Spending extra money is something many small businesses are trying to avoid. But did you know when you update your website that’s a simple way to draw more attention to your business without spending lots of money?
By Amy Nixon, Media Consultant for On Your Mark Transportation, LLC
In speaking with web designer, Letha Edwards, of bigmeankitty.com for some simple-to-follow tips, she made the following suggestions.
First and foremost, review your site.
Yes, you’ve probably looked at your own site a million times, but that means it’s easy to overlook the small stuff. Take your time and read every line and headline of your site to be sure it makes sense and is grammatically correct.
“You want the visitor to have the best experience they can have when visiting your site, and readability is one of those experiences,” Edwards said. “That means checking all navigation and page links, too, to make sure all of them are still working.”
Make sure the date in your footer is 2020.
Today’s consumers are internet savvy. When footer dates are out of date, visitors to your site will likely notice. A current date gives the visitor a sense that you are keeping your site up-to-date and reviewing it regularly. Some dates are written 2017-2020, showing the date when the site went live followed by the current year, Edwards explained.
Update your images.
Replace out-of-date images on your site, especially on the home page. Consider putting recent images of staff members, drivers and business owners on your page. Visitors like to see the people who make your company work.
Test your website on all browsers and devices.
Did you know that more than 50% of users browse the internet on their phones rather than on their desktop computers?
That means your site needs to be easy to read on phones and tablets, as well as computers. Responsive sites automatically adjust and adapt to any device’s screen size, Edwards explained.
When your site isn’t responsive on a cell phone, potential customers may get frustrated.
“If one thing is key, it’s serving the client,” Edwards said. “You want them to have the best experience they possibly can.”
Update your website with current contact information where necessary.
There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than having a wrong phone number or email address listed. Update equipment listings and company services, too.
Make sure your site is secure.
Be sure you have an SSL certificate for your site. You’ll see a small lock immediately before the address in your browser, Edwards explained.
“This lets the visitor know you have safeguards in place on your site,” she said. “The words ‘not secure’ are not inviting to consumers.” In fact, some browsers may ask the consumer if they wish to continue.
Just because you can view your site on your browser without a problem doesn’t mean it doesn’t show differently on someone else’s browser. Check it from another computer, from home, for example, using a different internet browser.
Every time a user enters information into your site, SSL makes sure it can securely travel from their browser to your web server.
And secure sites get more play with Google’s search algorithm. You want to be high up on the list.
Consider sending a newsletter or email blast to your customers.
Current and former customers want to know that you’re open for business during COVID-19. They want to know what safety precautions you are taking. They want all the information they can get to make informed decisions about their travel. Newsletters are a great way to get that message out.
Moreover, newsletters can inform customers about anything else you have going on. Maybe you’re running a new special each month. Maybe you’ve added destination options. Utilize newsletters and email to get that message out.
Write a blog to keep content fresh.
“Content is king,” Edwards said.
New content tells Google and other search engines that your site is current and relevant.
“The average person out there is looking for information online, so the more information you put on your site relevant to your industry, the more weight Google is going to give the site.”
Blogging is also a way to offer different points of views to your customers. Consider having multiple people from your company write blogs, Edwards suggests. From the business owners to the drivers, everyone has their own perspective and may connect with customers in different ways. Blogging also helps you to become the “Expert” in your industry. You may find local community groups may ask you to be their breakfast or lunch speaker based on information you are placing on your blog.
Update your website and don’t forget video
Edwards suggests creating a 30 second video to let your customers know you are open and that you care about their safety and the safety of your employees.
Explain to your customers what you are doing to ensure their wellbeing, and thank them for choosing your company and services.
Place the video near the top of your homepage to let people know you’re ready to serve them.
You might also consider creating a YouTube channel. You can place the video there and use the embed code from YouTube to place it on your homepage. Your contact page is another good place to post this video.
Behind Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. And many younger clients appreciate watching a video rather than reading an article or blog post. Make sure you are connecting with your entire audience by including both written and visual content. Both give you more credibility, Letha said.
Add a COVID page to your main navigation when you update your website
The page could be called “Reopening FAQ” and content there could include a list of questions and answers regarding the reopening of your businesses. This shouldn’t be too hard to come up with. Ask your staff what kinds of questions they are receiving from callers.
Letha Edwards is the owner at bigmeankitty.com. She and her husband have been designing and developing websites since 1994, including many motorcoach companies for On Your Mark Transportation. Contact them through On Your Mark Transportation, LLC or at 615.669.0107