Your small business's website doesn’t need to include a lot of bells and whistles. According to cloud computing consultancy, The Web and I, you would be better served keeping your website simple, accessible, secure and up-to-date. The company, which specializes in Web design, believes that by following the above core principles, small businesses can gain the advantages that big businesses already have.
"One of our core focuses is trying to be an enabler for professional offices and small business so that they can get well-placed in local search results, do their own marketing and take control of their website themselves," Martin Low, of The Web and I, told BusinessNewsDaily.
In addition to keeping your website simple and secure, The Web and I recommends small businesses follow these tips:
- Don’t be afraid of white space —Use a minimalist design that uses white space (the empty space in the page that is generally white) effectively. This will make content more accessible.
- Keep your site up-to-date — Frequent updates of fresh text are necessary for feeding the search engines and increasing online reputation and exposure. The best practice is to keep text length to around 500 words.
- Interact — Blogs should be interactive, with links to share on social networks as well as a mechanism to comment on appropriate posts and pages. Comment moderation helps ensure that only legitimate responses are approved as comments.
- Have a call to action — Businesses need a call to action on all appropriate pages to make it easier for potential clients to contact and hire their businesses.
- Highlight your values— A value proposition should be high up on a business Web page. Businesses should be able to express their reputation and/or quality in 10 words or less.
- Highlight your skills— Businesses should do some writing about what differentiates them different from other similar firms. This differentiation can be in the form of writing quality content that potential clients would be interested and using terms they might be searching for.
- Don’t ignore mobile devices in design— Making sure your website is accessible from multiple device types is important because people will visit websites from a variety of mobile devices and iPads.
- Track what works— Using Google Analytics or other statistical traffic measurement tools for your site is critical to helping you develop your website over time. The information can include what people are searching for when they find your site, and pages or topics that generate unusual interest.
- Network— Engage with existing and potential clients on social networking platforms. Use social networking to syndicate your content and spread as far as possible. Automation can save time and money when implemented as part of your syndication strategy.
- Use your words effectively— The most important work that is done on a website is not done by your website designer, but by the author of your content. If you are not going to produce the content yourself, then hire competent writers and give them the best ideas of your business to work with as well as guidance to produce the content which would be most helpful to a business's potential and existing clients.
- Focus on SEO and keywords— Effective use of keywords in the text and in your title tags and URLs will help search engines identify and catalog website content more effectively.
- Link up— Pursue legitimate avenues for obtaining quality back links to websites in order to increase page rankings of your pages in search engines.
- Read search engine guidelines— Avoid possible search engine policy violations by reading the guidelines available on Google, Bing and others.
- Don’t get blocked— Avoid being blocked by searchers. Websites blocked from search results are not producing what is considered to be quality content in the market of the business being blocked. Businesses can avoid this with good content as well as reputation management and answering concerns all over the Internet.
- Keep it safe— You need excellent security for your website against hackers. A business can be ruined with careless handling of information, but well-deployed and maintained high-quality security can reflect well upon a business.
"All 15 of these are focused on making content accessible to search engines and people in the industry, who will be reading your content," Low said.
Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer David Mielach at Dmielach@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @D_M89.