Tips for Building a Website for Your Local Business - dummies

Tips for Building a Website for Your Local Business

By Court Cunningham, Stephanie Brown

Part of Local Online Advertising For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Regardless of what local online advertising channels you ultimately choose to employ for your business, it’s safe to say that if you don’t have a strong Web site, achieving local online advertising success is going to be incredibly difficult. Here are a few handy tips to make sure that your Web site is set up for success:

  • Start with a good URL. A memorable Web site address can help ensure that your customers don’t forget how to reach you. Additionally, a Web address that contains your business’s geography and product or service can help your search engine optimization (SEO).

  • Keep your site professional. Many of your potential customers will come to your Web site without ever visiting your actual place of business. Make sure to put your best foot forward by maintaining a cleanly designed, uncluttered site free of errors and typos.

  • Avoid overusing Flash. Fancy Flash intros can slow down the load time of your site and increase your bounce rate. Additionally, any text captured in Flash is invisible to the search engines.

  • Provide a clear call to action on every page. Want your potential customers to call to receive a free quote? Tell them. Want them to fill out a form to opt in to your e-newsletter? Tell them. Telling prospects what to do early and often is a surefire way to increase the chances that they’ll do it.

  • Make it easy for your potential customers to contact you. Make sure to include your phone number and physical address on every page of your site. Every time prospects have to click to another page to access the information they’re looking for increases the probability they’ll exit your site and go to your competitor’s site.

  • Keep SEO in mind. Research what keywords your potential customers are likely using on the search engines and make sure that these keywords are present on the appropriate pages of your Web site.

  • Create landing pages for your different services or product lines. This allows Web site visitors to easily find the information they need and allows you to send traffic from your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign directly to the most relevant page.

  • Clearly tell potential customers what differentiates you from the competition. This may just sound like Business 101, but it’s especially important online where your competitors are all just a click away.