How to Grow Your Business by Optimizing Your Website

How to Grow Your Business By Optimizing Your Website

Prioritize Creating a Data Recovery Plan

Unfortunately, business owners too often minimize the importance of cybersecurity until after their company has been targeted and compromised by cyberattackers. Rather than waiting until disaster strikes, it’s imperative to educate yourself about cybersecurity data protection and be proactive about protecting your company’s website.

Coming up with a cyber-recovery plan to safeguard your company’s digital assets – including your website – should be your number one priority. This will allow you to get your website back up and running quickly in the event of a cyberattack. You’ll want to establish a proposed timeline with your preferred “deadlines” for system recovery, as well as details about which programs and applications will have to be addressed in order to execute recovery. Finally, make note of who will be responsible for conducting each task included in your recovery plan.

Develop Educational Content

Sure, your website is a sales and marketing platform – but it can also serve as a vehicle for customer education. Whether your typical customer is another small business, a nonprofit organization, or an individual consumer in your area, you can establish your website as a place that visitors can turn to for up-to-date resources on everything from product use cases to new developments in your industry.

So, how can you ensure that your marketing content is also educational? Business 2 Community recommends publishing blog posts that address your audience’s most common “pain points,” hosting live video lessons with product demonstrations on your website, or even establishing a special membership section of your site with bonus content for paying subscribers.

Integrate Your CRM & ERP

Your customer relationship management (CRM) system and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software are both indispensable to your business. From tracking and capturing leads to managing your overall operations, these software programs can be leveraged to carry out a plethora of key business functions. You can use these programs to their fullest potential by integrating them and then connecting the internal, integrated system to your website. In doing so, not only will you boost your team’s productivity and efficiency but you’ll also be able to seamlessly transfer information from your website to these interconnected programs.

User-Friendly Design

Have you ever had an unpleasant experience while browsing a particular website? Maybe you found it difficult to find the particular page you were looking for. Perhaps you tried to use the search function to find an important piece of content, but it didn’t deliver accurate results. Or, maybe you were seeking contact information so that you could get in touch with a customer support specialist – but no matter how hard you looked, you didn’t see any contact forms, email addresses, or phone numbers.

Crafting an enjoyable user experience should be at the heart of your website design and management approach. But, how can you go the extra mile to make sure that your customers can easily navigate your website and make the best use of all its features? Rock Content recommends designing a clear menu that allows your customers to visit key sections of your website with one click, including an easy-to-find contact form.

In addition, it’s also essential to make sure that your overall site layout looks attractive – after all, visually appealing content might prompt visitors to stay on your website longer (and the longer visitors stay on your site, the more likely they are to take action, such as making a purchase or booking an appointment). If you can’t find a theme that you like with your current content management system, you might consider enlisting the services of a professional web design and development firm that can create a custom layout for your site.

Local SEO: How to Get Found Online by Customers in Your Area

You might be acquainted with the basic principles of search engine optimization (SEO), and perhaps you’ve even been incorporating some useful keywords into your website content already. But have you taken the time to focus on local SEO? By emphasizing local SEO in your website strategy, you can specifically target customers in your area who are seeking products and services like those that you offer.

What can you do to reach customers nearby using SEO tactics? BrainChild Studios recommends putting your city and state on your homepage, adding your city to your page title tags (including the local schema code in your website pages), claiming your Google Business Profile listing, and including your business in local online directories.

Boost Your Conversion Rate

The ultimate goal of your business’s website is to convert visitors into paying customers. Therefore, you need to find ways to boost conversion rates with your website. While implementing user-friendly website design principles can help in this area, there are also some other steps you can take.

A/B testing is key to increasing conversions – you can run tests to analyze your conversion rates with your current site features. Then, as you implement new features like headlines, calls to action, or contact forms, you can run additional tests to compare their effectiveness. By conducting multiple A/B tests at once, you won’t have to wait until a new feature has been thoroughly tested to analyze the impact of another.

Speed Up Your Website

The ultimate goal of your business’s website is to convert visitors into paying customers. Therefore, you need to find ways to boost conversion rates with your website. While implementing user-friendly website design principles can help in this area, there are also some other steps you can take.

