You have made it through COVID so far. Congratulations! All businesses still standing will now need to use every marketing tool possible to stay open as quarantines come and go—and come again.
You want to keep that OPEN FOR BUSINESS sign up as the second year of a pandemic looms ahead. One vital tool is your website. It is extremely valuable in helping you reach as many potential customers for the service(s) you offer.
Let’s get a microscope out and examine five essential elements for your service-based business website.
High Visibility, Trust, and a Call to Action
Prospects need to find you, trust you and know how to do business with you. It is as simple as that. Here are the top ways to make those things happen and keep you in business:
Bold Use of Social Media and Visual Images
You know about social media; your kids are probably glued to it. And there are reasons for that. It’s bold, it’s visual, and it works. You can make these powerful platforms work for your business, too.
Your website must speak the current language of prospects. Younger people expect to find your business on the top social media players: Instagram, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok. Feature these sites on your website by placing their icons on every page. Link them to your business as often as you can.
Use social media sites to showcase your services and your company. Link them to a blog on your website, which then provides current, educational information about your service and how to use what you sell. Start a YouTube channel where you demonstrate with short tutorials. Be consistent with regular posts. Know which ones to use by knowing who your customers are and what they are viewing. Build an audience who awaits your next post and then buys.
It is critical for a service-based business to gather reviews from your customers; provide links for customers to write those reviews. Highlight reviews on your social media platforms as well as on your website. Respond quickly to any less-than-happy customers (hey, it happens) to show you are listening.
All of this humanizes your service. It shows the people behind the text and images: you, your employees, and other happy customers. Make them want to do business with you.
Contact Information Consistency and High Visibility
Have you ever gone to a company’s website and then have to search for a way to contact them? It doesn’t make sense to entice viewers to check out your website and then hide your contact information. It’s frustrating as a visitor to the site and a clear indication that your business isn’t run as well as it should be. Not good.
Every page of your website should have a clear communication path to your business. Most visitors to your site will look for this in the header and it should be an active link. The customer merely clicks to email you or call (on mobile versions). By offering both methods of communication, you are recognizing that many people still prefer to make a phone call and talk to a human being—not a machine—while others are fine with an email. And, of course, this Contact Page also offers a clear, short form for customers to complete and submit if they have questions or want you to contact them. Plus, you get their email addresses!
Your website should offer a Contact Page that provides all your company’s current contact information. You will again list your full company name, phone number (with area code), email addresses for specific departments or employees if applicable, mailing address, and map.
For search engine purposes, make sure all this information is listed the same way every time it appears on your website. For example, if your phone number is listed (xxx) 123-4567, list it exactly that way every time. If you use Road in the address, don’t switch to Rd. somewhere else. Small things like this become big in SEO rankings.
Blogging for Increased Business
Blogging has had its ups and downs in the marketing toolbox. For years it was the darling in the toolbox to reach customers. Then it began to lose favor because people writing the blogs weren’t committed or consistent enough, especially to long-form, engaging content. And consistency is the key. Recent stats say that “……companies that blog 16 or more times a month get 3.5 times more traffic than those that blog 0-4 times a month.”
And “engaging content” means not only interesting content. It also means:
- Knowing what content works best for your customers (which means you have to know who they are)
- Becoming better storytellers instead of lecturers
- Using visual content to reinforce the text
- Finding valid ways to repurpose content for your various platforms (blog post to social media to YouTube, for example)
As we talked about in our previous article, a solid blog can help you build relationships and synergy with your clients:
“Customers who feel valued return to you for solid information and to buy what you sell. Your blog is the way to reach people, both return customers as well as potential buyers….
A blog on your website offers a way for visitors to reach out and connect with who your company is and what you offer them. This gives them a reason to come back: to continue a conversation with you.”
It’s not surprising that many small business owners aren’t up to the challenge of creating a successful blog. It’s hard work. Get help if you need to, but don’t give up.
One of Google’s latest algorithm changes ranks websites based on a site’s mobile version first. The layout of a web page is different on a small screen like a phone, tablet, or laptop. Responsive design requires the mobile version to be scaled properly no matter what size screen is being viewed. And that’s what Google is looking at first as they rank sites now.
Your webmaster needs to adjust for this. Now.
Data, Data, Data
Your webmaster may talk to you about “checking the analytics” and that’s the data. How else do you know if your website marketing tools, especially your blog, are working? Let the data tell you and then you can adjust. This data is invisible to those who visit your website, but the numbers turn those visitors into strong prospects if you pay attention.
There are many tools to plug you into your site to show how each page is being viewed, for how long, and where customers are going within your site. Google Analytics, for example, lets you see exactly how people interact with your website and it’s a free data-cruncher. Or you can let a professional digital marketing company like My KPI help you.
Honing Your Website to Sell Your Service
As a business owner who sells a service, you can move through the next phase of the pandemic successfully by taking stock of your website. Consider these five essential elements for your service-based business website as you evaluate and get help from My KPI to ensure your valuable time and effort are well-spent.