Your website is vital marketing real estate. Fortysix per cent of Capricorn Members told our State of the Nation survey last year that their website is a key part of their marketing (behind only social media, 51%, and word of mouth, 77%).
So, we asked Aaron Haarsma, a Capricorn Preferred Supplier and Creative Director of OzICT, for his advice on how to maximise the value of a workshop website.
“The reality is a lot of people are researching online, even if they’ve had a word-of-mouth recommendation, to verify what they’ve been told,” he said. “If you don’t have some sort of digital presence, it’s very hard for people to verify the recommendation, let alone find opening hours and so on.”
Here's Aaron's list of things you need to know to ensure your website is helping you grow your business.
1. Don’t rely on Facebook
As the Facebook algorithm has changed, businesses just aren’t getting the engagement they used to on Facebook. One reputable study puts the median engagement rate for businesses on Facebook at 0.064%. Aaron still recommends having a Facebook page (it’s handy for customer service enquiries) but says it shouldn’t replace a good website.
2. Address customer pain points
Potential customers come to your site looking for something specific. Be sure to list off all the kinds of goods and services you provide, including any areas of specialty or expertise.
3. Make sure your website looks professional and functions properly
How old is your website? If it looks dated or is poorly maintained, you’re giving the customer a really bad impression of the service they’ll get from you. A simple website refresh is in order. Similarly, if the site has broken functionality, like booking forms that don’t work, it’s time for some maintenance.
4. Cover the essential information (especially contact details)
This is a no-brainer, but make sure to have your phone number, business address and opening hours prominently displayed on your website. Include a contact form, as many customers prefer not to pick up a phone these days.
5. Get your SEO right
To help Google and other search engines find you, make sure your website is search engine optimised (SEO). At its most basic level, this means making sure it has the right keywords relating to your services and location. Your web developer will know what to do.
6. A website is not a “set and forget” investment
When was the last time you updated your website? Aaron said Google wants to serve people the most up-to-date search results possible, so if you aren’t regularly updating your website (e.g., publishing blog posts, YouTube videos), it’s likely you’ll slip down the search results below competitors who keep their website up to date.
7. A Google Business Profile is essential
To appear on the map in search results, you need a Google Business Profile. This service used to be called Google My Business. It’s basically your business listing with Google and it’s how Google verifies you’re a real business. It’s also somewhere customers can leave reviews. Similarly, Aaron said if you want to guarantee you appear at the top of search results, consider advertising with Google Ads.