To help you build a better website for your company, we asked web developers and business leaders this question for their best insights. From SSL certificates to clear and well-directed content, there are several things your company’s website must have to be successful and sustainable in 2022.
7 must-haves for a small business website:
- SSL Certificate
- About Me/Us Page
- Mobile-Optimized Interface
- Data-Centered Architecture
- Clear and Well-Directed Content
SSL certificates are a common standard when it comes to website security. Without one, it’s unlikely that your audience will spend more than a few seconds on your website, let alone engage with it. A website with an SSL certificate not only has a better ranking on search engines but it safeguards the personal information that you collect from your visitors like their credit card information, address, and so on.
Riley Beam, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.
About Me/Us Page
Every company website needs an About Me/Us page. As a blogger, I’ve noticed that many interested readers click through to my About Me page when they’re browsing my blog. People want to know the person behind the content and this page will help to turn new readers into loyal followers and customers.
Angie Makljenovic, She Can Blog
In 2022, companies must have blogs on their websites. Blogs are a must. First, your competition will have a business blog so a blog keeps you cutting edge. Next, a blog shows your expertise in your industry. Consumers want to buy from knowledgeable entrepreneurs in an industry. Finally, you became an authority in your industry. People can cite you and link to you boosting your visibility on the Search Engine Results Pages. All of this leads to more sales.
Janice Wald, Mostly Blogging
Today, having a chatbot is becoming an absolute must for businesses if they want to succeed in their growth. A chatbot can do a lot. It’s a powerful tool to engage website visitors, improve lead generation, answer FAQs, and much more. Additionally, chatbots are available 24/7 answering real-time requests, can speak multiple languages and often don’t require any coding skills to install. It’s a great investment that will definitely pay off in the long run. Customer experience starts right when a person opens the website, so it’s a great idea to have a tireless assistant on the watch out for any issues they might encounter.
Maryia Fokina, Tidio
Making a website mobile-friendly just isn’t enough anymore. Today, more than 50% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. This is why it’s imperative to maintain a mobile-optimized website. Instead of simply shrinking and stacking website elements, take the time to design an entirely different layout that’s catered to mobile visitors. Make sure that each element of your website translates over to your mobile layout so that users don’t feel like it is lacking. A mobile-optimized interface offers a smoother and simplified experience for your visitors, and that can lead to increased dwell time and conversions.
Eric Ang, One Search Pro
I think every website should properly analyze the market, conduct advanced keyword analysis and create a structure/internal links based on the outcome of the research. Not providing answers to the queries that people are looking for is the number 1 mistake I see when reviewing different websites. Create a nice-looking mega menu with the links to the important product/services pages, resources, and information about your company alongside clear pricing of what you are offering.
Matej Kukucka, Marketing Player
Clear and Well-Directed Content
One of the main things a company website must have is a clear purpose that is easy for someone who is unfamiliar with your products and services to understand. Consumers should be able to know what you do and what you need them to do after looking at your website. A website with a clear purpose and a good layout will set your company apart from competitors in 2022.
Landon West, Focus Insite
Terkel *creates community-driven content featuring expert insights.
To help you build a great small business website, we asked business owners and web developers this question for their best tips. From outlining the scope of services or products to including an SSL certificate, there are several tips that may help you build a great website for your small business.
9 tips for building a great small-business website:
- Outline The Scope of Services Or Products
- Ensure Website Meets Accessibility Guidelines
- Make it Easy To Navigate and User-friendly
- Maintain Uniformity in Design and Language
- Optimize Website for Mobile Devices
- Cater To Less Savvy Users as Well
- Keep it Simple
- Use Tried and Trusted Templates
- Include SSL Certificate
Outline The Scope of Services Or Products
Small businesses usually don’t have broad brand recognition and thus require an informative approach before anything else. Focusing on clear communication of the commercial offer can help connect with customers and keep the content useful.
Michael Sena, SENACEA
Ensure Website Meets Accessibility Guidelines
When building your website it is very important to make sure the site is accessible and inclusive to people with disabilities – there are international standards for web design to ensure accessibility – WCAG (web content accessibility guidelines) and you should ensure that any designer/developer you hire creates a site that is accessible and adheres to these standards. If building your own site a very simple but important first step is to make sure you can use your website with just the keyboard – using tab and arrow keys to move around without using the mouse. If your website is keyboard accessible this means it has a good basic level of accessibility for many disabled people such as those who use screen readers and voice control.
