Guest post by Megan Totka, chief editor for ChamberofCommerce.com
They want more time to get work done and fewer roadblocks in their way. They strive for more employees and staff to help boost productivity, meanwhile hoping for less economic uncertainty.
It’s easy for small businesses to become obsessed with their hunger for “more.” Unfortunately, more is not synonymous with better. This is especially true for your business website.
Most SMBs don’t have hordes of graphic designers, content developers and SEO experts at their disposal. Instead, they have just enough time and money on hand to build and maintain a website that will hopefully get people talking (and ultimately buying). By focusing on what you already have and making effective use of your current resources, you may be better poised for success when it comes to your small business’ site.
What parts of your business site can you scale down and simplify while still boosting traffic, leads and sales?
Permission to Land
It’s no secret that landing pages are incredibly important. They provide users with a first impression of your business and has the potential to turn users on or off at a glance. Effective landing pages must be as straightforward as possible; therefore, the best ones oftentimes do the most by saying relatively little. Long gone are the days of cluttered landing pages, overrun with wild text-links and an overall chaotic site architecture.
While you want to keep from overloading your visitors, you need to get some clear messages across. This can be a bit of a balancing act; however, an effective landing page accomplishes the following by making the most of its real estate.
- Informs the user that they’re in the right place – It should be clear to your users that your product, location, etc. are what they’re looking for.
- Lets the user know that they’re welcome – Set a tone (through design, color scheme, content, etc.) that makes the user want to learn more.
- Establishes trust and encourages the user to continue browsing – Your landing page should look professional and avoid sounding like a salesperson.
In short, think of your landing page as a sort of “front door” to your business. Don’t bore your guests with a convoluted speech and don’t leave them out in the cold. There is a psychology behind the content you provide. The quicker you can get them through the door, the better.
Optimize, Don’t Obsess
Depending on who you ask, what happens behind the scenes of your website is just as important as what’s on the surface. Perhaps there’s little need to stress the importance of SEO; however, there’s a reason the online marketing sphere tells us to buddy up with Google. Given that 93% of online experiences begin with search engines, small businesses are often living and dying by their SEO efforts.
Many businesses make the mistake of sacrificing the quality of their sites for the sake of SEO, however, which is a huge red flag.
For example, keyword stuffing your content in an attempt to rank for a keyword or spending every waking hour making sure your site’s anchor text is immaculate are not effective uses of your time or resources
Yes, your website should attempt rank for keywords in its niche. Yes, your website should be SEO-friendly. You should not, however, obsess over the concept of optimization to the point where it cripples your site. Optimize your pages properly, and you will see the reward.
Consider the user experience before going overboard on the technical side of things. No matter what, you are still writing for people AND for search engines. Don’t favor one over the other.
Quality Over Quantity
It’s been drilled in our heads that we need to produce, produce, produce when it comes to content. Despite this, content production is the prime example of “quality over quantity.” A strong, well-thought piece of content with striking imagery will be much more valuable in the long run against a bunch of meaningless posts with little or no direction. The same rules apply for your site’s static content. Once again, use your words wisely and be economical.
There’s no need to drag your users through a rambling mess. Instead, pack a punch with the real estate you do have in terms of content. You can afford to get a bit wordy on your blog, where thoughtful, original posts have the opportunity to shine via social sharing.
The Bottom Line
By allocating your time and energy in the proper places, you can get more out of your business site by doing less.
About Megan Totka
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. Chamber of Commerce helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.