Tips to boost the online appearance of your small business

With the majority of users accessing your website via a mobile device, make sure your site is optimized for these smaller formats.

By Alex Williams

We’re all fully aware of the advantages social media pose for business and how a well-known and successful Facebook page or a Twitter account can help you make new connections, drive traffic and boost sales. However, if the carefully crafted messages, statuses, and tweets lead consumers to a badly designed, confusing website, then all your social media efforts are going to be a waste of time and resources.

Also, it only takes a single inappropriate tweet to completely ruin the professional image you’re trying to maintain. With that in mind, let’s cover some of the basics of increasing your web presence and managing your online appearance as a business owner.

-Make sure your website is mobile-first or at least responsive

Back in 2015, Google released a report stating that more than half of all their search queries are coming from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Mobile-first approach in web development refers to designing a website for the smallest screens first and working up towards larger resolutions. Responsive design, on the other hand, allows for the on-site elements to respond and rearrange themselves depending on the size of the screen they’re being viewed on.

Both of these practices cater to mobile users and as such, comply with Google’s rules and regulations regarding the ranking of websites in their search results. Keep in mind that unresponsive and desktop-only websites tend to be ranked lower than their responsive and mobile-first counterparts. Because of that, they are very unlikely to be featured in the golden spot – the first three places in the search engine results page.

-Keep the design simple and uniform

The design of your website needs to be consistent across all pages, but it also has to match the design and the color scheme of your logo and the entire brand. Avoid falling victim to the latest design trends, and only incorporate website elements that serve a real purpose. Your content needs to be informative and the images and videos used on your pages need to be relevant to the products and services you’re offering.

This is all part of website optimization and user-experience improvement, which are at the heart of Google’s ranking requirements. Fulfilling all of these requirements allows your website to be featured more prominently in the search engine results page and in turn, increase your visibility online. At the same time, keeping your website functional and user-friendly increases interaction and boosts traffic in sales. Which leads us to our next section…

-Social media interaction

No matter how good-looking your pages are or how informative and engaging your content is, not using social media to advertise and strengthen your online presence is simply a bad business move. One fifth of the entire population is on Facebook, and LinkedIn has more than 450 million active user profiles. Day to day, YouTube reaches more people aged 18 to 49 than any cable network provider ever could. Half of all Instagram users access the platform at least once a day, while a third of all users state that they visit the platform at least a couple of times a day.

As you can see, engaging both your current and potential customers on social media is very important for maintaining your online appearance and sales revenues. Even the customer support has shifted from contact forms, emails, and tedious phone calls into the world of social media posts and comments. Make sure your audience is engaged on a daily basis by publishing new posts, answering comments and resolving any issues your customers might have experienced with your brand. Avoid using your social media accounts for personal squabbles or as a place to vent your frustrations, and try to maintain a professional yet human relationship with your audience.

You can use Twitter for big product announcements and business related posts, Facebook for a more in-depth look behind the scenes regarding your company’s operations or you can get creative with Instagram Stories and use them for posting scheduled snippets to keep your audience engaged, test out new ideas, showcase your customers and their stories and even add a persona to your brand. Moreover, since Instagram stories disappear after 24 hours, this creates in your audience a sense of urgency to interact with your content before it’s completely gone.

Building a quality website is more than simply paying some random freelance web developer to make a couple of pages and fill out the contact info. A well-designed website incorporates both aesthetics, making it pleasing to look at and interact with, and functionality, allowing customers to navigate through your pages with ease and access the information, product or a service they need. But as good as your website may be, it cannot possibly attract much traffic or generate enough sales without the help of social media.

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My name is Alex Williams. I am a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. I am a regular contributor at BizzmarkBlog. Connect with me on Facebook or  Twitter.

 

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