Get your website into shape
Small companies should use the new year as an opportunity to revisit their website and ensure it is working as efficiently as possible.
A recent report by the Federation of Small Businesses found that 28% of small firms did not even have a website while 37% said they did not have access to fast broadband. This was a particular problem for those in rural areas.
Now, Toolkit Websites is urging companies to adopt some affordable tips that will give them the best chance of making their site stand out from the competition and winning new business.
"With traditional businesses suffering the worst of the recession, this is a great time for agile online businesses, particularly those who can swiftly adapt and add value to their clients," said Marcus Green, founder of Toolkit Websites. "Having a website is no longer a nice to have, it's essential. But it needn't break the bank."
He suggests the following areas where many small firms will be able to improve their current offerings:
Make your site work hard
In the competitive market that small businesses face today, your website is your shop window to the world. You can tap into a global market that uses search engines to find products and services like yours. Your customers are web savvy so you should be too.
Be easy to find
If you have a website which you can update yourself, you can optimise the content to match the keywords that customers use to find products and services like yours. You need to make it easy for customers to find you on the internet high street.
You'd advertise any business in real life and the way to do this on the web is through a combination of great keyword rich content and inbound links to your website. We've put together a free search engine guide packed with tips and tricks which you can download at www.mysearchguide.co.uk
Advertise your business
With Google Adwords, you'll appear in the sponsored results that are on the right hand side of Google Pages. You can target your adverts to the keywords that you know your customers are searching for. Find out more at http://adwords.google.co.uk
Update your website
You should update your site constantly. Frequently updated sites get visited more often by the search engines and customers alike. It's a great way to keep your customers informed about your business.
You can use your website to build up a relationship with your customers, perhaps by showing a behind the scenes view in a blog or by doing spotlights on customers and what they ordered.
To find out how to choose the best web design company for your business have a read of our free business web design guide at www.mywebguide.co.uk
Make it simple
Once people are on your patch of the web, you need to make it easy for them to browse and place an order. If it's difficult to order they'll take their business elsewhere. A great way to set up an online shop is to use Paypal. It's really simple for you and your customers. Find out more at www.paypal.co.uk
You also need to ensure that it's easy for people to ask questions and find information on delivery charges and times. Why not use an online contact form to encourage your customers to get in touch?
Displaying your telephone number prominently on your website is also a good idea. For some customers only a chat with a real person will do, and no one knows your products and services like you.
Post Date: January 19th, 2009