Small businesses have so much more competition today than they did in the past. Aside from contending with local shops offering similar products or services, they must contend with the massive advertising capabilities of chain stores and national brands. If you are just beginning your small business, you will have to make a mark in an arena that may be saturated with messages from larger stores.
One way to set yourself apart is by focusing on doing well locally. When you have a loyal customer base in your immediate area, you will have the online traction to widen your influence. However, the only way to do that consistently over a period of time is through the internet. As such, small businesses looking to improve their online presence should focus on the following for their official websites:
1. Come up with content clusters
When planning your website, you cannot add all the information in just any order. You must have content clusters, or groupings of topics under themes. In content clusters, there will be a main page—which serves as your pillar—and the topics branching out from it. Your content pages will lead back to this pillar, and may link with each other depending on the information shown.
For instance, if a subscription box service were to make a website, a pillar page could be introducing the concept of curation, with an article leaning heavily toward curation for monthly boxes. Then, this page could link to how the service curates their own boxes, where they source their items, and even how would-be subscribers can create a customised box.
Content clusters help search engines determine that the pillar page can be classified as a trusted source. In time, the page will develop good rankings for this topic, leading to a higher number of site visitors, and consequently, a higher number of conversions.
2. Optimise user experience (UX)
UX or user experience contributes a lot to how far up or down your website appears in searches. Websites gain more authority when they reach and impact users, as algorithms measure the engagement of visitors through how long they spend on the site, how often they visit, and even which pages they frequent. Therefore, you should make UX a priority, and provide your visitors with a smooth, pleasant experience while browsing the site.
Streamline your website and make it easy to navigate. Use a clear font and a reader-friendly background for text. Make sure your images do not crowd your text, or vice versa. Potential customers may click out within the first few seconds of landing on your page, so you have to work hard at keeping them onsite. This means constantly tweaking your landing pages to see if pop-up offers, chatbots, or other additions help—or if they drive people away.
3. Prioritise mobile browsing
Smartphone users are in the billions today, and their numbers are expected to grow more in the coming years. Since most people look for information through their phones, companies should make their websites fit for mobile browsers.
More than half of web traffic is loaded on smartphones, so it is important that load times, themes, and text are all optimised for smaller screens. Meta tags, for example, should be especially descriptive, since they contribute to impressions and traffic. Meta tags are what browsers see on search engine results pages, so they should display information that can attract them and turn them into visitors.
4. Set milestones for your online presence
Ultimately, your goal is to get to the front page for keywords you planned on strengthening. A related goal can be landing a featured snippets spot for your content. Featured snippets are the boxes you see beside searches, containing a sentence or two from a reference website.
Continued application of SEO techniques will get you a space for featured websites, but you should note that this does not come easy. For a structured attempt, you must consult with a digital marketing company, as they can provide you with strategies for increasing visibility.
Building an online presence requires constant attention. If you are a small business owner, you might not have the time to focus on boosting your presence. This is why you should hire an SEO agency, as the agency can do keyword planning, article writing, and website development for you, leaving you to attend to the everyday concerns of your business.
If you are looking for a digital marketing agency in Cambridge, talk to our team at Clickscope today. We are passionate about delivering leads to our clients and helping them nurture relationships with customers.