In today’s digital age, most customers interact with a business online before ever stepping foot in the store or picking up the phone. Your website serves as the digital face of your brand and a 24/7 salesperson that provides prospects their first impression of your business. That’s why optimizing your website to effectively attract, engage, and convert visitors is one of the most important investments you can make as a small business owner.
In this article, we’ll cover key strategies to unlock the full potential of your small business website, including:
- Assessing your current website’s design, content, and performance
- Improving website design and layout for increased conversions
- Optimizing site content for search engines and visitors
- Speeding up page load times to boost visitor engagement
- Driving more qualified traffic through SEO, social media, and other channels
- Setting up tracking and testing to gain visitor insights
- Keeping your site updated and maintained for sustainability
Continue reading for actionable tips to transform your website into a lead generating machine that fuels your small business growth and success. Let’s get started!
Assess Your Current Website
For a small business, your website is often the first impression potential customers will have of your company. An outdated or underperforming website can turn off visitors and lose you sales. Before making changes, take time to critically assess your current website to identify areas for improvement.
Focus on key aspects like design, content, conversions and speed. Look at your website on both desktop and mobile. Is the design dated or hard to navigate? Does the content engage readers? Are calls-to-action clear? Analyze metrics like bounce rate, time on page and conversion rate. Run speed tests to measure page load time.
Creating a user journey map can help uncover pain points. Look for areas where people may struggle to find information or convert. See where your website is excelling and where it falls short. The goal is to pinpoint website limitations to inform your upgrade approach.
With an honest evaluation of strengths and weaknesses, you’ll gain insight into what website changes are needed to better attract, inform and convert more visitors. This assessment sets the stage for unlocking the full potential of your website.
Update the Design
A website’s design has a major impact on how visitors perceive your brand and interact with your content. An outdated, cluttered, or slow-loading site reflects poorly and can drive visitors away. Updating to a clean, modern, and mobile-friendly design shows you care about the customer experience and makes your brand feel more professional.
The benefits of a website redesign include:
Increased engagement and conversions – A modern design draws visitors in and makes them more likely to spend time on your site and convert into leads and sales. Simple navigation, readable fonts, quality images, and ample white space improve usability.
Better mobile experience – With more traffic coming from smartphones and tablets, a mobile-friendly design is essential. Your site should resize fluidly on all devices and use tap targets and font sizes ideal for mobile screens.
Improved brand image – Your visual branding from logos to color palettes projects your identity. A consistent, professional design aligned with your brand builds trust and credibility.
Enhanced SEO – A fast-loading, mobile-optimized site with quality content boosts visibility in search engine results. Your backend code also impacts SEO.
Tips for managing the redesign process include:
Keep your brand style guide on hand to maintain visual consistency.
Prioritize user needs through website analytics review, customer surveys, user testing, and support ticket analysis.
Try staging designs before launch to preview changes.
Create redirects to retain traffic from old URLs and update site links.
Set realistic timelines as design and development can take time.
Test completely on mobile devices.
Migrate and optimize content during the transition.
With a strategic design update, you can transform your website into a valuable asset for growing your small business in the digital age.
Improve Site Content
The content on your website is one of the most important factors for both engaging visitors and ranking well in search engines. Investing time into creating high-quality, useful content should be a top priority.
Without great content, visitors won’t stick around to explore your site or convert into customers. Search engines also place more value on sites with substantive content that solves user intent.
Focus on creating content that provides value for your target audience. Think about the questions they have and the solutions they are looking for. Address those needs with helpful, relevant information.
Use content to educate visitors, build trust, and position your business as an authority. Well-written pages with depth and unique insights perform better.
Follow on-page SEO best practices when optimizing content:
- Include primary and secondary keywords in title tags, headers, meta descriptions, image alt text, etc. But avoid over-optimization.
- Break content into sections with descriptive headers (H2, H3 tags).
- Include links to related internal content when relevant.
- Insert relevant images, videos, charts, etc to break up text.
- Write clear, compelling meta descriptions to attract search clicks.
- Publish long-form, in-depth content when possible (e.g. 2,000+ words).
- Make sure content is easy to scan with bold text, bullet points, and formatting.
Creating remarkable, useful content takes time but delivers huge rewards if done right. Prioritize content optimization as a long-term strategy for better search performance and conversions.
Increasing conversions on your small business website is crucial for driving more leads and sales. Here are some tips to help optimize your site for higher conversion rates:
Add More Calls-to-Action
Calls-to-action (CTAs) prompt visitors to take a desired action like signing up for a newsletter, booking an appointment, or making a purchase. Make sure you have clear CTAs in the right places throughout your site. Test different wordings, designs, placements and see which ones convert best.
Optimize Landing Pages
Create dedicated landing pages that align with your goal, whether it’s to capture emails, get users to register, or make a purchase. Remove distractions and focus the page on motivating users to convert.
Use Lead Generation Forms
Collect visitor information with contact forms, email sign-up forms, meeting booking widgets and more. Position them strategically near relevant content. Reduce friction by limiting required fields. Send an instant confirmation upon submission.
Make Checkout and Purchase Simple
Ecommerce sites should streamline checkout with guest options, auto-fill, and clear calls-to-action. Allow various payment methods. Highlight guarantees, discounts or promos. Make it easy for customers to complete their purchase.
Test and Iterate
Continuously test changes to improve conversion rates. Try different headlines, layouts, offers and more. Use A/B testing and heatmaps to identify issues. Study analytics to see which pages perform best. Refine based on insights. With ongoing optimization, you can unlock your website’s full potential for leads and sales.
