Most people research online before they purchase. That could take the form of looking up prices, options, or educating themselves on the product or service they’re in the market for. Many buyers also use a business website to verify hours, availability, make reservations, etc. During the holiday season people are busier than ever and it’s common to check things out online before getting in a car. If your website isn’t easy to navigate, with important information front and center, you may be missing out on a host of customers. Here’s how you can ensure it’s in good shape.
10 Things You Should Do Right Now for a Better Business Website
Most of the changes below are things you can implement quickly but you should also make sure that your website is user friendly, loads quickly, and looks great on mobile. If it doesn’t meet those requirements, work on those basics first.
Make sure you have the following things clearly accessible on your website:
We’re down to the last two weeks before Christmas with some of the biggest shopping days of the season still ahead of us. Since every sale can help your future marketing, it’s essential that over the next few weeks you think not only of the money, but the data you can garner from each sale as well. But don’t stress. You still have time to implement these important activities for big results.
Things You Need to Do During Small Business Season
Don’t let the biggest sales season go by without gathering this data and implementing some of these activities to help with future marketing:
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, chances are you're doing some sort of decorating for the holidays. Even if you don't celebrate, it's likely your customers do so in order to spread the holiday cheer you get festive.
The same should be true of your website. While you don't need to decorate per se, you do need to prepare for holiday traffic. Even if what you do or sell has nothing to do with Christmas, people often turn to the internet or online solutions during the holiday season. Plus, if you run a business that helps people prepare for the holidays, even if just peripherally, you want to make sure your website is ready. Here's how you can go about doing that:
Also, check out your hosting plan. Some website hosts limit the number of visitors your site can receive and will slow down your service speed after that. If that is the case, you can upgrade your service plan or see if your host has something that allows you to upgrade on an as-needed basis as you see traffic approaching the limit.
Even if your site didn't get a lot of traffic last year around the holidays, consider this year's holiday marketing plan. If your company is planning on doing more marketing to drive traffic to your website you want to make sure your website is prepared.
Don't let this happen to your business make sure you take all security updates seriously installing the updates of software as soon as they're available. Depending on the type of information you store from your customers, you may want to consider getting a cybersecurity check-up to ensure you're doing everything you can to keep your customers’ data secure.
It used to be that hackers only went after the Fortune 500 companies. That is no longer the case as they found smaller businesses are now keeping data and are less likely to have the same level of security larger companies do. Everyone is now at risk. Take the necessary precautions.
It's surprising how some businesses still are not making mobile a priority. Log on to your site from your phone and try to purchase or research something. What is the experience like? Are the buttons large enough? Are the options intuitive? An unimpressive mobile experience will cause buyers to go elsewhere and it reflects badly on your organization as it looks like you are not keeping up with the times.
You need a mobile-optimized site but you also want to ensure the buying experience is a pleasant one. Even if you don't sell anything on your site you still need to allow your potential customers to find what they need easily without frustration. If you're unsure whether your website meets this qualification or not ask a teenager to take a look. They have little patience for long loads and bad design.
Even if your design is perfect, adding new content including holiday specials or a holiday countdown can help people realize that your website is active and your company is involved in digital marketing. While this may not seem like a big deal to you, there are some generations that are looking to do business with companies that are using current best practices. Leaving your website to go to seed is not one of those best practices.
Don't wait for there to be a problem with your site. When it comes to your website, think of it as that smiling receptionist who never sleeps. For many of your customers, even if you don't sell anything online, your website will be the first impression they have of your business. You don't want it outdated or missing the basic functionality that a business moving into 2020 needs.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
Christina is an introverted writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.