Improving Websites Critical for Small Businesses
Small business owners who want to improve their websites and boost return on investment (ROI) should first look to improve their content.
Lisa Barone, a noted writer, content marketer and social strategist, believes that doing so can lead directly to higher sales, customer loyalty and increased brand awareness.
"It's often also the 'cheapest' site change to make when you're on a tight budget," Barone writes in a recent Internet post.
Barone offers the following content areas to increase ROI and site conversions:
n Information-rich product pages
"This is big, especially for a small business website where trust and point of difference are so vital," Barone says. "It's safe to assume that a consumer who lands on a product/service page is in the process of making a decision."
As a result, these pages need to be as informative as possible and stand out.
"They need to convince a potential buyer that purchasing this product is the right decision," she says.
Last year, Barone noted that more businesses were blogging than not blogging, and the same holds true today.
"Adding a blog to your business remains one of the most effective, and cost-effective, marketing strategies available to you, especially as a small business owner or consultant," she says. "Your blog gives you a forum that you own and which you can use to create linkable assets (naturally increasing your search engine optimization [SEO]), establish your brand and authority, and makes you a friend of the search engines."
n Email newsletters
"Email newsletters give you a chance to maintain a relationship with your customer long after their purchase," Barone says. "It takes you from vendor to friend and strengthens the connection a consumer has with your brand. They may have visited your website to fill a specific need, but now you can build on that."
The possibilities are virtually endless.
"You can keep customers informed about what your company is up to, you can tell stories, you can let them know what's fresh on your website, you can be an information source for what's happening in your industry, etc.," she says.
n Higher-quality photography and video
"When it comes to photography, get away from using stock photos. Instead, use high-quality photos to represent your products, your staff, your office building, and anything else you choose to visualize on your website," Barone says. "When it comes to video, use it."
n Product guides and comparisons
Consumers are pretty insecure in that they want to make sure they're buying the right product that best fits their needs.
"Consider offering product comparisons to help your customers answer these natural questions and make them more confident in their buying decisions," Barone says. "Maybe it means creating comparison charts, or maybe it's a downloadable fact sheet."
Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at (910) 693-2474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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