5 Things Every Small Business Website Must Have (#5 Is A Must)

Small Business Website Must HavesWell done! You’ve got your website up and running.

Maybe you did it yourself using Website Builder or maybe you prefer WordPress. Or maybe you got a web designer to build it for you.

Whatever the reason, your website exists for one purpose only – to help you grow your business.

Now I know that maybe you’ll be thinking that it’s going to be really expensive and complex to create a website that gets traffic and customers but I’m going to show you that actually that isn’t the case.

In fact we did some research recently that showed there are just a few factors that you MUST include on your website. They aren’t difficult to do but they will make a MASSIVE difference to your business.

So here we go…

Keyword Rich Metatags And Headings

Google is a machine. It needs us humans to tell it what it is we do. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use keywords. These are the words that people are searching on when they’re looking for something.

If they’re looking for a printer and they live in Middlesbrough the chances are they’ll enter ‘Printer Middlesbrough’ in the Google search box.

That’s a keyword (even though it’s a phrase) – ‘Printer Middlesbrough’. All you need to do is to create keywords for EVERY page of your website. Yes that’s EVERY page.

Mix the up and make them RELEVANT to that page. Make a list of each page and list some keywords against each page.

Now you need to create your Metatags. That’s just jargon – don’t let it frighten you or put you off. Adding and editing metatags with Website Builder is easy – anyone can do it.

Same with WordPress – really easy.

You need to make sure that you update the Page Title Tag and the Meta Description. These are just the first two lines that appear in the Google search results.

There is a limit to the number of characters for each one.

For the Page Title you have about 67 to 70 characters and for the Meta Description you have about 180 characters.

Just remember to repeat this exercise for every page on your website but make them relevant to the contents of that page. Mix them up a bit – don’t just repeat the same ones over and over again.

When it comes to Headings, these are super easy. Think about when you create a document in Microsoft Word or Google Docs – you use Headings. They give structure to the document.

It’s the same with your website pages. Headings give them structure. The main Headings are H1, H2 and H3. The most important is H1 and only use this once on each page. It should include your keyword for that page.

Creating Headings is very easy and this is something that should only take you or your designer a few seconds so don’t think that this is something complex. But it is important so be sure to do it to increase your chances of success.

Service Specific Pages

We recently did some research on UK local B2B websites like Accountants, Printers and Training companies. One of the key findings was that one of the four biggest differences between ‘Best in Class’ websites (i.e. in the top 3 rankings) and the ‘Industry Average’ (25% achieve top 3 rankings) was the amount of content, particularly the number of pages.

Check out the Local B2B Executive Summary Report.

The difference was that the top ranking sites had 104 pages vs 48 for the average, lower ranked sites.

If you’re wondering how on earth you can create that type of content it’s fairly easy really. We’ll come onto blogging in a moment which is a longer term approach, but initially you just need to look for some quick wins.

And they don’t come much quicker than fixing your Service pages. In our experience most small businesses drastically undersell themselves and their websites reflect this because they are too ‘Thin’.

By ‘Thin’ we just mean that typically they will have a ‘Services’ page with a list of the services they offer. But this is a mistake. It means they are spreading themselves too thinly. Google wants to present highly relevant content.

It could be that they are paying a web designer and they have to consider the extra cost of adding pages. If so, it’s a false economy as we shall explain.

Let’s take an example of a plumber in Norwich. If someone searches on ‘central heating installation Norwich’ and Google has to choose between a plumbing website with a general services page and a specific page, say on ‘central heating installation Norwich’ then the choice is going to the the specific page 9 times out of 10.

To get started, first just list all of the services you provide even if you might consider them as sub categories. The point is to try to get as specific as possible and create extra pages that are ultra targeted.

The chances are that if you were to get just one or two new customers per month then the cost of creating the extra pages would easily cover it.

Longer Pages

Another characteristic of more successful websites are that they tend to have more content per page. That just means more text. For a small, local business around 500 to 1000 words per page should be fine.

Yes, you read that right – 500 to 1000 words.

How do you achieve that? Simple, you have a conversation with a potential customer. They have a load of questions because they need your service and they need to know the ins and outs of everything.

The chances are that this stuff is somewhere on your hard drive. Maybe in presentations, maybe in your email outbox. Or maybe it’s just up in your head.

The trick is to find all of this content and re-use it on your main service pages.

