Most small business owners make the most of their advertising and public relations budgets by incorporating as many resources as possible. One of those resources is a must: a website. Often, a small business owner does not have the budget for an expensive web designer, so they tackle the project themselves. Some are nothing short of brilliant while others struggle to even appear in search engines. Check out our tips for making the most of your website so that you can spend more time building your business.
Accept Debit and Credit Cards
These days, credit and debit cards are popular alternatives to carrying cash. The rapid growth of the internet over the past two decades makes it clear that cash is no longer king – at least in the land of electronic advantages. It’s all about the convenience and safety.
It’s nearly impossible to have an online store front without the ability to accept credit and debit cards. If you’re still requiring customers to call in to place any kind of order, then three’s a good chance you’re losing customers. The Small Business Administration says the ability to accept credit cards without having to manually input the information for the consumer will “greatly increase the likelihood of impulse purchases”.
Keep in mind, though, there are a few glitches associated with accepting credit cards; still the benefits far outweigh those glitches. A few points offered by SBA include:
There are small processing fees associated with each credit or debit card transactions. This adds another responsibility on the business owner’s end, as he will have to account for it. These fees seem insignificant, but make no mistake: they can add up quickly. Setting up the necessary equipment to accept cards also carries additional costs.
For accounting purposes, card transactions add another layer of detail to your business’s bookkeeping practices. Your business will have to take into account the additional time and resources it takes to maintain these records. If your business is growing, though, it might be worth it to consider bringing on a bookkeeper, either in a part time or full time position. The right financial employee can not only provide peace of mind for you while taking the burden of daily accounting off your shoulders, but it also means your time is free to grow your business. It might that it’s a wise investment.
Attention to Detail
The second tip focuses on the importance of details. There’s nothing that can raise red flags for your customers more than typographical errors in the text of your website. Even if your budget has no room for a web designer, most companies can afford the services of a freelance writer. Customers who stumble on your website only to discover poor sentence structure and grammatical errors will only begin to wonder what kind of attention to detail your company has for accuracy. After all, you’re going to be asking for their financial information if they buy from you – make sure they have no hesitation in doing so.
Personality doesn’t have to be an overly-busy website with tons of plug ins and script – in fact, less is better. You’d be surprised at the number of folks who will quickly click off a website because it’s taking too long to load. Really, a simpler approach is always better, especially for a small business. After all, you’re likely competing with the big dogs.
That’s the beauty of online presence, though – we’re all equal in terms of having a fair shot – provided, of course, you can get your website’s existence acknowledged. Personality can easily mean a clean, crisp black and white site with a prominent logo on every page. Be sure to let it be known that you accept all the major credit cards such as Visa, American Express, Discover and MasterCard. Again, it’s all about convenience and reputation.
Again, the right writer can provide custom text that has just the right amount of keyword density to get you to the highly-coveted first page in search engine results. If you’re selling strawberries, you want to be sure your keywords are included in your text. To know those keywords, you have to know what potential customers are searching for. For instance:
Welcome to ABC Company. We have plants that produce your favorite fruit – that delicious red berry everyone loves. We also sell them to you straight from our patch. We offer fast shipping, too. Buy your strawberies from us.
If a customer is looking for strawberry plants, they’re going to search “strawberry plants” and if this is your text above, then you’re not going to show up in those search results. You have the word “strawberies” which is misspelled and it’s the only reference you have. Try this instead:
Welcome to ABC Company. We have beautiful strawberry plants that produce everyone’s favorite fruit: beautiful, red strawberries! We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express and fast shipping. Buy your home-grown strawberries directly from our patches.
See the difference? You’ve included payment options by name (which is good for search engines) and you’ve included both “strawberry plants” and the plural of strawberry: strawberries. You’ve also included “home-grown strawberries” and “red strawberries”. With very little effort, you’ve upped your density and made progress towards climbing to the top of the search engine pages, which equates to more clicks for your site.
Small business owners can easily afford a solid website presence, which can translate to greater profits. Be sure you’re accessible and be sure you’re providing your customers maximum payment options – including debit and credit cards.