As a small business in this day and age, using the web to your advantage is paramount. Not only are more and more consumers going through the web to find businesses and do their shopping, but there are also more web-based tools available than ever before—tools that can help grow your brand and propel your company forward. If you’re a small business owner, consider these three ways for utilizing the web.
1. Create an engaging website that works
One of the most important things you can do for your business is to build and maintain a great website. First of all, it needs to be appealing. A professional-looking website will keep users on your site for longer, and it will ultimately lead to a larger customer base and more sales. Many people will stop visiting a website if the layout looks unprofessional or is hard to navigate.
2. Use an appointment management system
For businesses who operate by appointments, an appointment management system can prove invaluable. By using an app on your device (e.g., smartphone, tablet, computer), this kind of system allows customers to book appointments from your website, sends customers a reminder of upcoming appointments, and even helps to protect your company from no-shows. Using an appointment management system is particularly beneficial for businesses with distributed teams or team members, as it lets you view and adjust employee schedules, among other things.
3. Use search engine optimization
When you search the web for a particular topic, pages of results show up. The order in which the websites are listed is due to search engine optimization (SEO). This is a critical component, especially for companies who receive a lot of business—either directly or indirectly—through web traffic. In fact, most people won’t look any further than the first five listings on a result page.
Even the smallest of companies can take steps to get their website higher on results pages. Having a fast-loading website and solid website code has a lot to do with it. Other ways to optimize your search engine results are to make sure your website is mobile-friendly, implement keywords and links within your website content, get positive customer reviews, and provide a link to your website on social media.
The web provides many advantages for small businesses. Naturally, this means that competition is fierce, which is why it’s essential to set your company apart from others. Start by developing an appealing website that provides users with a great experience. If your business centers around appointments, look into an appointment management system to streamline tasks. Finally, no matter what kind of business you run, take steps to optimize your company’s search engine results.
Chelsea Lamb has spent the last eight years honing her tech skills and is the resident tech specialist at Business Pop. Her goal is to demystify some of the technical aspects of business ownership.