Dale Reardon, All Accessibility Matters
Make it Easy To Navigate and User-friendly
Remember that, at the end of the day, you’re creating the website for your users and consumers and not for yourself. Aesthetics won’t matter much to your users if they get frustrated trying to navigate your website or can’t find the features or information that they’re looking for. Simplicity is key so break things down and ensure that your webpages are uniform and accurately direct the user towards the information they’re looking for by using a well-defined heading hierarchy.
Riley Beam, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.
Maintain Uniformity in Design and Language
Every brand has its own unique identity consisting of its logo, typography, colors, messaging, and tone of voice. For your website to truly make an impact on its audience it’s of the utmost importance that all the pages on your website are consistent when using these elements so that your users aren’t left feeling confused or in doubt about your credibility.
Demi Yilmaz, Colonist.io
Optimize Website for Mobile Devices
Building a great website is no longer optional for small businesses. Customers want a high-functioning and easy-to-use website if they are going to consider buying your company’s product or service. However, many customers today are making purchase decisions on their mobile devices which is why the mobile-first approach to website building is important to consider. Not only can a negative mobile experience deter potential customers but it can have an impact on SEO rankings. Ensure your website functions well on a mobile device with the flow and size of pages, animations, and alignment for a great small business website!
Jeffrey Pitrak, Transient Specialists
Cater To Less Savvy Users as Well
The biggest mistake I see people making is that they try to build websites and a marketing strategy that’s like the big brands. But if you have a small, local business, then your website needs to reflect that. Leave all the bells and whistles aside, you don’t need them. Your website needs to be clear and obvious. It should be intuitive and user-friendly. Think about the oldest lady in town – you want her business, but will she be able to navigate your website? If not, then make the necessary changes.
Rick Berres, Honey-Doers
Keep it Simple
One vital tip is to keep the layout simple. If you’re an e-commerce website, you want to make it easy for visitors to find what they’re searching for from arrival to check out. When some sites are overwhelmed with content, finding what you need turns into a clicking game resulting in a waste of time and frustration. Aim to have the visitor seek their destination in three clicks or less. The site should be easy to read and navigate.
Sasha L., Sasha Talks
Use Tried and Trusted Templates
Starting with a blank page and no plan leads to dumping everything you can think of on your web pages – which leads to a completely ineffective website. Instead, start with some tried and tested copywriting frameworks – use them to guide you for each and every page of your site. Every page should have a clear focus and take the reader on a journey, and there are loads of free resources to help you. Start by Googling “website copywriting frameworks”.
Frank Prendergast, Frank and Marci
Include SSL Certificate
We all shop online, but would you go to the checkout after seeing the message that someone is trying to steal your data? Exactly. If you want to accept payments from customers online, it’s essential that your website has an SSL certificate. Having such a certificate guarantees that customers will feel safe when placing an order and will significantly increase the chances of selling your product.
Piotr Buczynski, PhotoAid
Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights.
How to Create an Effective Content Strategy for Your Local Business
To help you create an effective content strategy for your local business, we asked marketing professionals and business leaders this question for their best insights. From applying local SEO to understanding your target audience, there are several ideas that may help your local business develop effective content strategies to increase its market share.
Here are 10 tips for creating an effective content strategy for your local business:
- Apply Local SEO
- Anchor Keywords To City Search Volumes
- Promise Rewards With Actionable Content
- Relate Content To Local Community
- Follow a Content Calendar
- Target Your Audience Through Identified Channels
- Collaborate on Content With Local Businesses
- Use Community Influencers for Reach and Impact
- Define and Sell Your Uniqueness
- Understand Your Target Audience
1. Apply Local SEO
Before creating a content strategy, it’s important to understand what local SEO is and how it differs from traditional SEO. Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online content so that you can be found more easily by people who are searching for products or services in your locality. It’s a form of search engine optimization (SEO) that specifically targets local searches. There are several things that you can do to optimize your content for local SEO, but one of the most important is to make sure that your website and all your online content include your city, state, or region. This will help when potential customers in your area are looking for businesses like yours.
