I want to give a few website design tips for small business owners. A great website is so critical to the success of a small business in these days of ever-evolving technology. After looking into the other aspects of our clients marketing, we noticed that some of our postcard marketing customers were not being taken care of when it came to the design of their web pages.
That’s when I opened PostcardMania’s web design department. I wanted to make sure that our clients’ customers encountered consistent marketing quality from postcards to the online experience with their website. This way, the small business owners we serve could have a comprehensive marketing strategy that effectively leads prospects from postcard to purchase.
Here’s 3 things you can do to get the most out of your website…
1. Design a Visually Engaging Website
It all starts with a great web design. You need a website that is aesthetically pleasing, preferably featuring pictures and graphics, without neglecting the essential message that you need to communicate to your prospects with well-written copy.
2. Add a Blog
Blogs are a necessary part of any businesses website at this point. It keeps visitors connected with your company, and keeps your website active. This facilitates search engines in finding your site more easily.
3. Use the Web Tools That Are Available to You
Pay-Per-Click (aka: PPC) advertising and Google Analytics are also useful tools to boost your website. PPC puts your website at the top of search results as a sponsored link. Google Analytics helps you track the traffic on your website which allows you to tweak the parts of your site that are not being effective.
Please, take a minute to watch the interview I did offering website design tips for small business owners. In the interview I talk candidly about the things that are critical for you to do with your businesses website. And don’t forget to leave comments and let us know what your think!
I wanted to see all the postcards that we designed from scratch, and I asked them weekly to be delivered to me and it’s well over 100 a week of brand new customers that we’re designing for. So, I got boxes of postcards brought to my office, and I started looking through them and they were beautiful. But I said, “Let me see what the website looks like.” It’s so important that when the person receives a promotional piece that when they go to your website there’s some congruence there, so that it looks like it’s the same company.
So, I started going to the websites. It was amazing to me how many postcards had no website listed, or the website was so bad that I understood why it wasn’t listed. Or it looked really beautiful, but the whole thing was done in images, so there was no way for the search engines,
Google, Yahoo, Bing, to find this website, and there was no way for the visitor to communicate with you on the website. There was no place to fill in my information or ask for more data, no live chat. The Internet is much more interactive these days, and so I put my head down and I said, “I guess we’re going to have to do website development because people aren’t being taken care of out there.” I said once that I would never ever buy printing equipment, I would never buy presses. “I don’t need this big equipment.”
Critical mass, you get to a point where you better buy the equipment, so now I have all these presses, and now we develop websites. It’s actually been going fantastic.
If you look at that, we have over 50,000 customers and we’ve been doing it for a couple of years, we’ve only developed about 300 websites so far. But 300 is a nice, hearty number. I can tell you that there are many website development companies out there that never even touch 100 websites in the entirety of their careers. But because we have such a large customer base, we were able to offer it slowly to certain customers, and it’s going quite well. It’s very important that the website is developed in such a way that the search engines can find it, that there is a way to capture the identity of the visitor, that it makes the visitor want to give their contact information to you, that there’s a flow to the website. You’re leading them some place. You want them to go some place. So it can’t be too busy. So there’s an aesthetic function of the site. There’s the functionality, the marketing functionality of the site, how it’s programmed.
Then, you need to have a blog anymore. I know that sounds horrible, because who wants to sit and write a blog all the time? But if you update it even once a month, that’s going to help the search engines find you. A blog just stands for web log. It’s just a page that you can upload information on yourself, and it just scrolls down in chronological order of when you post things so that you can maybe, post testimonials on that page. You can post anything you learned in your business that you think would be very helpful to the customer, even if it’s just a few sentences. I’m sure that all of you have an experience where you worked with a customer and it was really terrific the way you handled something. That would help somebody in your industry, a customer. You want to write things that’s going to help the customers, right? So if you can tell a story… You don’t have to be a great writer. People appreciate conversational writing, so I’m trying to take the horribleness out of blogging. But it’s actually pretty good once you get rolling on it.
But it’s important to have that on your site, because a site that’s updated often gets found faster by the search engines. So now we’re also setting up pay-per-click management for business owners. What that is, is you know when you go to Google, you see at the very top there’s a beiged out area, where there are sites listed. Then down the right-hand column of Google, you’ll see sites listed. Those people are paying every time you click. They’re paying to be on that first page or second page. So, we can help you set that up. We can help you set up Google Analytics, which is a beautiful thing. Google Analytics is free, and it’s basically some code that’s added to your site, so that you can go on Google Analytics, log in, and see how many people visited your website.
So when your postcards go out, you can tell they hit because you get a lot more people visiting your website. Then you can even say, “Wow. I’ve had 1,000 people visit, but I’ve only gotten 100 leads. Let’s see if we can tweak the site and make it more comfortable for people to give their contact information.” So you can use Google Analytics even to see what pages people are leaving your site from. Let’s say they’re on your homepage. Then they go to your gallery. Then they go to your pricing page.
Then they go to the About Us page, and maybe they leave from the About Us page. Well, probably if you don’t have a mission statement, maybe a video with you saying something very sincere about your purpose for helping people with their construction needs, that they’ll leave there because they didn’t like you. They lost trust in you. So there are just ways that you can analyze your site using Google Analytics so that you can improve it.
So I hope you’ve learned a lot from what I’ve been telling you in this past hour in terms of marketing. But I wasn’t expecting you to become a genius marketer in one hour from listening to me chat. So what I’d like to do is I’d like you to take the opportunity to call one of my marketing consultants and let us figure out a campaign for you because I feel very confident that we can help you take your business to the next level. That we can help you put a campaign in place that you can afford that doesn’t break the bank, but you’re going to have to take some trust in us and take some risks in marketing. It’s never a lay-down. Take your business to the next level. How many quotes do you need to do in order to make a sale? How many sales do you need to take your company from where it is now to the next level? What’s the average ticket of a job that you do? If you figure out exactly what you know that you want and what you need, we can take that and work it backwards for you and figure out what campaign is going to get you there.