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Our lives are online. We use our devices to search, work, connect, relax, exercise, play, shop, learn and everything else in between. As people spend more and more time online, so more businesses invest in their online presence.

Perhaps you’re creating a website for the first time, or you’re investing time into making your current online presence better; well, I want to help you with some practical info and advice to support you.

I’ll be using my blog to provide website advice for small businesses – much like I’ve always done – especially as more people have to make the most of the opportunities that the internet affords them.

I’d love to hear from my blog readers if there’s a certain subject you’d like me to write about. Just let me know!

To start you off, here are five small but powerful things you can do to improve your business’s online presence.

Update your Google Business listing

Google Business profile for High On Yoga.

A great Google Business profile by Kundalini Yoga teacher High on Yoga.

Your Google Business profile is something that’s easy to forget about; however, it’s a very powerful tool, especially for local search.

Your Google Business description in particular is considered an important factor in determining if your site shows up on location-based search. It is crucial you make sure it is accurate and contains relevant keywords in there.

Check your Google Business profile as it would look to potential customers searching. Do your photo and cover image impress and show your business off in the best light?

You can update your profile at Google My Business.

Check how you appear on search engines

Google listing for Another Architectures and Interiors.

The Another Architecture + Interiors Google listing contains keywords, a list of services, accreditation and a warm personality (all within 150 characters!)

Do a quick search for your business name. Are you happy with how your search listing looks? Would your ideal customers click on your listing rather than that of your competitors?

Make sure the content packs a punch, with a page title that is concise and includes keywords and your location.

A good meta description (the snippet that shows what the page is about) should contain keywords so search engines can see it and present it in searches. However, it should also be friendly and appeal to people, so they want to click it.

In WordPress, you can control your page title and meta description using a plugin like Yoast SEO. In Squarespace, SEO meta data can be added via the Page Settings.

Ask your customers for reviews

Close up of a hand holding a badge with a heart shape on.

Ask for some love and you shall receive! Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.

When potential customers are considering buying from you, they will want proof that this will be a good purchase. Therefore they will look for reasons to trust you (or not!).

Testimonials are hugely powerful as a means to instil a sense of trust: “If all these other people spent money on this and loved it, I probably will, too!”

Your customers/clients will likely be very happy to say “yes” if you asked them to provide a testimonial – particularly at the moment!

It helps if you are specific in your request and make it simple and easy for people to comply.

Think carefully about where you’d like to use the testimonial to have the biggest impact. Ideally, you will spread your testimonials across your key marketing channels.

  • Google Reviews are particularly good for attracting search traffic
  • Facebook reviews look ideal for those selling to consumers
  • LinkedIn recommendations are better for those in B2B

Remember, once a review has been posted, you can copy the text and use it on your website. You can also recreate it as a post on a different social channel, perhaps using a tool such as Canva to make it look impressive on the likes of Instagram.

Score some quick technical wins

Smiling lego man dressed as a firework holding a balloon.

A fast-loading site is good for search engines and human users. Photo by Hello I’m Nik ? on Unsplash

There are a lot of factors that play a role in the success of your site, and page speed is one of the key ones. Not only is it very important for SEO (search engine optimisation), but it also keeps your site visitors happy.

Speed up your site in a few easy steps using these tips:

  • Compress your images. If you are using WordPress, EWWW Image Optimizer reduces the size of any uploaded images without compromising the quality. It also has a bulk optimise feature to squash your existing images.
  • Uninstall any plugins you’re not using to remove any unnecessary scripts that load in in the background of your site. Do you really need a live chat plugin?
  • Upgrade your PHP version. If you have access to your hosting control panel, make sure your site is running PHP 7.2 or above as this is the fastest one available.
    (Warning – if your site is particularly old you might not want to risk this as it may not be compatible with newer PHP versions. Ask an expert to help!)

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Look under the hood

Man in a striped suit looking through a magnifying glass.

What can you uncover when you take a closer look? Photo by Marten Newhall on Unsplash

By taking a closer look at your site, you will be able to uncover different areas where you can make either quick fixes or plan for longer-term improvements.

Here are some things you can look at as part of a thorough assessment into the performance of your website.

  • Reconsider the main aims of your website. What do you actually want your visitors to do? Can they do this easily? For example, if you want them to browse and buy, test the search and checkout functionality to see what can be made clearer, simpler and easier.
  • Check over your website usage data to see the channels through which people are finding your site. Does this tell you anything about how you can adapt your marketing strategy?
  • Look at your website usage data to identify your most popular pages. Does this tell you anything about how you can adapt your marketing strategy?
  • Use a tool such as Google Search Console to see if your site shows up for your keywords.

Want to do even more? Check out some more posts to help you improve your site. I’ve previously written how to assess your website performance.

You can also download my DIY guide for reviewing your website.

If you’d like tailored recommendations for your website from a professional, then look no further than my website review service. I’ll assess your site’s speed, usability and search performance and tell you exactly what you need to do to make your site work harder for your business.

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