You probably don’t have a team of developers and web designers in your back pocket. That's okay. It doesn’t take an expert to build a great website for your small business.
There are a bunch of quick fixes, easy adjustments, and super helpful tools that will improve your website in no time.
Whether you want to improve organic search, user experience, conversion, or your whole site in general, look no further. Here are 11 ideas for improving your website today:
1. Have a Healthy NAP
I’m of the mind that a good nap fixes a lot. When it comes to your business website, it’s absolutely true.
NAP stands for name, address, phone number. Search engines like Google group this information into one item. Whenever Google sees this, it knows that your business is associated with your website.
Keeping your NAP the same across all of your platforms will help search engines recognize your business. If a customer, say, positively reviews you on Yelp, search rankings will improve for all other pages with the same NAP.
It’s also important to include this information on every page of your website, so try to put your NAP in the header or footer.
Having a consistent NAP will seriously boost your SEO and help your business get found!
2. Add Internal Links
If you have a few pages on your website that are super important, try linking to them internally. When search engines see internal links, they recognize that the linked pages are extra significant.
This doesn’t just help your overall search rankings. It also ensures that visitors are directed to the most relevant pages and can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.
Google recognizes this because good internal linking essentially helps the user. If you have a well-connected site, your customers will be able to easily find what they’re looking for.
If you want customers to find your Features page, link to it on your landing page. Does your About page boost conversions? Include a link on your home page and any other pages that you want!
The text you include in a hyperlink is also a key indicator of importance for search engines. Hyperlinks like “Click Here” don’t jump out to Google as significant. So when you link to your Features page, try something like, “Check out our cool Features!”
3. Include Your Location
If your business has a brick & mortar location, you want people to be able to find it, right? Including your address in the NAP is a good start, but you can go one step better.
Adding a Find Us page to your website makes it that much easier for prospective customers to find their way to you. Just include your address again and some basic “From North... From South...” directions.
You can even embed Google Maps on your page! Here’s a tutorial from Google that will help you include Maps. Having a location page, especially with Google Maps, will not only help customers find you. It’ll boost your local search rankings, too!
When Google recognizes that you’re a deli in Needham, MA, you’ll start showing up in searches for things like “restaurants near needham” and “sub shops near 02494.”
Including your location can benefit you even if you’re an e-commerce business or operate nationally. Google and other search engines have a preference for websites hosted in the same country as the person searching.
Remember, your business is awesome, so it’s just a matter of getting found!
4. Be Easy to Navigate
When designing your website, it’s easy to fall into some bad habits that can end up making it hard for visitors to find their way through the site.
Most visitors don’t wanna have to work too hard to find what they’re looking for, so complicated navigation can mean that many visitors abandon their search.
You can get creative with design, but try to keep the format and layout relatively standard. Keep your company name and page links at the top, in your header.
You want the text in your page links to be pretty self-explanatory, so visitors know where to go. If you have subpages, make sure any links to them are distinct from full pages. If you’re using a web creation platform, like Wordpress, most themes have pretty typical navigation already (like the one below).
That being said, there are still a ton of ways you can get creative and differentiate your website from the millions of others out there. Just have fun and keep your customers in mind!
5. Leave With a KISS
When it comes to web design, it’s all about the old adage: Keep it simple, stupid (KISS). From your design and color scheme to your visuals and content, simplicity is absolutely key. Don’t believe me? Just look at Google!
Simple websites convey a clean, modern look, and they have the added bonus of being easy to read and navigate. Try to keep theme colors to two or three, keep text to a minimum, and make sure everything is super legible. Unless it’s a call to action, keep everything understated.
Simplicity will boost your user experience to a huge degree, making everything easier to read, easier to locate, and aesthetically pleasing.
6. Add Visuals
There’s no doubt about it, content that includes visuals (like photos and videos) performs a lot better than text-only content. So it’s a good idea to include some on your company website.
In addition to making your content more interesting and appealing, pictures can be super helpful in showing visitors why they should buy from you if you’re selling a product or hard service. You can even include videos about things like how to use your product.
A word of caution, though: We advise taking your own photos. Many stock photos can convey a very staged, corporate feel, which won’t make your business seem very human or customer-friendly. And with today’s technology, even your phone can take photos that look just as professional.
The internet is abuzz with apps and tools to help you do-it-yourself for visuals. You can use apps like Shakr, for marketing videos, and Canva for photos (the lovely Mary Mallard can show you how to use Canva).
Another option is to hire freelancers to do visual work. You can check out our post on where to find freelancers for help.
7. Optimize for Mobile!
If there’s one thing that’s truer than ever in business today, you just never know how visitors are accessing your website.
Whether it be desktop, laptop, tablet, or smart phone, your website needs to always look its best. Mobile optimization is super important particularly if you’re in e-commerce or a large portion of your target market is under 50.
Website creation platforms (like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and Wordpress) offer tons of benefits for small businesses. One of these is that mobile optimization is incredibly easy.
For example, on Wix, you just select the option to allow mobile optimization, and they do all the work for you! Wordpress offers many mobile-friendly themes that are already optimized for mobile.
No matter how people get to your site, you want to make sure they have a good experience and can find what they want.
8. Include an Opt-In Email List
So traffic is awesome, right? It’s always good to have your website seen by a lot of people. But once they leave your site, are you losing them forever?
Including the option to opt-in to your email list ensures that you can keep in touch with any site visitors who are interested in your business. Keeping in touch will boost conversions and help customers stay up to date on new products and deals.
Allowing visitors to opt-in helps you determine who’s actually interested in your company, so you can focus on serving those people. You can also offer freebies or discounts in exchange for emails.
If you use a web-building platform, like Wordpress or Wix, you can easily add an email sign-up with one of the platform’s plug-ins. If not, check out How to: Set Up an Email Opt-in Form on Your Website for help.
9. Master Email Marketing
Now that you have a growing list of email subscribers, what are you going to do with it? In order to see the full, conversion-boosting effects of an opt-in list, you need to craft transparent and relevant emails to send out.
Once you have more than about ten subscribers, it can get a little hectic to keep track. The good news is there are plenty of email marketing services to help you out, like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and AWeber.
Designing a campaign may take some thinking, but as long as you know your customers and know your business, you’ll do just fine. Here are a few Grasshopper blog posts that can help you get started:
10. Link Your Social Media
For businesses, social media is all about connecting with your customers and building a sense of community. If this is going to happen, customers have to be able to find you on various social media sites.
The best way to direct customers to your Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media is to link to them directly. Social media buttons are the most easily recognized way to link.
Try to put social media icons in your header, footer, or somewhere else that appears on every page of your website, and you’re well on your way to building vital relationships with your customers.
To go one step further, you can include social media buttons in your emails. You’ll boost engagement with emails and save your readers a little time and hassle.
11. Add a Blog
Chances are, you’ve got know-how that could really help your customers. Creating a blog is a great way to reach out and connect with customers on another level, while adding tremendous value to working with you. There’s really no simpler way to boost your company’s value to customers.
Now, we get it. Just about everything else we’ve recommended is a one-stop deal. You do it, and it’s done. Not so with blogging, but it doesn’t have to be a huge time-drain.
Blogging is really all about quality over quantity. You don’t need to post everyday, just make sure what you do post is super relevant and helpful for your customers.
Make Your Web Stickier
Okay, you have the tips now. So get to it and make any aspect of your small biz website better. You’ll be seeing higher traffic, more engagement, and better conversions in no time!
Your Turn: What have you done to improve your small biz site? Share with us!