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Website Hints to get Your Small Business Noticed

September 24, 2015
Marketing

Website design, construction and content are important in today’s digital world. More than ever, your audience will be using the internet to research and discover new products and services to solve challenges they experience.

Your website is like a business card. Your chosen audience will use it to look for reassurance that you are qualified to help and that customer's information and payments are secure.

Certain elements can help you build trust and make the customer’s decision easier. Here's how:

1. Include a Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

Somewhere on your website, you need to have a page that details your terms of use and the privacy policy. This isn’t just for putting customer’s fears at rest, it is also a necessary component for search engine optimization.

These pages should be clearly labelled and be as full as possible. While most people don’t read terms and conditions, they are still important.

2. Display Qualifications and Experience

Many startup businesses have a management team with no qualification or experience. Some have the skills naturally, but others don’t, and they perform poorly for their customers. These are the companies that clients will want to avoid.

You need to demonstrate that you have the qualifications and experience for your chosen trade. Similarly, if you have a trading body that monitors your performance, processes or regulates your industry and they give you appraisals – then include that on the website.

If your report is really good, you should promote it at the top of your website.

3. Proudly Display Your Reviews

Reviews are a great marketing tool as customers are more likely to trust the word of other customers than your own marketing content.

There are many suitable positions on your website for reviews, including your homepage and on individual product pages. These reviews should be real, not fake.

To get reviews, contact current and past customers and ask them for a small testimonial. Don’t try to pay for a review as this could damage your brand’s hard earned reputation if it is exposed.

4. Meta Tags

For your website to make an impression on your potential clients you need to be found. While most businesses rely on advertising, you can try to attract customers using search engines.

To get your website to appear at the top of search results you need to optimize your site for search engines. Numerous conditions improve your ranking on Google and Bing, but few are known.

What is known is often from trial and error. One important aspect is the meta tags. On any given web page, there are dozens of tags to consider. Some of these relate to the page itself while others are more focused on elements such as videos and images.

It is also best practice to start trying to build a local SEO’d site rather than a national or state one. Look to include your local town name in most meta tags.

Each page should have a unique keyword. Otherwise, search engines can get confused, and you’ll end up competing with your own website.

5. A Telephone Number

People like to connect with another person; while email is the quickest and most convenient way to communicate in today’s digital world, it is also very detached. That is why telephone is still one of the more preferred ways customers will first speak to a potential supplier.

You shouldn’t make it hard for your potential customers to speak to you. A telephone number can be part of your website header or at the bottom. However, remember very few of your website visitors will scroll down to the bottom of the page before they’ve made a decision – so keeping it close to the top is the best bet.

6. A Blog

Writing articles and blog posts gives your brand a personality and demonstrates you have the expertise to help your clients overcome their challenges. Blogging also helps with your search engine rankings and the diversity of the search results you appear in.

Part of this is because your content will be linked with more frequently and one of the biggest pushes for SEO is gaining inbound links from third party websites.

It will also help you generate new leads and segment them into specific product categories. For instance, if someone signs up to your mailing list from a tax planning post, you know what interests them.

Clients of Halon Tax Grow Their Revenue by 18%/yr on Average

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7. Social Media Connections

Many of your website’s visitors will expect to see some sort of social media profile attached. This is because trust is built between you and your prospect when they see you have a Facebook and Twitter account, at the very least.

These should be connected to your website so people visiting can immediately reach them. This helps to keep them engaged with your brand. Research has shown that in today’s digital world, customers can now engage with a brand between five and fifteen times before they commit to purchase.

At the same time, ensure you have a signup page for your mailing list somewhere on the website as building an extensive email marketing list can offer significant returns.

8. Case Studies

Great examples of your work are much better for building trust than just telling your audience that you can do it. Case studies and images of your previous work offer tangible evidence of your skills, experience and that others trust your brand to help them succeed.

Case studies can even be turned into downloadable pdf documents that require an email address to access them, to help you build your mailing list.

Conclusion

Your website is the new business card. But it will be a rather expensive one if you don’t fill it with the right information and tools to engage your audience and convert them into leads and then customers. Use the list above as a mini checklist to see if you have a website built for a purpose.

Christopher Ragain, CPA

Christopher Ragain, CPA is the founder of Halon Tax and one of the industries top authorities on micro-business taxation and tax planning.

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