Natalia Brzezinska, PhotoAiD
2. Anchor Keywords To City Search Volumes
One way to create a content strategy for a local business is to use the home city as an anchor for keyword analysis. Using tools like Google Trends, you can see what kinds of online searches folks in the area conduct most often, and then narrow that scope to focus on customers that fall within your niche. For example, if you are promoting an area restaurant and notice that “festivals in CITY” is a popular search term in the summertime, then you can plan a blog post that draws traffic to the site.
Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding
3. Promise Rewards With Actionable Content
In preparing localized content, speaking the language of the audience is an advantage as well as a challenge. But when you make your content actionable, you give your content the unique and universal advantage of gaining maximum attention and response. From early bird rewards to special hours, put to work every strategy your brand allows. You can also leverage the advantage of knowing how the local community will react to each rewards system and concentrate on the ones that offer the most traction.
Richa Nathani, Dialed Labs
Think of the needs of those in the particular community where your business is located, and incorporate those needs into your content. For example, if you own a clothing store in a city with a lot of cold weather, you could focus mainly on warm clothing such as coats and hats in your marketing, even if you also sell other kinds of clothing. Make your content relatable to those who live in a certain local community so that they will feel more connected to your business.
Nick Shackelford, Structured Agency
5. Follow a Content Calendar
One step to creating an effective content strategy for a local business is to come up with a content calendar. This will help you map out what content you will create and when you will publish it. By keeping to such a calendar, you will be able to better measure the performance of your content and make necessary adjustments along the way.
Matthew Ramirez, Paraphrase
6. Target Your Audience Through Identified Channels
Creating an effective content strategy for local businesses can be a challenge, especially when competing with larger companies. One content strategy to increase local market share is using alternative channels of communication. In the growing age of digital media, everyone consumes content and purchases differently. It is important to understand where your target audience consumes media as well as where competitors are dominating the space.
Reaching target audiences and allowing them to easily purchase your product is vital to the growth of local businesses. Social media, email marketing, and business websites are great places to start. Once you figure out where your content is being consumed you will get a better sense of where to pursue your online presence on channels that bring the most exposure. This will ensure you can communicate with the right audience at the right time. Expanding channels will also ensure customers can shop with ease.
Jeffrey Pitrak, Transient Specialists
7. Collaborate on Content With Local Businesses
If you want to get noticed in your community, then work with other local businesses to create shared content. This could be in the form of blog posts on one another’s websites, where you link back. It could be through similar collaborations on social media. Or, it could mean partnering on a local contest or event that the community will find valuable and creating press releases and other content to promote it. When you work with others, you share your pools of customers, influence, and traffic, you can amplify each other’s business more than by doing everything on your own.
Dennis Consorte, Snackable Solutions
8. Use Community Influencers for Reach and Impact
Identify the influencers in your community and reach out to those who match your brand’s identity. From here, it’s all about using the existing reach of these influencers to promote your content. You can ask them to vlog reviews, write guest blogs and exchange links, and feature specific content built around their personas. They can also participate in giveaways on your platforms or host them on their channels, helping you gather more content to promote.
Mary Jurgensen, Gary and Mary West PACE
9. Define and Sell Your Uniqueness
When you’re creating a content strategy for your local business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Where do you start? How do you make sure that you’re creating content that will resonate with your reach? It’s more simple than you think! You start by focusing on what makes you unique. What are the aspects of your business that set it apart from any other store or restaurant or service in the area? Find those things and help them shine.
One of the best ways to showcase those unique aspects of your business is through video content. Video is one of the most shareable types of content today, so it’s a great place to focus some of your efforts. Video also helps show off the culture and atmosphere of your company and lets people see what sets you apart without having to visit in person.
Nick Cotter, newfoundr
10. Understand Your Target Audience
Creating an effective content strategy is essential for your business. Start by identifying your target audience. Reference your business plan, as you’ve likely already completed this step. Research your audience by listening across social media channels. For example, if you own a local boutique jewelry business, find + follow a few industry influencers on IG and Twitter.
Research and follow the top industry hashtags, and also look for the “sweet spot” hashtags with 1K to 100K posts on IG and use them correctly to help the algorithm recognize your brand. Create a list of topics and consistently publish content that attracts people to your brand. Be sure to include user-generated content (UGC) in 50% of your content. Build relationships where you mutually benefit from cross-promoting your topics and be sure to recognize your own brand influencers regularly. Use a scheduling tool to help you post consistently, and you’re on the right track to a winning local content strategy.
Natalie Figueroa, Peerlogic