Many small business owners have a funny attitude toward their website. Some treat it as a necessary evil that they spend as little money as possible on, like business cards or stationary. These people rarely update, complain if it costs them anything and typically don’t generate many leads on the site. Others consider the website their own little sandbox to play in. They update it regularly, but don’t consult a professional to help them clean up the rough edges and maximize their traffic flow. Your business website should be more than a credit card or an enjoyable activity, it should be a business asset that introduces potential customers to you and generates new contacts to your business.
Tips For Making Your Website an Asset
Pick a Great Name – Once a website is established it can be expensive and difficult to migrate the site to a new name without losing ranking and traffic, so it’s important to pick a good name for the long term. Pick something as short as possible. Often your email and business cards will use your web address. Not only are long addresses hard to find, but they take time to spell while on the phone with customers or vendors. It’s also good to try and pick a name that can stay with the business as it grows. Try not to pick a domain that targets your city or local region if you intend to pull customers in from other areas. Get a name that can stay with the business even if it’s sold or the business name changes. Many professionals will pick a domain using their name (e.g. drjohnsmith.com) rather than something more generic that a future business owner can use.
Look For Value In Your Website – Traditional advertising (newspaper, TV, Radio, direct mail) is generally a one time experience. New artwork, copy and recordings are usually generated for each campaign. Your website is an ongoing value, it can be built upon, information can be updated and added without losing the market share you have already gained. You should be tracking incoming leads from the website, watching your traffic flow with a tool like Google Analytics and trying to put a monetary value on the traffic from your site. As a small businessperson it’s difficult to keep track of all the data that your business generates, but it’s good to have at least an idea of how many times your phone rings because of your website and what kind of dollar value those leads are spending with you.
Consult a Professional – Running your business website yourself can be a very rewarding experience, but sometimes a professional review can reap large benefits. Think of it like you would running a business expansion past your accountant or a new contract past your lawyer. A simple website audit by an SEO professional can help you determine if you are putting the right amount of resources into your site and find problem areas that can be addressed.
Your website is a tireless employee that works 24 hours a day. It answers questions for customers while you are asleep. Treat it like the valuable asset it is. Invest in your website and it will add value to your business and when you decide to retire your website will help you get top dollar for your company.