A/B testing is key to increasing conversions – you can run tests to analyze your conversion rates with your current site features. Then, as you implement new features like headlines, calls to action, or contact forms, you can run additional tests to compare their effectiveness. By conducting multiple A/B tests at once, you won’t have to wait until a new feature has been thoroughly tested to analyze the impact of another.

Final Thoughts

Your website doesn’t exist just so your company will show up in search engines. In reality, your website might be an unrealized tool for your business’s growth. If you haven’t prioritized growing your business by maximizing your website’s potential, you can get started by integrating some of these recommendations.

If you need help with optimizing your existing website, creating a new website from scratch, boosting your SEO for greater discoverability in Google searches, or any other aspect of your digital marketing, you don’t have to go it alone! HighClick Media is here to help! Contact us today at 252.814.2150 or drop us a line here to see how we can help #elevateyourbrand!

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Guest blogger Cody McBride’s love for computers stems from high school when he built his own computer. Today he is a trained IT technician and knows how the inner workings of computers can be confusing to most. He is the creator of TechDeck.info where he offers easy-to-understand, tech-related advice and troubleshooting tips.

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5 Ways to Get Your Small Business Ready for the Metaverse

5 Ways to Get Your Small Business Ready for the Metaverse

Is your business ready for the transition to the metaverse? Yeah, we get it – that’s a loaded question! After all, there’s still a fair bit of speculation and rumors about exactly what’s involved with the metaverse and what it will mean for us and our businesses.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve witnessed businesses placing a greater emphasis on ecommerce and digital transformation – thanks in large part to the global pandemic. But we’re also seeing businesses begin to shift their attention even further toward digital as the virtual world becomes less of a fantastical idea and closer to reality.

With internet users spending more time online than ever before, and many small businesses falling on hard times, it’s time for us to rethink how we will connect with our audiences going forward.

In this article, we’ll explore five ways to help your small business weather the world-changing transition to the metaverse – and thrive in its aftermath.

Know Your Niche

The concept of the metaverse – connecting people to technology (and vice versa) using virtual and augmented reality – isn’t a new one. In fact, the idea has actually been kicked around for decades, to varying degrees of execution.

No one seems to agree, or know for sure when the metaverse concept was originally conceived; it’s equally difficult to find an agreed-upon definition of what the reality of the metaverse means for us now.

What’s certain is that the first (and perhaps best) way to make sure your small business is ready for this new era of digital transformation is to have a clear idea of what you want for your brand and how you can make the most of technology to achieve your goals.

For one company, that might mean developing better AI in order to be able to better address customer questions through your website. For another, it might entail creating an entire virtual reality world that allows potential buyers to examine products before buying them as though they were actually there with the items.

Let’s face it: you know your business better than anyone else. Accordingly, only you can determine what the metaverse can (or can’t) do for your business.

Consider Updating Your Branding

With new tech initiatives and the emergence of newer, more diverse social platforms come new branding opportunities. This is a great time to take a long, hard look at your visual brand.

One of the great things about the metaverse is its focus on connectivity. Startups and small businesses alike must ensure that the visual aspects of their messaging make clear how important communication is to the business. As one of the founding values behind the metaverse, paying special attention to your visual branding must always be a top priority.

Claim and Update Your Business on Search Engines

More than half of business owners haven’t claimed their company’s listings on tools like Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business). This is a huge mistake!

Claiming and maintaining your online presence is absolutely crucial for a small business in today’s digital world. Without it, you’ll miss out on countless opportunities to drive traffic to your site, or to the business itself, as well as risk frustrating customers who can’t find the information they need when they need it.

Keeping this information up to date is just as important, particularly for things like holidays or hours of operation, as incorrect information could easily turn off potential customers.

I am not ready for that.

Don’t Abandon the Old Ways Too Quickly

Try to avoid the temptation to go “all virtual, all the time” too soon. Yes, the idea of the metaverse is exciting, and it’s likely that at least some of your customer base will be ready for it.

But good business dictates that you should always give the customer what they want – and the majority of consumers aren’t quite ready for this new way of doing business. At least not yet.

Even as you’re positioning your business to be ready for “the next big thing,” don’t be too hasty to cast aside the old ways completely. Many of your customers are going to want to stick with what they’re used to, for as long as possible. You should continue to give your audience the option to engage with your brand through more traditional methods.

