Web Design & SEO for Small Businesses in Kelowna
Owning a small business is both challenging and rewarding. You probably have a well-thought-out list of everything you need to do to keep your business thriving. Web Design and SEO should be at the top of your list. Without them, how are you going to effectively market your business? How are you going to continuously generate leads?
Let’s say you are looking to hire a bookkeeper. Where would you start? If you don’t know one personally, there’s a good chance you would turn to the web. A quick search would turn up thousands of results, but you’re likely to concentrate on the first page or two. Then, you’d probably browse a few websites and contact the companies that stood out and seemed reputable.
The web has, beyond a doubt, replaced the Yellow Pages as the go-to directory. What does this mean for your business? It means that you need a great website and you need to get in front of potential customers. It won’t matter how good you are, how great your rates or prices are, or how good you are at wowing your clients. If your website isn’t easy to find, they won’t call.
If your business is driven by referrals, having a website that is aesthetically pleasing is important. When potential clients hear about you from friends and family, it’s likely that they’ll visit your website before contacting you. If they don’t like what they see, that referral may not go far.
Web Design For Small Businesses
For many small businesses, a website’s main objective is to generate leads. You want clean, professional design combined with attractive photos, useful information, and testimonials to help establish trust in your brand. This can substantially reduce the need to offer lower pricing to entice new clients, and help combat some of the brand caché of your larger competitors.
It’s also an invaluable tool for the daily operations of your company. Often an underrated component of web design for small businesses are the unique features that can save you valuable time and money in the long run. Imagine the benefits of:
- Reducing paperwork by having any of your company’s standardized contracts on your website.
- Setting up notifications to remind your customers about important dates, promotions, sales, opportunities, and/or appointments with you.
- Displaying a notice on your homepage when you’re away or unavailable.
- Addressing FAQ on your website.
These are just a few of the ways that your website can help your business run more efficiently, save you money on administrative costs, help you provide better customer service, and foster new business. Before you can reap all of these benefits, you need prospective clients to be able to find your website.
Search Engine Marketing & SEO
An attractive, functional website is important, but it isn’t enough. You also need to get it in front of people that need your services. You have to find a way to distinguish yourself from your competitors. Having a beautiful website will make a great first impression, but it won’t bring traffic on its own. And Google won’t reward your investment with traffic unless you give it reason to. And if you’re a new business, it can be challenging to supersede well-known competitors.
There are multiple ways to drive traffic to your website, but two methods stand out above the rest.
Search Engine Marketing
First is web-based advertising (paid search engine marketing or SEM). With SEM, you create campaigns targeting relevant, strategic keywords and the search engine will place your ads above the organic search results. With Google AdWords, you are charged for each click your ad receives, and the cost is determined by the competition for that keyword, and the location(s) you choose to target. It’s a powerful tool immediately drive traffic to your website and generate leads from consumers actively seeking your services.
Advantages of SEM include:
- You get immediate traffic from people deliberately searching for your chosen keywords.
- You have control over the time, day, location, and other ad criteria.
- Results can be measured with remarkable accuracy.
Disadvantages of SEM include:
- SEM is can be costly compared to investing in slower, more organic methods of driving traffic (see SEO below).
- The leads you receive disappear as soon as you end your campaign.
- SEM typically requires a bigger budget and needs ongoing maintenance to refine the effectiveness of your campaign.
- It is easy to waste money if your campaign is poorly executed or your website isn’t well built.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Another option for driving traffic to your website is Search Engine Marketing, aka SEO. It can be exceptionally beneficial for businesses that invest in it long term. SEO consists of several techniques that revolve around creating and optimizing high-quality content that’s relevant to your target audience.
SEO has somewhat of a spotted past. Back in the beginning when search engines were new, a lot of SEO companies cut corners to manipulate their way into ranking high. As a result, SEO has a reputation as either being ineffective, or consisting merely of keyword stuffing where keywords are hidden in websites to manipulate search results. Neither of which is true.
In In reality, SEO involves upgrading the quality of your content and making it as indexable as possible. It entails a thorough analysis of your website, traffic, and content. SEO specialists strive to continually improve the quality and readability of your content, and the way search engines (and your visitors) consume your content.
Advantages of SEO include:
- Success grows over time as each piece of your content edges higher in search results.
- A long term investment in SEO can be more cost effective than investing in paid advertising campaigns.
- You can measure your results with great accuracy.
Disadvantages of SEO include:
- SEO takes time and a solid strategy for success. In fact, a promise of quick SEO results indicates lack of knowledge, a possible scam, or weak strategy.
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