I’ve had the luxury of working with scores of varying types of business over the years. I’ve helped countless small psychotherapy practices, chiropractors, small furniture stores, bed and breakfast inns and many nonprofit organizations. There are some things that cross all lines of business, so here’s my attempt to cover most everyone with a few quick recommendations to help you improve your small business website in 2020.
1. Double check all those things you should’ve done in 2019 such as:
- Make sure your website’s address or url begins with https and not http. I’ve talked to several small business owners who thought their website was secured with an SSL certificate only to learn that it was never enabled. Without a secure website, Google has probably lowered your search engine ranking and lots of visitors may have arrived on your site only to be greeting with a scary security warning.
- Take a look at your website on your cell phone and your tablet device and make sure it looks decent. Your website should be responsive which means it should respond to the size of any screen. Another way to check your website’s responsive design is to simply shrink the size of your browser on any computer and watch as your site adjusts accordingly. If you shrink the size of your browser and your site doesn’t adjust the look & feel, then you do not have a responsive site. This is also problematic when it comes to your search engine rankings.
2. ADA accessibility is becoming increasingly important for websites. There are a variety of standards for judging websites but if you’re a small business, you could simply add a widget or plugin to your site (for free) and that will help you become compliant on a basic level. Take a look in the lower right hand corner of my website, debbielamb.com and you’ll see a free tool called UserWay that is easy to add to sites and also provides a free accessibility statement template you can add to your site. You may not realize your website could give some people seizures do to your creative colors or animations and this app could seriously help those with disabilities. To check your website’s web accessibility, you can use webaccessibility.com, a free and easy tool that will even give your website a score and show you where you can improve.
- The easiest is to visit ToTheWeb.com and enter any page from your website. You can easily view your site’s page title and page description that Google is using to show those searching for you.
- A more in-depth check is possible by using SEOSiteCheckup.com. This tool will tell you what your Google search listing looks like, in addition to a whole host of other issues your site probably has (we all have them) and where you can improve.
4. It’s a new decade and with it should come new content. When is the last time you added anything new to your site (and a new employee photo doesn’t count)?
- Blogs are great for adding fresh new content (case in point here as you’re reading one!).
- Other ways to add fresh new content to your site might include breaking out one of your pages on your site into two by separating lines of business. For example, you might take your Services offerings page and split it into one for larger clientele and one specifically for smaller clients or customers. Then, maybe write an introductory paragraph that speaks to that targeted group of visitors on your site.
5. Interact. Period. I have numerous clients who say that, once they’re able to interact with a potential customer, they typically make a sale. In other words, their close rate is very high (yours truly included). So, if a website is typically one of the first connection points, take a look at yours and figure out how many opportunities people have to interact with your business. Surprisingly, most websites only offer their phone number, email address, social media links and maybe even their fax number. There are so many ways you can easily make your site more interactive in 2020.
- One suggestion is to simply adding an address look-up tool to your site so folks can easily figure out if your business services their area.
- Another idea to make your website more interactive is to add a live chat window to your site where folks can ask quick questions. These tools are easy to add to your website and easy to turn on/off. Plus, it makes it easy for visitors to ‘leave a message’ when you’re away and your business appears more accessible.
Whatever you do in 2020, it’s sure to be an improvement. Good for you for doing your research and continuing to improve your business moving into the next decade. Maybe by 2030 we’ll have mastered that time travel thing & return to 2020 and pat ourselves on the back for today!
“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” – Dr. Emmett Brown, Back To The Future