Just like anything, it takes time. A business website is powerful but it will not grow overnight. If you want your website to grow you must first set it up for success. This list is created with your website’s basic needs in mind, targeted at your traffic and driving your conversion. Resulting in mass amounts of growth.
Often it is not about content or design when it comes to common mistakes with a new business website, it is about expectations. Ever heard the phrase, “expectations lead to disappointments”? Some common expectations new website owners have are thinking the website will instantly appear in Google results, website = leads, traffic is instantaneous, the list goes on. But here’s the reality:
- You need to tell Google your site exists — Google is too busy to just keep up with you
- You can pay for instant traffic through ads, but you have to earn your website traffic other ways through search engines, social media channels, and backlinks
- Website does not equate to leads — you have to design your content to take your user on an experience that leads to conversion
Index Your Site Quickly
Do not wait on Google to index your site for you. There are over 1.7 billion websites and though it would be easier to just let Google bots make the moves, this wait time can severely impact your site’s indexing. To speed up this process you can connect your website with Google Search Console and use the URL inspection tool.
Choose ‘URL inspection’ from the left menu, and add the URL of your website. If it says ‘URL is not on Google’, click ‘request indexing’. Super simple – just don’t wait.
While you’re at it, submit indexing requests to Bing, who also powers Yahoo. Bing is the default browser for Microsoft devices. And any other search engines your target audience may use.
Drive User Experience
You are providing a solution to a need — customer first. When you think about why your customer is visiting your website, you want to convert 100% of the time. Bogging the customer down with wordly navigations, too many menus, or menus with too many options, slow page loading times, or unclear navigation can all impair the overall experience; ultimately decreasing your conversion.
The experience for the user also contributes to your search position. Mobile friendliness, page speed, and on-site user behavior are key components to keep in mind for overall experience.
Just because you created a website, that does not mean people know about it or will discover it. It could probably seem like common sense, but visits means more leads or sales. There are a variety of ways you can drive your traffic, but no matter which way you choose, it is almost non-negotiable.
The slowest, most challenging channel to increase is your search traffic. Search engine algorithms are tricky; however, this can produce some of your highest conversion. This is your ‘free’ traffic.
- Regularly publish high quality content targeted at your audience
- SEO audits keep your site up-to-date, secure, and free from technical errors
- Seamless user experience with mobile friendliness
- Study the competition
Chances are, your audience is searching for your products or services already in their social media browsers. Social media can add an abundance of traffic to your website for existing or potential customers.
- Find your best-fit platform for your business — you don’t need one of each. Just focus on a few that you can master.
- Link your social channels to your website
- Create compelling content for each social channel — do not repeat content as each platform can and will reach different viewers with the same interests
- Respond to your viewers and encourage reviews
- Share your reviews on your social channels
- Share customer stories to make your content relatable — driving conversion
Though it can be the most time consuming, email marketing is often the highest conversion rate of any traffic source. And, it is small budget friendly.
- Clean, simple, and enticing sign up form on your website to gather contacts
- Gated content can be used in exchange for contact details
- Create on-brand email content that aligns with your website and your social channels, including the subject line and down to the imagery
- Time and budget dependent, create segmentation so contacts receive specific content they can engage with
A visitor who clicked a link on another website, and landed on your website, is your referral traffic. We call these backlinks.
- Grab simple links such as review sites and business directories (Yelp and TripAdvisor)
- Claim and maintain your listing on location-based apps (Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and Apple Maps)
- Re-publish your content on high-traffic platforms like LinkedIn and Medium.
- Create and maintain memberships with forum-based sites like reddit and HARO
- Resource dependent, produce topical articles for content publishing sites like Forbes and Huffington Post
With the abundance of platforms, ads are more impactful and cost effective than ever before. Targeted ads are a smart and effective way to grow your business when it’s way at the bottom of the search results.
- Take the time to study ad performance — making adjustments when necessary
- Understand the best ad platform for your audience — your social channels may be the best fit
- Continue building your search traffic so you are not stuck paying for traffic all the time
Increase Conversion Rate
Just like 1+1 is 2, conversions equal business growth. Understanding how to effectively design your website specifically for conversion is imperative to your growth.
- Identify your most convertible content (providing contact details through a form)
- Get comfortable with a conversion tracker (Google Tag Manager)
- Heatmap tools on key pages to help clearly identify both strong conversion content and barriers to conversion (Hotjar)
Even if you’re not in a position to get really extensive, you can still identify common conversion killers: confusing navigation, unclear CTA’s, poor CTA placement, lacking design and/or copy, too many or unclear form fields.
Unity in Marketing
A business website affords your consumer the opportunity at 24/7 access. From any device or location, they can access your products, services, and learn your story. There are a multitude of ways to market your website: email, social campaign, Google Ads, influencer campaigns, or any combination of these listed. But your website is the realistic goal destination.
- Utilize your website as the ultimate force to interest your audience
- Not every campaign is tracked by Google Ads (only those connected to your GA Account) — configure UTM tagging
If it’s special to your business, treat it as such. Create custom landing pages with concise copy and a clear CTA.