This is by no means a comprehensive list of everything you need to know. But, if you're a small business owner and you're managing your own website, here's some things you need to take into consideration.
- Sites will be ranked on their performance - Have you ever heard of Google's PageSpeed insights or GTMetrix? These two tools are go-to's for Designers and Developers trying to do one thing really well - speed! The reason why speed is important is simple. There is a direct correlation between the speed at which your page loads, and the bounce rate you experience. In other words, the slower your pages load, the less likely someone is to stick around. Using themes and templates will slow down your site, because they're loading unnecessary bloat that your site doesn't actually use. If you're using Wix or Squarespace (we all use them sometimes), then you will have greater difficulty attaining excellent speeds, but rest assured, there is still plenty that can be done.
- Scrolling is in fashion - This has been true for some years now, but the days of having a new webpage for every service you offer is becoming less common. With mobile devices and the increasing use of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, people have become accustomed to scrolling for long periods of time. Fitting more content on to one page can help. Obviously, don't go overboard (look at our own website as a guideline), but don't feel like you need a new page if there's only a small amount fo content on the same page.
- SEO is becoming more important for the little guys - It's getting increasingly more difficult for small businesses to compete with big businesses on Google. Online marketing can be expensive, but organic traffic is free. Where you naturally rank on Google will correlate to how much new business you can create without spending extra money. Having your site properly optimised for SEO will improve the amount of enquiries you receive - period.
- Treat your website like your storefront - Most brick and mortar businesses know the importance of keeping their storefront regularly updated, clean, and pretty. How often do you sweep or vacuum your entryway? The same principle is true for your website. It needs to be kept up to date, your hours should be posted if you have regular hours (we don't have regular hours, so we don't post them). Put your upcoming sales on your website, not just on your store window.
- Offer something for free - Here's the big hook. You might be wondering if you are capable of doing all this yourself. You might not be super tech savvy, and you might be wondering whether or not your site is up to par for the new year that's nearly here. Shoot us a message and we will give you a complete report on the health and functionality of your website - free of charge! Similarly, if you have a business with a website, you will increase customer engagement by offering something for free. Whether it's a free product if someone buys something, free advice, free lunch - it all helps.