Top tips to help your small business compete online

06 September, 2021
As a small business, creating a strong website is essential for standing out against your larger competitors. The following will investigate how you can create a competitive website, as well as using your size to your advantage.

Choosing a domain name

The first place to start when building a great website is using a simple domain name to enhance usability and SEO. Here are our top tips for choosing a domain name:

1. Make it memorable
To do this, keep it short, easy to spell and avoid numbers and hyphens. This will make the domain memorable, easy to read aloud and help avoid typing errors.

2. Make it broad but relevant
If you’ve got big plans for your business and are keen to grow, you may find yourself branching out into different areas. By using a broad name to start with, you can avoid painting yourself into a corner and suffering the headache of changing your domain later down the line. Make sure that your domain name clearly conveys what you do. Not only does this make it easy for customers to find and remember you, but also makes your branding more succinct.

3. Google it
You don’t want your customers accidently going to the wrong site, so it’s important to check that there isn’t already a site with a similar name. You should also check that it doesn’t contain any registered trademarks. You can do this at https://www.gov.uk/search-for-patent (in the UK).

4. Optimise for search engines
Yes, you can even optimise your domain name. By making your domain name SEO friendly, you can increase your chances of being found by potential customers. To do this, include aspects such as keywords and geo location.

Choose the best content management system (CMS)

A CMS helps manage the content on your site and requires little technical knowledge to use. WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS, some of the advantages to it are:

1. There is a vast active support community.

2. There is a variety of useful plugins that you can use to improve the functionality of your site.

3. It is free and simple to install.

4. It is ideal for small businesses due to its flexibility and extensibility.

Create an engaging website

Now you’ve chosen your domain name, your business needs a website that is going to attract, engage and convert customers. Here are 10 things to help you build a website that will leave a lasting impression:

1. First, get a real understanding of your target market and make sure your design and content is orientated towards them and their needs.

2. Check out your competitors to see how they are getting found, and what appeals to you about their sites too – who ranks highly in the search engine for your key words?

3. Ensure the look and feel of your homepage represents the business.

4. Keep your design clear and consistent with high quality graphics, images and easy to read fonts.

5. Add introductory text that clarifies immediately who and what the business is.

6. Include standard pages that users know and recognise such as home, contact, about us, and then add other pages that may be specific to your business. All of these should sit in a navigation bar that is clear and easy to follow.

7. Include contact information that’s easy to find – you can even add this in the footer.

8. Incorporate clear call-to-action so your audience knows what to do next.

Optimise your site for search engines

Once you have spent time creating the perfect domain name and website, now you need to make sure your customers can find it! Enhance your website’s search engine ranking with these SEO top tips:

1. Scatter your content with targeted keywords. (Try moz.com for a few free tools to help you with this).

2. Choose a host that will ensure your website loads as quickly as possible. If your website is boasting high traffic, you may need to switch to cloud hosting for better performance. At Jay’s Tech, we utilise a powerful cloud server for our clients, optimised for efficiency. We also manage the IT side for you, so you can focus on other important business issues.

3. Make sure you have an active SSL certificate (that little padlock next to the website address!) If you’re not sure how to do that speak to your website host who should be able to help.

4. Your website should be mobile-friendly! This means the layout and content of your website needs automatically adapt to the screen size its being used on. Not only is over half of internet traffic from mobile phones, but it’s included in Google’s and Bing’s algorithm for search ranking.

5. Develop high quality backlinks. These are links to your own site located on other sites with a high level of authority of their own. This step can take time and requires a broader marketing strategy to achieve.

6. Add internal links to pages that refer to products, service or other things found elsewhere on your site.

7. Keep your content fresh and up to date. A regular blog is a great way to do this.

8. Link your website to your social media media platforms. This also means users can navigate easily between the two to find out more about you.

Don’t be afraid to niche

As a small business you probably don’t have the time to chew through all your analytics to constantly refine your marketing tactics, so use this opportunity to spend more time creating content that builds trust and authority. There is no point trying to imitate the content created by your larger competitors, so instead create something unique that stands out to your niche.

The personal touch

Compared to a larger company, you can build better and more direct relationships with the people that matter to you – after all, that’s why so many people choose to buy local. You can carry on the conversation beyond a superficial sales message and build a personal relationship, something that larger businesses do not always have the flexibility to do. You can do this by directing your website users offline with direct contact info, news about upcoming events and even instant messaging.
It’s also a great idea to make sure your customer knows who they’re dealing with, so don’t be afraid to say hello and include a little information about yourself too. Building these relationships reinforces your authenticity and appeal, which will subsequently increase the reach of your content.

Small and mighty

We’re getting to let you in on a little secret. You don’t have to spend thousands or employ a huge team to create a memorable customer experience. There are plenty of great tools at your fingertips and best of all, many of them are free. To find out more, check out Top Self-Service Tools for your Website.

If you’re still a little overwhelmed at the thought of taking on Goliath, Jay’s Tech is here to help. We believe in the power of small business and we want to make sure yours is seen and heard. Want to know more? Get in touch today.

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