7 Powerful Tools to Get Your Small Business Website to Perform Like a Champ

Website performance matters. Just ask Google. Then use these tools.

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(Disclaimer: These videos are usually between 60-90 seconds. This one is closer to 4 minutes. That said, the content is pretty good :-))

If you’re like most small business owners I know, I bet that your small business website is generating little or no return on investment.

As a result, it’s no wonder that small business owners are often frustrated, anxious, or impatient with the whole ‘web development’ process. You ‘just want to get it over with.’

It’s basically about as exciting as going to the dentist every day for however-long-it-takes-to-get-the-thing-delivered.

But, done well, a high-quality, small business website can quickly become a significant force in growing your pipeline and your revenues.

These 7 tools help.

Tool #1: Good Copywriting

Writing is one of those things that we all think we can do well because, well, we can type and we can speak and, isn’t writing just basically that-ish?

No.

Just ask grandma.

Good writing can make your small business website stand out. It can make your offers more memorable, get more people to engage them, and persuade people to move to the next stage of the sales funnel.

Don’t believe me, just fill in the blanks/answer the questions below:

  • Just ____ It.
  • Like a good neighbor, ______
  • got _____?

You get the idea.

Thoughtful approaches to writing can move people. And, Champion Websites move people.

Tool #2: Compelling & Helpful Offers

One of my favorite business books is Dan Pink’s To Sell is Human.

In it, he argues that the ‘power dynamic’ in business has shifted from seller to buyer. The basic argument goes like this:

  • In the past, information asymmetry existed
  • Sellers had the ‘upper hand’ on buyers because they had access to information that buyers didn’t have access to
  • As a result, buyers were ‘at the mercy’ of sellers’ information strongholds, when during a sales process.

Except, now, with the advent of the Internet, the small business website, and the Information Age:

  • Information asymmetry is decreasing
  • Buyers have an ‘upper hand’ because they can find information, once ‘gated’ by ‘sellers’ (think, for example, of the people who now go to the doctor with WebMD printouts or car dealerships with “TrueCar” valuations…)
  • As a result, buyers are no longer ‘at the mercy’ of sellers, because they have access to information now, too.

While I don’t think the relationship between buyer and seller is quite so adversarial as the above bullets suggest (Pink’s book is also more nuanced), it does reflect that the ‘sales process’ as transition to a ‘buying’ process and the best sellers now help the best buyers by providing helpful, contextual information and offers.

This notion of education-based selling or buyer/seller partnerships is a fairly radical shift in the world of business relationships and there are still a lot of opportunities to embrace this perspective in every industry.

And the companies that embrace it, thrive.

Your small business website is an ‘obvious’ front in this shift; allowing you to offer loads of helpful information & content to interested people who may, one day, become buyers.

 This approach also requires thinking about campaigns differently. If you’d like to learn how to plan more effective marketing campaigns, I encourage you to download our Free Marketing Campaign Workbook.

Tool #3: Landing Pages

If you’re going to offer helpful content, you need a way to distribute it. Landing Pages are a great tool for that.

These pages provide a clutter-free runway for visitors to opt into becoming a prospect or lead. You should be using them to drive all paid traffic, but also for distributing content offers across different channels and for most of your lead capture.

(note: Landing pages are a whole topic in and of themselves. We’ll have more content on that shortly)

Tool #4: Integrations With Email Marketing Software

I love email marketing.

Not because I love sending Spam, but because email is the only direct channel you have to your customers.

For that reason, it’s reall, really, really important to use it responsibly.

Or they’ll (rightly) unsubscribe.

But, because most leads will require nurturing, you need to have a way to do so.

Even if you’re good at converting leads quickly, you still want to be able to nurture people from “customer” to “champion.”

We’re building relationships, not just selling widgets (remember point #2 above? Give, give, give).

And email is a great way to do that.

If you’re a small business, it must be a part of your marketing efforts because, done well, it can help to generate much higher ROI than other tools.

So, case made, your website needs to have a way to integrate with whatever email marketing software you need.

Many of the providers will offer their own embed codes, but more sophisticated tools like popup boxes, scroll boxes, and ExitTech can dramatically accelerate the growth of your list.

Tool #5: Mobile-First Design

We’ve written a whole book on the importance of mobile-friendliness.

It’s worth reading.

But, the two highlights are:

  • Over 60% of all search queries happen on a mobile device and
  • We found over 60% of the small business websites in our local market weren’t mobile-friendly That’s a huge opportunity to both move up in local search AND demonstrate to your prospective customers that you respect, acknowledge, and care about their experience when they try to interact with you.

 If you want to read our research on small business websites & mobile-friendliness in our local market, you can grab it here.

Tool #6: Markup For Machines

I love to hate Siri. And “Ok, Google.” I’m currently lusting for Alexa.

But each of these tools underscores an important shift: search isn’t just about webpages anymore. Search agents are processing large amounts of data in multimedia format using algorithms I can’t begin to comprehend.

But, I can comprehend that it must be hard.

And that there are probably ways to make it easier on them, so your content is easier to find.

There are.

Markup such as microdata embedded in your content can help describe who you are and what you do to the machines responsible for answering people’s question.

The best part – it’s embedded in the page, so you don’t have to trouble the humans we write for with it. It’s the best of both worlds – human-readable content, machine-readable markup.

Granted, this movement towards machine markup is still in it’s infancy, but it’s growing. If you’re looking to redo your site, it’ll be a really helpful tool to make sure you’ve thought about.

Tool #7: Content Delivery Optimization

Ever been on a site that takes forrrreeeevvvveeerrr to load?

It sucks.

But it’s especially annoying when you’re on a cell network.

Taking advantage of tools such as caching, CDNs, smart file-loading processes, asset hashing, and using static sites all work to speed up your site and the speed at which the content is delivered.

This creates a much better experience for your website visitors AND makes it easier for those little machines in Tool 6 to read, parse, and index your content.

Invest in content delivery optimization.

From Amateur To Champion

The reality is that very little of what we’re discussing here is really new. But, it’s challenging to get all of those things from one place, at an affordable rate. Still, the use of a few small tools can help you take your website from frustrating piece-of-technology to business-generating-tool.

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Jesse Flores

Jesse if the Chief Web Pro at SuperWebPros. When he's not trying to see the future, you can find him in quiet contemplation, spending time with his family, or finding an excuse to be outside (in good weather).
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