Your Local Business Website Is Live!
You have driven boldly onto the information super highway and your local business website is proudly proclaiming your presence to your city, county, country and the world at large. So, what is missing?
Can your readers contact you?
It seems a daft question, but oddly it is one that is overlooked quite often. I have seen so many local websites that have a contact page with an email form and that is it.
And that’s OK…
…but it really isn’t thinking like those who are searching for your products or services online.
There are studies all over the internet about how people use online search. While percentages and statistics can vary wildly, there is a trend that is consistent right through:
Many people research online and buy offline.
- They look up information and then physically get into their car and visit retailers to purchase.
- They look up information and pick up the phone to book an appointment.
Think about that for a minute…
- Do you think they can do that with an email contact form?
- Do you think they will even bother emailing for more information when your competitor down the road has their phone number and address readily available on their website?
I hope you answered, “No.” to those questions because people searching online generally will not hang about waiting for answers to their questions.
How to Improve Your Local Business Website
- Have your business address and phone number available from EVERY page on your website. Don’t forget people may not land on your “home page” first. In the eyes of the search engines, every page is a home page. The information does not have to be flashing in lights, but it should be where people would expect to find it – in your footer or a link to your contact page.
- Have a contact page and include all forms of contact – your address, phone, fax, email, carrier pigeon – any form of contact you use, make sure it’s on the page. Make it easy for people to contact you.
- On the same lines of making it easy, publicise any social media sites you are present on too
- Make sure that your address and contact details are accessible to search spiders – in text not images. Check that the information is consistent on all of your web pages and any online directories and local business listings you’ve submitted.
- Include a map and directions to your business, or at least a link to directions on your contact page.
Using an email form on your website is fine, it helps to stop those spam bots harvesting your address and spamming your email with the latest wonder drug or Russian bride. If you want to display your actual business email address (and it’s a good idea to display it), use an image rather than a link.
As a side note, if you are a UK limited company you should have your registered business address and registration number displayed somewhere on your website too.
People searching online for information are impatient, they want information now and will click away to another site that provides what they want. Help your local business website to do its job and put all your business contact details where searchers expect to find them.How to Simply Improve Your Local Business Website by Jan Kearney