How to Take the Digital Leap When You’re a Small Brick-and-Mortar Business

May 2, 2017

Moving your business onto a virtual platform can prove to be difficult, especially if you’re a smaller company with limited resources. There are a lot of elements that come into play to ensure your website starts off with the best possible functionality. There are ways that you can control how your website is received by an audience, and ways to ensure the success and growth of your business on an online platform.

Update content regularly

Give your clients a reason to come back for more with up-to-date and engaging content. Although basic stuff such as your company information may not change, it is vital that you have content in which they can find value in.

For instance, it can be worth creating a blog or opinion page where you give industry information and as such, allow your business to have a voice. Grab the attention of your viewers and give them a reason to regularly check in on what your business is doing. As well as that, having stagnant content could greatly damage your company. If your website looks unchanging and bare, prospective customers may believe that the business has closed or simply hasn’t got a great stance within the industry.

Build your website to rank for SEO

Your website should be reflective of your business’s name. Keep your domain name as simple as possible, and stay well away from difficult spelling or misspelling. Ensure that you have a backup plan in case someone else around the world has the domain name you are after. You will have to submit your URL to search engines in order to be visible to searchers. Another beneficial progress in the makeup of your blog is making your content SEO-friendly. You can do this yourself, however it may be worth considering hiring SEO writers to achieve fast results.

Integrate other platforms

Get social with your customer base. Create social pages on relevant sites with the same domain name as your website. This will allow you to not only advertise your website across different sites, but also your business and products. Some of the core platforms that you can look at engaging your business with are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Of course, choose the best social media sites to align with the kind of content you will produce. There are some industries that are more visual in nature, and others that rely on words to grab consumers’ attention. Also, evaluate your main customer base and the platforms that are most important to them.

Keep it quick and welcoming

Remember that for many, this may be the first time they interact with your business. It is important to ensure that your website will give them the same experience they would receive in a face-to-face interaction. Ensure that the homepage of your website is welcoming but not overwhelming, and has current information about your site. Include a brief explanation of your services, your team, yourself and your business to them. There should be clear and visible pages for them to travel to from here where they will find further information – for instance, an ‘About Us’ page that tells them more about the history of your business, or a ‘Contact’ page that directs them to your phone number, email or an online enquiry form.

Do not overcomplicate your homepage, as it could prove unattractive or displeasing. Do not overcrowd the space. Have it clear for them with uncomplicated menus and options presented to them. If you sell multiple products, organise them into sub-categories by which they can be found, and condense singular listings of items on the home page.

Let your client history speak for you

There is no better way to promote your business than through existing customers who are happy with your services and praise your business. Ensure that you ask permission to include your customer’s reviews on your site, and encourage them to post publicly about their satisfaction with your services. Word of mouth is still prevalent in an online space through comments and testimonials.

Ensure your site is compatible

In this day and age, there are multiple devices by which people will be accessing your information. From laptops to smartphones and tablets, you need to ensure that your site is accessible across all canvases. Compatibility is vital when most users are accessing information from their mobile devices, and can even help with your SEO ranking and customer satisfaction.

Although the digital leap seems daunting, it can have an amazingly positive effect on your business. You are opening yourself up to potential customers who may not have known your business beforehand, and subsequently increase your service and product demand. By building a strong foundation and presenting yourself truthfully and professionally, you can create a strong website that will be the best representation of your brick-and-mortar business.