Enhance Site Speed
Site speed is a critical factor for both SEO and user experience. Google has made it clear that site speed is used as a ranking factor, as pages that load faster perform better in search results. Studies also show that site speed greatly impacts conversions, with every second of delay resulting in increased bounce rates and lost revenue.
There are several ways to improve your site’s speed:
Optimize images – Compress and resize large image files, convert formats to more lightweight ones like JPEG and WEBP.
Use a caching plugin – Caching stores pages in the browser so repeat visits don’t have to load the full page. Popular plugins like WP Rocket can optimize caching.
Limit redirects – Eliminate unnecessary redirects that increase load times. Use a plugin to identify and remove redundant redirects.
Upgrade web hosting – Switch to a plan with more resources like RAM and faster CPUs for improved load times. Switching to a CDN can also help.
Defer offscreen elements – Resources like images below the fold don’t need to load immediately. Defer their load until needed.
Remove unused plugins/themes – Get rid of unnecessary bloat slowing your site down.
Enable HTTP/2 – It allows for faster transfer of resources and page elements.
Checking site speed and optimizing accordingly should be an ongoing process. Faster sites lead to better SEO, higher conversions, and an improved user experience overall
Drive More Traffic
Driving traffic to your small business website is crucial for generating new leads and customers. Here are some of the top strategies for getting more visitors:
Focus on SEO
Optimize your site for keywords that your target customers are searching for. Research low competition keywords related to your products, services and location.
Ensure your pages have meta titles and descriptions optimized with keywords. Use keywords naturally in your content as well.
Get backlinks from high authority websites to improve domain authority and rankings. Guest post on industry blogs or get listed in directories.
Create localized content focusing on your city and region. Ranking locally can drive geographic customers.
Create fresh, unique content regularly so search engines index new pages. Blog articles and videos work well.
Promote Your Site
Share your new content on social media channels to drive social traffic. Encourage shares as well.
Send new content and offers through email marketing and regular newsletters. Promote your site.
Run retargeting ads on platforms like Facebook and Google to previous visitors. Bring them back.
Build relationships with media outlets and bloggers to get press mentions and backlinks. PR raises awareness.
Network online and offline with local businesses and organizations. Cross-promote each other.
Claim and update listings on sites like Google My Business, Facebook and Yelp to improve local SEO.
With the right ongoing tactics, you can continually expand your website traffic and customer base over time. Measure results and double down on your most effective strategies. Every bit of incremental traffic can make a difference for a small business.
Track and Test
Once you’ve made changes to your website, it’s crucial to track performance and run tests to see what’s working. Google Analytics and other analytics tools provide invaluable data on your website traffic and customer behavior. Pay attention to key metrics like pages per visit, bounce rate, and conversion rate. Look for changes over time to see if your updates are having a positive impact.
A/B testing is a great way to directly compare different versions of page elements. For example, you could test two different headlines or two layouts of a key landing page. Drive a portion of traffic to each version, then see which one leads to more conversions. Over time, the better-performing version will become clear through statistically significant data. There are many free and low-cost A/B testing tools available, like Google Optimize and VWO.
Analytics and testing allow you to make data-driven decisions to optimize your site. You can double down on what’s working well while phasing out elements that aren’t producing results. Continually experimenting and iterating will help unlock the full potential of your small business website.
Maintain and Update
Keeping your website up-to-date and secure is crucial for any small business. An outdated or vulnerable site can turn customers away and hurt your brand’s reputation. Here are some tips on maintaining and updating your website:
Keep Content Fresh
New content not only keeps your site looking fresh, but it helps with SEO as well. Make sure product descriptions, blog posts, and other content is current. Add new pages and remove outdated ones regularly. Update photos and graphics when you add new products, change branding, etc.
WordPress and other platforms send notifications when updates and patches are available. Don’t ignore these! Software updates often include important security fixes that keep your site protected. They also add new features that can enhance functionality.
Run regular scans to check for malware or other vulnerabilities. There are many security plugins and online tools that can help with this. Also make sure your hosting service provides security monitoring.
Back Up Your Site
Backups allow you to quickly restore your site in case of crashes, hacking, or other disasters. Back up your database, files, and media on a regular basis.
Redesign When Needed
Most websites need a redesign every 2-5 years. Signs it might be time include declining conversions, high bounce rates, a very outdated appearance, and mobile responsiveness issues. Redesigns help improve site performance and keep your brand looking fresh.
Keeping your website properly maintained and updated is crucial for continued success. By following these tips, you can unlock the full potential of your website over the long-term.
Your website is extremely important to the success of your small business – it represents your brand online and serves as a critical lead generation and sales channel. However, many small businesses don’t fully optimize their websites or unlock their full potential.
By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can significantly improve your website and grow your business:
Update your website design to create an excellent first impression and user experience. This includes mobile optimization, using appealing visuals, and streamlining site navigation.
Improve your content by creating pages that directly speak to your target customer needs and cover relevant topics in-depth. Useful, engaging content encourages visitors to convert and promotes SEO.
Add CTAs, popups, live chats, and other conversion elements to turn visitors into leads and customers. Test different options to determine what works best.
Speed up page load times through image compression, reduced server response time, caching, and other optimizations. Faster sites improve visitor experience and SEO.
Drive more traffic to your site by focusing on SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and other proven strategies. Promote your best content.
Continuously track metrics like conversion rates, bounce rates, and sales to identify issues and opportunities to test and optimize further. No website is ever truly “done”.
Optimizing your website is a process of continuous incremental improvements over time. But it’s an investment that can pay off tremendously in the form of more customers, leads, and revenue. Unlock the full potential of your website and watch your small business growth accelerate.