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Make Your Mark With A Solid Website

Your website is a vital component of your business's marketing strategy and overall business success. A sleek, fast-loading site, one that answers questions and offers solutions, will bolster your brand and convert browsers into customers. Cluttered, unresponsive websites that rely on Adobe Flash and Midi tracks for excitement are outdated. The trend is toward simple, mobile-friendly sites that allow users to find what they need without having to navigate through multiple pages and deal with slow-loading features.

If you have created a beautiful website or hired a developer to build one for you, great! However, your work has only begun. You need to promote your site, or very few will ever see it. You also must make sure your potential customers find your site useful, or they won't stick around long enough to become a fan. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Put yourself on the map

Do a Google search for any product or service and just beneath the paid ads, you'll find a map of your area with local listings. You want your business to appear here. To get into this "local pack," you need to set up a Google My Business page. It's a free service, and in addition to listing your business in search results, your business will appear on Google Maps. To rank high in local search results, it's important to be consistent with your name, address and phone number (NAP) information across all platforms including social media pages.

Provide online support

Most people that land on your website needs something, a product or a service, and they will have questions. A phone number, email address and contact form are musts, but users have grown accustomed to quick answers. The addition of a live chat or messaging option will give your site a more interactive feel. Ask your web developer about adding a chat interface to your site.

A photo is worth a thousand words

Beautiful, unique photos entertain and inform. While the text is important and necessary, walls of text can be intimidating for someone looking for quick answers. The trend in website development is to present engaging images and break the text into small paragraphs with subheadings and plenty of white space.

About social media

A single, intriguing post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest can drive thousands of prospective customers to your website. Even if a post brings only a mediocre response, it will build on other posts to establish your brand and develop a following of loyal customers. Select social media platforms that work for you and post regularly for the best results. Always respond to comments and questions. Social media works best when you interact with the public.

Add fresh content with a blog page

Useful content that entertains, educates or informs will attract visitors to your site. Each new post adds to your library, builds on the public's perception that you are an expert in your field and signals search engine bots that you are alive, active and in need of a crawl. Develop a schedule to consistently post to your site's blog page. Mix it up with short pieces, timely news items, and more extensive evergreen texts. Add attractive photos and share with all your social media fans for the biggest impact. Invite experts in your field to submit guest blog posts. This will give your site some variety and usually bring some new backlinks as guest posters will want to share their work on their own platforms.

This article was written by Gillian Burdett for Small Business Pulse

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