Welcome to a new series for Small Businesses, to help you with your Online Marketing! We are so psyched to help you that we also wrote a book to help you! In this post, and video, Bridget Willard and I, are going to talk about the top three things small businesses, or anyone really, need to have on their website.
#1 Up to Date Information is Not a Nice to Have
Bridget: The top thing, that’s not a nice to have, but a need to have for a local small business?
Warren: Barring all of the other things that you would need to have? Let’s imagine we’ve got all those in place. I think the really important thing is that you have up-to-date content. Let’s imagine you’re a store. If someone comes to your webpage and they see you’ve got a special, well, is that the actual special? Is your contact information or telephone number or address on your site?
I’ve sometimes gone to a store but they’re no longer there! An updated address is really important. The local post office here on their website doesn’t have the up-to-date hours of operation on their site. So it’s something you’re probably maybe not used to seeing. Strangely enough, I think we’re so used to seeing incorrect information on websites that we don’t trust it even if it is correct. If they say our opening hours of these, I call to confirm because I’m so used to seeing incorrect information. I think especially for a small business where trust, consistency, transparency, and competition exist. You’re a small business. That’s where people must begin to trust your website.
Bridget: Oh, a hundred per cent. I mean, if it’s not the sexy part of your website, but if your basic information like the name of your business, your phone number, your email address, your location or locations to a restaurant. How about, here’s one of the things that bug me because I want to look at their social media, especially if it’s a restaurant or a kind of a venue. I want to see what their inside looks like. So a lot of times people will have websites with social links at the bottom, but they’re not attached to social accounts that drives me bananas. Don’t build a website that has those images or those links if you’re not going to fill them out.
#2 Social Media and Your Customer Loving Your Brand
Warren: I was on a website yesterday, a great coffee and doughnut website in the UK. I’m not going to name them, but they do vegan doughnuts and the website just rocked. It really, made me understand who they are and what they stand for. I was excited about what they’d done to the website. I’m not in the UK, I can’t go and get the doughnuts, but they had three social media icons up there. They have Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. Oh great, I thought – this is an Instagram focused company. So I click on these, but there’s just a hashtag link – all three of them were. So obviously, these came with the theme or, it’s a work in progress, but they hadn’t linked these anywhere.
So now I’m disappointed because everybody wants to see their Instagram and stuff. That happens a lot, especially with themes. These things are out of the box and there are 16 social media icons up there and you don’t think you should attach your social media links to it. Or it goes to the default just goes to Facebook or twitter.com. That’s highly annoying and it’s a lost opportunity. A person landing on your website, but the mathematical chances against that happening are infinitesimal. They got there just don’t let them go!
Bridget: Attention is the hard part. Right. So having those links though are also super good for your SEO strategies. Like as a small business, we shouldn’t forget about the basic things. For example, I changed my Twitter handle. I had to go back and all of my different places on the internet, my littering of places that shows my profiles and make sure my Twitter handle was correct. That’s on me. And when you have a website that’s on you to check no, go in and look at it, go search yourself in incognito mode and see what comes up. Does it say that you’re offering brunch, but you don’t anymore? Maybe you have bottomless mimosas, but the state of Texas said that’s not legal, so you can’t do it. I mean, you have to check that out, right? It’s up to you to do that. So contact information is number one, social icons being correct. What would you say is like the third area of focus for a small business?
Warren: I just want to jump back to your second area of focus because you were talking about contact information not being sexy. But, it doesn’t have to be blinking whistles and lights sexy, but if I’m looking for vanilla ice cream in my neighbourhood and your website says quite clearly that we sell vanilla ice cream where, according to your mobile location, we’re a hundred meters away from you just around the corner and we’re open now. And I find you and you are open and you are serving vanilla ice cream. You know, that’s as sexy as it gets because my intent was to get them, and you delivered and that’s great! Anything else it’s like you’re teasing me and then you’re not delivering. That’s not good, it can be a turnoff. It’s not good
Bridget: From a psychological standpoint, it takes seven to 10 touches to gain a customer. All of this, we know that also when you make a mistake, it takes about 10 opportunities to regain that trust. If they let you,
Warren: If they let you, that’s a very good point. Yes.
Bridget: Having that information correct. Is super important. If you do change your hours, you’ve got to change that. And everywhere, everywhere that you have your hours listed, Google my business, Yelp-like your Facebook page sometimes says hours. Yeah.
