This is a guest blog post by Robyn Norgan, Marketing Specialist at Dynadot.
Great domain name for your business, check! Web hosting so you can get your site up and running, check! So now what? Once you've checked these off the list, there are a few other things you should make sure to include on your site:
- Your Company Contact Information
This seems simple, but this little detail is often times overlooked. Highlighting your company contact information on every page of your website, such as in the footer, is especially critical to local companies like restaurants or retail stores. You'll want to include all business contact details, including address, phone number, fax number (if appropriate), email address and even store hours. Along with your address, you can easily embed an actual map of your location to give customers a quick visual. Google Maps and MapQuest, among many others, have simple step-by-step instructions on how to do this. As for your phone, fax, email and social media pages (such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn), make sure that all of these lines of communication are active, with a real person behind them to promptly answer customer/prospect inquiries. You can also choose to add a contact form for customers to fill out and send in. Forms are great resources for collecting lead details — name, company, job title and more. For ideas of what information you can collect using a form, conduct a simple Google image search. With plugin tools such as Wufoo, forms are quick and easy to add to your site.
- Information about Your Products and Services
I know, I know, another no-brainer right? But it's not just information about your products and services, it's easy-to-understand, well written, and well organized information. The last thing you want is to make your customers dig to find out what your company does. Including clear, well organized information about your products and services will ensure that visitors know what business you’re in and how you can help them. Quality content sprinkled with industry keywords will improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), such as Google’s ability to find your site. Good SEO will help increase your website's traffic, bringing you more potential customers.
Once you have good content, make sure to organize it in an intuitive way so your customers can quickly find what they’re looking for. Simple navigation with distinctive categories will make it easy for your visitors. Now it’s time to test, test, test. Send your website to a few friends, family members and even loyal customers. Collect feedback, make necessary changes and test again. For optimal results, do this continually.
- A Call to Action
In conjunction with including quality content on your website, you need to provide a clear and deliberate call-to-action. What do you want your customers to do when they land on your page? What should they click on? What is your end conversion goal?
For example, if you’re offering a free trial highlight it on your home page and make it easy for customers to sign up. If your call to action is to purchase from your site, you'll want to make your checkout process obvious, fast and secure. If you’re a restaurant, you may want to highlight your phone number or even add an online reservation and/or ordering system right on your home page. No matter what you do, make sure it's clear and easy.
Tell Your Company Story
Forgetting the human element makes for a dull website. So get personal and tell your story. What is your company's mission? How was your company started? How are you giving back to your community? Customers want to know more about you than just what you sell. They want to know you - the person and staff behind the company. Telling your story gives customers something they can relate to, and in some cases, it can even give them a reason to choose your company over a competitor.
We hope these four simple tips will help you optimize your .US website presence and get more customers.
Keep in mind that 97% of consumers use the Internet to research products and services in their local area. Being online increases visibility and allows you to "stay open" 24/7. Once your website is complete, there are great tools out there such as Google Places for Business, a free local platform that can help your business get found on Google. So what are you waiting for? Get started today! Start with .US.
About the Author:
Robyn Norgan is a Marketing Specialist at Dynadot, a domain registrar and web hosting company. She, along with Dynadot, is focused on helping small businesses get online easily and inexpensively. For more tips, visit Dynadot's blog, where she is a regular contributor.