For most small business owners just getting a website up and running is a huge hassle. Of course you want your information out there so that potential customers can find you online, but unless you know someone who actually generates business from their site it seems more like something you’re just supposed to do than a way to add to the bottom line. But a properly built and optimized website can actually deliver additional revenue for your business and should not be overlooked.
Types of Optimization
Now days everyone knows what search engine optimization (SEO) is. You hear ads for it on the radio, you see ads for it online, and you’ve probably even other business owners talk about it. But there are multiple ways to optimize your website and they are all required if you’re going to actually generate more business.
What do we mean by onsite optimization? A couple things. From the standpoint of search engines you want your site to look good and offer up lots of relevant content so crawlers from Google, Bing, and Yahoo! know exactly what your site is all about. The better the information, the better your site will be represented in the search engines.
In the old days you could literally stuff your site with keywords like ‘best Atlanta lawyer’ and rank well. Now you are more likely to incur a penalty for such tactics. Search engine algorithms have become very nuanced as to what looks and sounds natural. So if your site doesn’t read well for people, it won’t rank well in Google. So make sure your content tells your visitors exactly who you are and what you do. Don’t repeat keyword phrases over and over again. It’s pretty simple.
Creating a website that converts traffic to leads is an entirely different story. Potential clients are looking for specific information when they visit your website. They trust search engines to point them to relevant and trustworthy sites, so if you’re site is well laid out you should have a high conversion rate.
A couple of items that can be of enormous help in terms of conversions are customer testimonials and prominent contact information. Sometimes potential clients just want a phone number or an email address. They’re ready to call.
Others will want to know more about you before they call. This is where testimonials are crucial. These immediately lend credibility and trust to your business. Typically a visitor will only need to see one or two testimonials before they make up their mind to pick up the phone.
Off Site Optimization
You’ll notice that we referenced trust a couple times above. This is what search engines are all about now. They want to know that your site is legitimate and deserves to be ranked. There are a few common things that they look for to establish this trust.
Social signals or social accounts from websites such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Youtube show that you are legit. Every business has these accounts to stay in touch with their existing customers and to attract new customers. Setting these up and linking them back to your website is a must to let search engines know you are a real business.
Having your site mentioned on industry websites is another way to establish trust. Say you are an AV dealer that installs home theater systems and the like. It probably makes sense that different audio equipment manufacturers would link to your website. This creates a picture for search engines that you are what you say you are. The more well rounded your profile, the more authority your site will have.
This will result in an increase in your overall rankings in the search engine results. And while you should start on this as soon as you can, don’t expect the results to come overnight. Patience is key here. But with a solid long-term plan your site should start to get more traffic and convert that traffic into customers.