Do you need a small business website upgrade? 4 questions to find out
For many small businesses or businesses that function primarily offline, updating a website can seem a costly extravagance in what remains an economic time of austerity. Yet we are also in the digital age, and your website is used in much the same way a business card used to be. If you or your business is recommended by a customer, the most likely first step someone will take before giving you their business is to check out your website. If your online brand disappoints, you might lose the business before you’ve even met your potential new customer.
Having an impressive website does not need to cost a fortune. In fact, companies like Bristol Marketing specialise in using open-source technology to create attractive, up-to-date websites that perform well on search engines for a fraction of the price that a custom-built website would cost.
If you’re a professional offering on-going consultancy or mentoring, perhaps a solicitor, physiotherapist, life coach or personal trainer, if your website is seen to be out of date, then a visitor’s perception of you will be that your methods are also out-dated. For that reason, having a modern website that also functions well on smartphones and tablets is vital.
Here are four quick questions to see if you need to update your small business website:
Is your website mobile friendly (responsive)?
Is your website responsive? This is tech-speak for “does your website function properly on a mobile phone handset or tablet?”. A Kentico survey recently showed that almost half of users will not return to a website if it is not mobile friendly. More people now search the Internet on phones and tablets than on a PC or Mac. That means if your website is not built with a responsive system, you’re most likely losing 50% of business you should be getting from your website. The survey also found that 76% of smartphone users and 78% of tablet users return often to websites that look good and work well on their mobile devices.
Do you have a social media presence?
The reign of search engine optimisation (SEO) as the only way to promote a small business website is well and truly over. Social Media has grown so much in the last ten years that the world leading search engine, Google, has created it’s own social media platform and the YouTube and Facebook search bars are used more than the second most popular search site, Bing. If you don’t have a Facebook page, Twitter account or YouTube channel, you’re missing the opportunity to promote your business both locally and to a target audience that would want to use you. The latest website technology works closely with social media and can automatically generate posts to Facebook and Twitter whenever you add a page or article on your website.
Are you giving visitors regularly updated content?
If you’ve not looked into best practice for website content in a while, you’re in for a big surprise. Gone are the days when good content was centred around how many keyword you could stuff into the text. Search engines penalise sites that use keywords too much, duplicate web copy and low-quality blog posts that have no interesting visual content such as imagery and video. The Google Panda update looks to promote websites that add high quality content on a regular basis. This means that if you don’t have a blog showing off your expertise, you’re likely to be slipping behind your competition. As Google becomes increasingly localised, that means the impact is compounded as you fall behind local competition.
Is your PageRank dropping?
Although not necessarily a direct sign of an out-of-date website, if you have a low PageRank it sends a signal to search engines that you’re website is old and in need of updating. PageRank measures a webpage’s relevance and importance in the eyes of Google, and more recently Moz. While links are an important factor used to determine PageRank, things like page load time, how regularly you add new content; page updates, keyword optimization, and other technical factors all play a sizeable role.
If you’re going to keep your website at the top of the search engine rankings for your keywords and maintain online marketing with any level of success, you need to ensure that your PageRank remains high and improves. This means maintaining an online marketing plan that includes SEO, social media, digital content creation and keeping on top of the latest trends.
Is it time to upgrade your website?
If you find that your website is letting you down on any of the four areas discussed in this article, you should give Bristol marketing a call. We specialise in helping small businesses, independent professionals and not-for-profit organisations maintain and improve their online marketing presence and achieve maximum success from limited budgets. Drop us a line today at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll let you know where we think we can help.