Remain Adaptable

Last but certainly not least, be ready for anything! One thing that many entrepreneurs and small business owners know well is that right about the time you get comfortable, that’s when change comes fast and furious!

Sure, we have an exciting future ahead of us, thanks to an increasing tech-minded push, and it’s going to change the way we view and interact with our world. But if you get too hung up on tomorrow’s virtual reality project, you might not see what’s coming up next week.

 
 

Final Thoughts

Transformation is coming – that’s a given. How will your small business ride out these changes over the next decade? Well, that’s up to you. At the very least, you should be prepared for what comes next.

If you need help transforming your business for the digital age, HighClick Media can help! Whether you’re looking to update your website, get started with social media marketing, or optimize your website for search engines so it’s easier to be found online, we have a solution that’s right for you! Call us today at 252.814.2150 or drop us a line here to see how we can help elevate your brand!

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An earlier version of this article appeared on Entrepreneur’s website and can be found here.

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10 Overlooked Benefits of Google Business Profiles

10 Overlooked Benefits of Google Business Profiles

 

If you’re a local business seeking to succeed in the digital age, you’re probably already using Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business). The tech giant’s extensive, listing-based platform is geared toward helping internet audiences discover and connect with businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Functioning as a kind of online directory, Google Business Profile (GBP) enables businesses to transmit reliable information about their company across the web, along with providing tools for engaging with customers (current and potential), sharing important updates, and evaluating data insights. Utilizing Google Business Profiles is a no-brainer for local businesses aiming to broaden their audience – and ultimately – increase sales.

Captain Obvious

THE BLATANT BENEFITS OF GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE

There are a number of clear, unambiguous advantages to making use of the GBP platform. Let’s take a look at a few:

It’s Free

You can start promoting your business, developing your brand, and forging customer relationships – all important goals – without having to shell out tons of your hard-earned money. Google Business Profile is a free tool that allows you to start marketing your business easily and economically.

In addition, signing up for GBP isn’t a long-drawn-out or elaborate process. Getting your business included on this free platform is an easy, budget-friendly way to start building your business.

Consistency

You want to be sure that any information about your business that’s posted online is factual – regardless of where your customers might find it. Google Business Profile allows you to enter, manage, and update the relevant details about your business across the internet in one directory, ensuring that searchers are receiving the correct information via search engine inquiries. However, this comes with a caveat: you must keep the information up to date in order to reap the full benefits of this Google-powered tool.

Local SEO Boost

GBP can be a critical component of your local search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing strategy, helping local customers find you and improving your business’ search engine rankings.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy - Google My Business Is Easily Manageable

Easily Manageable

Providing audiences with information about your business can be done effortlessly on one master dashboard within Google Business Profile. This offers you a hassle-free way to boost the visibility of your business online. Furthermore, GBP has its own app for easy management when you’re on the go.

Helps Create Favorable First Impressions

Crafting an accurate and comprehensive Google Business Profile listing can help present your business in the best light. By availing yourself of GBP’s photo and video upload features, you can provide your customers with the most comprehensive representation of what your business can offer them.

Streamlined Review Management

Track, manage, and reply to reviews from your Google Business Profile dashboard in order to keep engaged with customers and improve relationships with them.

I Love Making Connections - David, Schitt's Creek ~ Google My Business

Additional Engagement Opportunities

You don’t want audiences to simply find your business; you want them to connect with you. GBP provides a number of opportunities for customer interaction, such as posts and messaging, and makes it easy to cultivate relationships with your audiences.

Valuable Insights - Google My Business

Offers Valuable Insights

Google Business Profile provides you with insider knowledge about your business listing, delivering useful insights into what’s working and what isn’t. These insights pinpoint exactly how customers locate your listing on Search and Maps, and what they do after finding it. This will help you make any relevant updates in order to improve your listing – and, by extension, your business.

Provides Perspective

With profound insights, review integration, and customer interaction features, GBP lets you gain perspective on the online reputation of your business. Understanding how audiences regard your business will help you improve and grow.

10 OVERLOOKED BENEFITS OF GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE

It’s plain to see that taking advantage of GBP’s vast array of features can help you manage your business information and market your company effortlessly.

