By Kalin Kassabov
No matter what kind of business you have, your website is an important tool for engaging with your customers and attracting new ones. Even if you have a storefront business, many people will find you online before walking in your door. With constant changes in marketing and technology, it's important to keep your website current. If you're planning your first website, then these tips will get off to a strong start. If you've had your website for a while, it might be time to make some updates.
Think Mobile First
For some time, web designers and SEO experts have been pushing mobile-friendly websites as more and more people access the internet using smartphones and tablets. We're now entering a new phase, where you should really be thinking "mobile first." This is especially true for businesses that rely on customers finding them using local search on Google and other search engines. People are now very likely to use phones when they search, so be sure that your website is made with mobile users in mind.
When designing (or redesigning) your website, make sure that you're using a theme (if you're using WordPress), fonts and layout that's easy for mobile users to read. Always test your results on multiple devices to make sure your site is accessible. Add a click-to-call or touch-to-call button to make your site more mobile-friendly. It lets visitors call you simply by pressing a button.
Add More Pages and Content
One of the simplest yet most effective methods for making your website more SEO-friendly is to add more content. This has to be content that your customers want, of course. Many businesses have very basic websites, sometimes only with one or two pages. While this is sufficient to convey basic information, it doesn't help you attract lots of traffic.
Consider adding pages to your website. No matter what your topic, you can branch off in various directions. Add blog posts, current news and information on products in your industry. For example, if you have a restaurant, you could post information on food trends, recipes and nutritional advice. If you have a medical practice, post articles with health advice. You might review products in your industry, whether you're selling them or not. Content is a great way to make your website more authoritative. On a related note, you can also help your website by updating content that's already there. Even a few changes to make your information more timely is helpful. The search engines are always looking for fresh content so making changes to existing pages makes it easier for your site to rank.
If you use social media, you've probably noticed that photos, videos, memes and other visual elements have largely taken over the internet. You can take advantage of this trend on your own website by posting compelling visuals. Avoid using stock images as these give your website a dated and generic look.
It's better to use original images such as photos or videos you've taken yourself. Even if they're not completely polished, they help to brand your website and make it distinctive. Another option is to subscribe to a graphics service such as Shutterstock or iStockphoto or even a free site that provides quality images such as Unsplash. Before you use free photos, however, make sure you have the right to use them. For this reason, it's best not to take free photos from Google Images or Flickr.
Create Multiple Landing Pages
A landing page is any page that visitors first land on when they click on a link leading to your website, whether from an ad, social media post, email or offline marketing tool such as a poster or business card. Many businesses simply send people to their website. A better strategy is to create separate landing pages for different purposes. This depends on your business, of course, and is more relevant if you sell a wide variety of products or services.
If you're in a pet-related industry, for example, you might have separate pages for cats, dogs, fish or other animals your customers own. A dentist can create pages for dental cleanings, implants, checkups and other topics. If you own a salon with various services, pages for hair styling, massages and manicures are helpful. This makes it easier for customers to find your site using different keywords and ensures they'll find the information they want right away rather than having to search around your site. It also gives the search engines more pages to index.
These are a few key tips to help make your website more effective in 2018 and beyond. Think of your website as a work in progress that's constantly evolving along with the rest of your business.
Kalin Kassabov is a founder and CEO of ProTexting.com, a fast-growing enterprise level text message suite of services.