In today’s world, small businesses should be looking to continually improve their digital presence. Your website is where many customers experience your business for the first time – often before they consider reaching out to you for a quote or query. To help you stay competitive online, these are my five simple tips for website optimisation.
Use a local domain
A .com domain might be popular, but it isn’t always the best choice for a business website. Ask yourself where your customers are located; and if your customers are mainly local to Australia, then a .com.au domain may be better suited. For Australian businesses, a top-level domain with .com.au performs better because it tells the search engine your business is relevant to Australian consumers.
Keep your content up to date
Customers want to see your business information, like how they can contact you, when you’re open and details about your product or service. Get the basics right. Tell your visitors who you are, what you do and what you don’t do in a really clear and concise way. Then make sure you update this information regularly, at least once every few months. Search engines favour websites with new content, so this can also help to improve your search ranking.
Monitor site speed
Many users will leave a website if it takes more than a few seconds to load, so make sure your site speed isn’t slowing down business. If you have a web developer, they should be able to help you with this. And if you’re managing the website yourself, check your image files aren’t too large, as this can lengthen load times. If your website requires videos or animations, then try to compress these as much as you can without compromising their quality.
Use search engine optimisation (SEO) tactics
SEO might seem like a foreign concept, but with a few simple tweaks you can help boost your search ranking so customers can find you more easily online. Search engines value sites that follow best practice around keywords, links and backend tagging (among other things). Just about every website has images, so make sure your image tagging is up to scratch because it’s an easy win to help boost your website’s SEO. Add descriptive alt text to each image describing what it represents to help search engines filter your site to the top of the results page.
Maintain site security
Make sure your website has a security certificate that shows a user their data is secure. Being transparent in this area helps you gain and maintain a customer’s trust. There can be serious legal, reputational, financial and emotional impacts if your business is hacked online – for you, your business, your customers and other stakeholders. So, it pays to make cyber security a priority.
Consider these factors today and in the long term to help impress customers with a great business website. With more people choosing to search, shop, book and experience businesses online, it’s worth ensuring you’re taking steps to get found – and ultimately selected over competitors – by customers.