But what about the less-obvious benefits of Google Business Profile? Are there hidden perks to this service? Unquestionably! Here are ten top-notch features and benefits of GBP that you might not be aware of:

Bookings

Whenever you’re offering a service to prospective and returning customers, you don’t want to overburden them by requiring them to jump through convoluted procedural hoops in order to contact you or track down relevant information.

In conjunction with an integrated provider, GBP’s Bookings feature makes it simple for visitors to schedule appointments directly through your listing. Within a single online interface, it’s also much easier for you to manage those bookings.

Greater ROI

Research has shown that local search delivers a greater ROI than other digital marketing channels. Not only that, but local search also delivers higher-quality leads and better engagement (i.e., clicks and calls).

When you optimize your Google Business Profile listing, you’re making significant headway toward building your local SEO and attracting customers to your business. That’s a HUGE plus!

Menu Tool

If you’re a local restaurant, salon, or other business that offers list-style services, you can use GBP’s Menu tool to showcase to audiences what you offer directly within their Google search.

Without having to engage a third-party service, you can modify menu selections, including titles, prices, descriptions, and even nutritional stats. Consequently, your audiences won’t have to scour the web for the info they want to know about your business’ offerings. Customers will appreciate the practicality and user-friendliness of this.

Heatmap Insights

Along with basic insights about how customers are arriving at your GBP listing, Google also lets you keep track of which areas customers are requesting directions from to get to your business, and at a range of zoom levels such as zip code, city, and country.

This offers valuable insights into which geographical areas are being drawn to your business. In turn, this can help you design and execute your marketing efforts more efficiently. Heatmap insights can be reached via your Google Business Profile dashboard.

Offer Post Tool

It’s common knowledge that people are intrigued by a good deal. GBP offers you an easy way to market to value-conscious shoppers with Offer Posts, through which you can advertise discounts and solicit new business. As an added bonus, it’s absolutely free to use!

“People Also Search For” Footer

While you would certainly prefer that audiences take a fancy to just your business, GBP delivers simple but helpful insights into your business’ competitors with its “People Also Search For” feature.

Positioned at the bottom of your Google Business Profile listing, this footer enables you to see what other kinds of products customers might be searching for, and which other businesses might be similar or otherwise related to yours. By familiarizing yourself with the competition, you can step up your efforts to provide the best value in your field through your business.

Website Builder Tool

Did you know that you can generate a free, customizable, mobile-friendly website through GBP? Their easy-to-use builder tool enables you to create, edit, and publish a simple, yet professional page site that users can access through a Google Search to get in touch with your business. Not only that, but you can equip your site with a customized domain and link it with Google Ads for easy advertising integration.

Relationship-Building Opportunity

Creating and managing a Google Business Profile listing isn’t a unilateral effort; it’s a golden opportunity to form engaging, mutually beneficial relationships with customers before you even meet them in person.

By creating a comprehensive business listing, updating it frequently, and connecting with audiences through posts, responding to reviews, and messaging, you not only exemplify strong customer service skills, but a bona fide interest in personal connection.

Community

Due to the fact that it’s Google, GBP grants you access to a wide-ranging and internet-savvy community that can help as you navigate the tool and attempt to optimize your listing. Within the community, you can request information, gather educational resources, and find solutions to how-to questions as well as best practices.

Partnership

Ingratiating yourself with Google by deploying their tools is never a bad idea for your business. In point of fact, engaging with the “search engine to end all search engines” can only help your business in the long run. Allying with Google’s virtual preeminence will help you establish and boost brand visibility.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, Google Business Profile is good for your business. Making the best use of this tool isn’t just about having easily accessible hours of operation info or a few flashy photos on an online directory.

Harnessing the full gamut of GBP’s extensive and useful features in order to create and maximize your listing can take your organization to the next level of growth. You’ll generate new leads, develop strong customer relationships, and cultivate a favorable online reputation.

If you haven’t done so already, you can get started building your listing on the Google Business Profile website. Or, if you prefer, you can enlist the services of a digital marketing agency like HighClick Media to set up and optimize your GBP listing for immediate and prolonged success.

When you’re ready to elevate your brand, give us a call at 252.814.2150 or visit highclickmedia.com to find out more about the various services we offer.

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An earlier version of this article appeared at Podium.com.

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