Everywhere you turn, people are telling you that you better be using social media and you better have an active presence. And it’s true: social media is a huge opportunity to reach your target audience, but it’s not the end all be all to having a successful business.
Too many people sacrifice their own website to shuffle in dollars to their Facebook page, and if you’re website isn’t up to snuff, you’re not going to make an impact anywhere. Your website is the hub of your marketing campaign, and these things will help you ensure that it’s performing as your social media accounts.
It needs to be usable.
You could have the best-looking website out there, but if your users don’t know how to navigate it, that design will be falling on deaf ears. Too often usability falls to the wayside of an eye-popping design or search engine optimization standards when in reality you’re hurting your business by not having a user-friendly website.
Some easy things that you can do to make your website more usable for your visitors:
- Increase the font size: Optimal font size is 16px. Anything less makes it very hard to read.
- Make your navigation intuitive: Your website should be obvious and self-explanatory. If users have to think too much about how to use your site, they’ll leave for competition.
- Reduce the cognitive load:
It needs to work.
Obvious, yes, but you would be surprised how many people don’t put in the effort to make sure their website is up and running 100 percent of the time. In fact, network downtime cost businesses about $1.7 billion last year in profits, according to a CDW survey. So, what are your options?
- Hire a full-time IT staff: The best, but oftentimes outside the budget of a small business
- Free or open-source software: Good, but you do get what you pay for and you’ll still be left doing the monitoring, which means 4 a.m. phone calls if there’s a problem. Monit is a good one to check out if you want to go that route.
- Hire a network monitoring company: Look for one that is US-based, offers troubleshooting, and has 24-7 monitoring. iGLASS Networks is a good one that has web server monitoring specifically for small business.
It needs to tell users what to do.
Social media gives users mixed signals. On your Facebook page, you’re driving users to your website but when they land on your website, there are callouts to go back to your Facebook page. It’s no wonder small businesses are left wondering why their users are immediately leaving their website once landing on it from their Facebook page: Because they have no idea where to go from there.
Users will decide in 3 seconds if they want to stay on your site or leave, and to keep them, improve your call to action by:
- Keeping it above the fold.
- Putting it in a contrasting color to make it stand out
- Starting it with a verb: Sign up, Buy, Learn, Discover, etc.
- Talking about how you’ll help them, not why you’re the best
- Having only one call to action per page
Make sure your website is up to par in order to make an impact. If your website isn’t hot, neither will your social media efforts.