And if you’re scratching your head then here’s a great trick that will help even the most reluctant writers. Just imagine that a prospective client calls you. They need your service. They need help to make the right choice. But this client is different. They are really, really persistent. They want to know the ins and outs of absolutely everything before they make a decision.

Just think through this conversation in your head and you will soon find that you have identified twenty or thirty questions on each service. You might be thinking that this is really detailed stuff, but that’s what you need.

Once you’ve got our questions you just need to fill in the gaps. If you have twenty points you only need twenty five words per point – maybe two or three lines of text. Hey presto you’ve got your 500 words.

Better Internal Link Structure

Once you’ve created the longer pages you need to go through them and find keywords that can link to other pages on your website. This is really important and is called ‘Internal Linking’.

The reason internal linking is important is important is that these links are like little guiding lights for Google. They help to map out your website so that Google can navigate it’s way around.

When you link though try to link from keywords naturally in the text. For example, let’s imagine that you are a training company and you have a training course called ‘Food Hygiene Basic Training – Level 1’ and the keyword you are focusing on is ‘Basic Food Hygiene Training’. You would find that text (i.e. Basic Food Hygiene Training) and link from that text to the page related to ‘Food Hygiene Basic Training – Level 1’.

That text link is called the Anchor Text.

There’s no need to go crazy. Do it in a natural way and link to other pages too. Don’t just focus on one or two pages.

A Blog

Remember all that content that you created earlier for your longer pages. Now you can start to reuse it for your blog.

Most small businesses get confused when it comes to their blog, but think of it as an ongoing dialogue with your clients and potential clients. Remember that Best in Class websites tend to have more than double the amount of content than the Industry Average. Your blog is one of the most important assets that you have because it allows you to create all of that lovely content for Google.

The starting point is to think of one or two sentences to summarize what your blog is about so that it focuses you. You can call it your blog’s mission statement,  but essentially it is just to keep you focused.

Use this template if you are totally stuck:

My Audience consists of [DESCRIBE AUDIENCE IN GENERAL TERMS – GENDER, LOCATION, AGE, INTERESTS] who are looking for [NEED/DESIRE]. My blog is focused on helping my audience to understand how to [ADDRESS ISSUE] . I will provide useful content to [ACHIEVE GOAL].

Let’s say you are a plumber in Newcastle. You could write:

“My audience consists of homeowners and landlords in the Newcastle metropolitan area who need a reliable, trustworthy, accredited and competitively priced plumber and central heating expert to keep their property’s plumbing and heating systems functioning and reliable. My blog is focused on helping my audience to understand how to maintain a warm home and avoid unnecessary costs and emergency incidents. I will provide useful content to educate them so that they can self-diagnose and fix simple issues and so that they are well informed about the problems when and if they need to call a professional plumber or heating expert.”

So start off with your frequently asked questions (FAQs). Go back to that list and elaborate on them. Try to create posts that have a minimum of 500 words if you can. It sounds like a lot, but the more you practice the better you’ll get at it.

Try to be a problem solver and answer the ‘How to’ type questions and you will find you have a ton of content you can create.

But don’t just publish and pray. Make sure that you optimise your posts for success. That means doing everything you would on a normal page on your website:

  • Keywords in the metatags, the URL and the Headings
  • Link to your product and service pages using your keywords as Anchor Text
  • Link to other blog posts when you can

Conclusion

So there you have it. Five things that you should have on your website. Let’s recap quickly.

First up, your keywords tell Google what you do. Once you’ve identified them the best way to help Google is to include them in the metatags and headings on EVERY page of your website.

The best performing websites have over double the number of pages that average performing websites have. One way to quickly start to address this is with service specific pages rather than one generic ‘services’ page. Avoid spreading yourself too thinly by creating these highly targeted pages.

Google loves long pages too. Create pages that are at least 500 words long. Use the questions that potential customers ask to help you create this content.

Use your extra content as an opportunity to link between pages and use the keywords as anchor text in the links.

Create a company blog and create a simple ‘Blog Mission Statement’ to keep you focused.

So there you are. Five things you should have on your website that will help turn your business into one of the best performing websites in your area.

So which of these are you using? Are you going to implement any or all of these? Do you have any questions about these points? Feel free to leave your replies below and we will get reply to them.

You Might Also Like

2 Comments

  1. 1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *