The final week of our Digital Marketing Essentials workshop was a huge one and maybe the topic of most concern for local business owners. Everyone knows that their website is important and having a great website is key to reaching consumers online. On top of that, once you’ve invested in a great website it’s important that people can find it which is where SEO (search engine optimization) comes in. Understanding what really makes a great website and the importance of investing in SEO gives you a great foundation. In our workshop, we spoke to the local business owners about how to get started on SEO in Temecula!
It may be tempting for small businesses to think they can get away without having a website. Especially if you obtain most of your clientele through word of mouth referrals or other methods. If you are looking to grow the reach of your business, however, you need to be online. This also gives your business a safeguard for when things change. It’s always advisable to diversify and make sure you’re reaching as many potential customers as possible.
Consider that while half of the world is online, 95% of North America has an internet connection. A lot of people check some kind of internet connection as soon as they wake up whether that’s email or social media. It’s almost impossible to go anywhere and not see people on their mobile devices. If you aren’t establishing a strong online presence, you are missing out on the opportunity to connect with people in a place they already are. The longer you delay the farther behind you’ll fall.
Consider these reasons to have a website.
Foundation of Your Online Presence
While we definitely think it’s important that you are on social media and make use of tools like Google My Business and review sites, your own website is the most important piece of real estate you have online. It’s going to ensure you’ll be easily found online and it gives you a chance to present your business the way you want it to be presented. Remember, if your potential customers don’t you know you, they will know your competition.
Sales Person That Works for You 24/7
Just imagine how great it would be to have a sales person that works for you all day every day. With a website, that’s exactly what you have. Even when you can’t be available, your website will be there to tell prospective customers all about you and your business. Your website will be able to answer most of the questions customers will have at any time they have them. You can also think of it as being a digital business card!
The New Yellow Pages
Remember The Yellow Pages? They were the one go to source for businesses to be listed and found. The internet is now the Yellow Pages and if you to be discovered by people looking specifically for your business and those looking for the service or product you offer than a website is absolutely necessary.
Website Builder Platforms
A lot of small businesses launch their first website on a website builder platform like Weebly or Wix. This makes sense since these platforms offer a quick and easy way to build a website with some customization. They are also generally more affordable than having a custom built website.
You pay for that affordability, though. There are only limited customization options available as well as limited options for SEO. If you really want to take your website to the next level and contend with the bigger names in your field than you need to seriously consider a custom build website. While the initial upfront cost may be significantly more, you’ll see a much better return for your investment in the long run.
If you don’t yet have a website, you definitely want to check your budget and see if you can afford to do a custom build site. This will save you money in the long run since you won’t have to do any rebuilding at a later time. If you can’t afford to get started with a custom build site, than at least make sure you use a platform that will let you buy a domain name.
Custom Build Sites
A custom build website allows you to add a lot more bells and whistles to your site. You can optimize, alter, change, build out, and let the site grow with your business. You can also make sure that you’re maximizing your potential for search engine discovery.
If you’re still not sure if your website is doing what it needs to be doing for you here are five things to consider:
Is it easy to navigate?
Is the contact information there and easy to find?
Are the images high quality?
Are the fonts easy to read?
Is there a call to action?
Search Engine Optimization
Another important factor for all businesses to consider is search engine optimization. Search engines include Google, YouTube, Bing, and Yahoo. Optimization means making the best or most effective use of a resource or situation. So making your website as discoverable as possible is essentially what you are doing.
There are a few things you can check right now with your SEO!
Do your pages have a title tag?
Do you have a meta description? A meta description is a short description of the page that shows up in search results.
Do you have a clear header tag on your website? You’ll want to have a header tag on every page on your site for relevancy. It’s important that the header tag describes the information that will be found on the page.
Is your site mobile responsive?
How is your page speed? Slow websites are frustrating for consumers. Additionally, starting in July if your website is too slow you’ll be punished.
It can feel overwhelming to navigate search engine optimization, but the more you take small steps in the right direction the better your chances will be for success.