How long has it been since your website was updated to align with the latest in search engine optimization (SEO) best practices? If your business’s website hasn’t been updated in a while, it’s probably not as effective as it could be at attracting visitors and helping you convert them to customers. In addition to major changes to how search engines determine the performance of websites on search engine result pages (SERPs), there are some features and practices consumers have come to expect, even from small business websites, and you may be losing leads if you’re not providing them.
1. Make Sure You’ve Got a Mobile-First Design
With Google leading the charge and other search engines following, mobile-friendliness has become a major factor in SERP performance. That’s largely because these for-profit businesses are shifting their focus to match the market, where at least 60% of all search queries are now made on mobile devices.
Building a website that search engines deem mobile-friendly includes factors like adaptive or responsive page design that adjusts for the user’s device display; how fast pages load; use of technology like Flash, which is not supported by many mobile devices; full functionality for anonymous users (if users have to log in to access all of your site features, your site will be penalized in how they perform on SERPs); and “intrusive interstitials,” which include pop-ups that obscure site text on the landing page. As far as search engine optimization goes, mobile-first is a must.
2. Get Topical: Use Topic Pages
Topic pages are a way to organize the content on your website to make it easier for visitors to find what they want to read about. Say you visit an auto dealership’s website but only want to look at used cars — that dealership likely has a page on its site dedicated to used car sales and a page dedicated to new cars to cater to consumers who want to buy new.
Topic pages are a search engine optimization best practice because search engines are focused on “thinking” like users, and they reward sites that provide users a way to immediately navigate to content that fully covers their search query. When you build a website with topic pages, each page is focused on a specific product or service and includes variations on likely keywords and variants as well as internal links to topic pages for related products or services. Not only is this good for search engine optimization, but it also makes life easier for your customers.
3. Make Your Contact Info Obvious
This seems like a no-brainer statement, but when it comes to mobile, it takes a bit more planning to make your contact information obvious on every page without requiring the user to scroll or click to find it. Include your phone number in the header design, at a minimum. And make sure website visitors can click to call you from your website if they visit on their mobile devices. If there’s not enough space to include your physical and email addresses and business hours, use a single, obvious button to take users to a page with that information in one click.
Just like using topic pages, putting contact info front and center is great for search engine optimization and user experience alike.
4. Add Live Chat
Until fairly recently, live chat support was a top-shelf feature that was only affordable to large corporations. In today’s market, it’s readily available and affordable for businesses of all sizes, and customers now expect and demand it with up to 77% of consumers in one study stated that they wouldn’t make a purchase from a website with no live chat support, and 63% said they were more likely to return to sites that have live chat than to a site with none.
Providing live chat support helps you capture more leads and manage the conversation more effectively, which helps you convert more leads to customers and keep prospects from bouncing due to unanswered questions or unaddressed concerns. If your live chat is part of an integrated marketing solution, contact information and notes from live chat sessions move seamlessly into your lead inbox from your lead management solution, so your team gets a complete record of everything that’s happened with each lead, from the very first contact.
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