no more (just don’t stuff your page with keywords)!
As long as the content is useful for someone (such as wondering what could be blocking their drain), Google will identify your website as relevant and rank it accordingly for that search.
Writing for your customers
Is your content driving traffic to your website? Great! Now you need to make sure your content is doing the heavy lifting to make you the $$$.
If you want your website to make money you need to know:
- Who you are targeting i.e. who is your audience?
- What makes your business different or unique?
- How is your product or service better?
- Why have others in the past chosen your business?
With these points clear in your mind, your content should come naturally. If it doesn’t, this is where a professional copywriter may be the solution.
(Psst! Did you know Localsearch provides professional copywriting as part of their website packages? Find out more.)
Where it makes sense, try and add in other media to your content such as videos, images, downloads, GIFs and slideshows. Using different kinds of media will boost your relevancy and make your webpage more ‘sticky’—that is, users will land on your page and stay there to read, watch and interact with your content (and hopefully, convert).
But be cautious not to overdo it, as too much media can make your site ‘heavy’, which means it will take longer to load and provide poor user experience. This leads us to our next point.
2. Engaging & User-Friendly Design
Content is king, but design rules. Even with the strongest messaging, without an engaging, user-friendly design, users are more likely to ‘bounce’—that is, leave your website as quickly as they came.
Basic rules of a user-friendly design
We’re not all copywriters and designers—and that’s OK. However, it’s always good to know what your website needs, so once you start you’ve got an idea of how your website should look and function.
Make sure your website design covers these key points:
- Eye-catching overall design (important to attract customers)
- Consistency across all pages (maintains trust)
- Clear call-to-actions (buttons and action points—very important to lead your customers to the purchase!)
- Clear, easy-to-use navigation (your customers should always know where they are on your website, and how to access the pages they need)
“A consistent and intuitive layout is important. You need to create a great experience and have clear call-to-actions. Navigation needs to be clear and all access/contact points need to be clear. You need an agenda to guide your users where you want them to go.” — Sean, Localsearch UX Designer
Designing for user experience will make your website intuitive, and the easier you make things for your customers, the more likely they are to spend money with you!
3. Clear Branding
Seems like common-sense: of course you need clear branding! But it’s amazing how often we come across websites that don’t have a clear definition of brand. It’s more than just having your business logo on the page somewhere.
- Promotes recognition—You’ll find people tend to continue to do business with brands they are familiar with (there’s that trust thing again).
- Showcases the kind of business you are—People get a lot more information from your visual elements than you may think! Is your logo telling the right story?
- Encourages referral business—You can’t refer a brand you don’t remember, right? You want your branding to stand out, so when your customers love your brand, they can tell everyone about you.
4. Security & Reliability
For eCommerce businesses (that is, any website with a shopping cart system to sell products online), users need reassurance their information is secure and protected throughout the purchase process. The fear of having credit card details stolen is real!
This is why secure site setup, encryption and web copy that reassures the user they are safe, is essential. You need to clearly state why you’re collecting information, how you’ll be using it and most importantly—how you will protect it.
Visual aids, such as badges, awards, security seals etc., will help to solidify that trust and lead users to share their data with you.
5. Seamless Mobile Usability
These days, with so many different mobile devices (and customers conducting searches on the go), having a mobile-friendly website is paramount. Also known as ‘responsive’, your website should seamlessly cater to desktop, mobile and tablet devices without losing key messages and call-to-actions.
Optimising your website for mobile is also good for search engines, especially Google. This is because Google rewards good user experience—so the better your site caters to the user, the more likely Google is to rank it.