Warren: Yes. That’s a bit of a problem. We have information everywhere. This is why I think it’s really important to know what to focus on and to start with one really good thing and move out as you have the capacity. If you can’t service 10 different social media platforms, then you shouldn’t have 10 social media platforms.
Bridget: Well, you can keep the name,
Warren: You can keep the name, but things like menus – I don’t know how many people and I’m certainly one of them have gone to a website, seen something on a menu, got very excited and then driven 30 minutes to the restaurant only to find out that was last week’s menu. Well, I’m here for that product and you don’t sell that product. So I’m, I guess I might have to leave.
Bridget: How many more times are you going to drive 30 minutes? Right?
Warren: You can live with it. But I think we’ve moved beyond customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction. We’re really into this whole realm of customer excitement, customer delight. And I want to be, I want to be happy and I want to tell people about my experience and I want to be your ambassador and not telling people that the menu on your website is three weeks out of date and you haven’t managed to take it down. I don’t know if I’m going to be very delighted with that. I’m going to tell a lot of people about it, but they’re not going to get the message that you want.
Bridget: So is that your third thing having the correct menu or is that go on?
Warren: I’m going to put that into my bag of “your content to update”.
#3 A Responsive Website Means More than being a Mobile-Friendly Website
Warren: Third thing. Wow. That’s a really good question. You know, I think content is still really, really important. Having your website up to date, so you’ve got anything clickable is going to be happening there. I want to say Security. I want to say a website that’s actual, because I’m going to find that sort of safety important, especially these days. But I’m going to put that on the back burner and I’m going to say that I think it needs to be responsive. No, not the responsive, like it’s going on my phone or anything. We’ve been doing that for the last 10 years. Okay. Well, we expect that.
Bridget: That’s true. That’s true. But if your website doesn’t work on my phone, let me find, I mean, but if it works, that doesn’t mean you can read it.
Warren: That’s another call. Let’s do that next week. I’m thinking when I mean responsive, I’m sort of touching on customer delight, being responsive to what’s happening now. And especially in the pandemic, everyone’s at home, there’s a lot of stress. You know, if you are a small business or any business, I think it’s really important not to just respond to seasonal changes or demographic changes or political trends, whatever it might be. I think it’s good to, get across to your visitors that you get them. It’s a little bit like our brand obsessions. I’m together with a brand because I understand that they get me, they understand me and then I want to be buying what they’re selling.
I think this is being responsive to what’s happening within the ecosystem, especially for local businesses, because they are a real integral part of the community. They are connecting with us, not just online, but also personally. It means a lot of flexibility, but I think this means for small businesses, that the website can be more than just a tool you need to have, and it can be a vehicle of communication. It can be fun.
Bridget: Oh, I know I get the 30,000-foot view, but like say a small business owner is reading this and they’re like, what are you even talking about? Can you give us an example of what that looks like I, as a marketer? I know what you’re saying. You’re saying don’t be tone-deaf, don’t show a bunch of pictures of people without masks on. And we’ve been wearing that for a year, are going to wear them for the rest of this year of wearing them forever. Like I get that part, but can you give me an example of what, what responsive means in that context?
Warren: Okay. Right now in our neighbourhood, one of the things that are confusing for people even locally, is that you don’t know if a store is allowed to be open or is it not allowed to be open right now. It’s a little vague if the store is selling items that you need daily, it’s allowed to be open. So I think that would be an important message right on the website to always have up to date.
What I’ve seen as a great example would be one of the wine stores in the area. They’ve never delivered ever. I know this guy and he does not deliver. But since this all started, his attitude is when the store closes, I have to drive home. And between my home and the store, some potential clients might like to have the wine delivered. So now he offers this. He has information on his website, but what I like is on the front window, you have the entire front window with a hand-drawn sign that says I will deliver. And then his mobile number. So he closes at six and then he spends the next hour just dropping things off. And this is great because for him, this is extra income. And for clients, it’s like, you get it, you’re responding to the trend. And when this is over, he’s not going to be delivering anymore, but this sort of movement, this flexibility, is great. Not every business can do that, but every business can find a way to connect with their customers, and that loyalty is really, really important going forward.
Bridget: That’s a good wrap up for this week. Want to do this again? We’ll definitely do this again. You know, we talked about three things I can think of 33 things. So we’re probably good for this year. We crammed a bunch of stuff in the first one. So if you want to hear more tips for small businesses, nonprofits, schools, organizations, you’re going to want to subscribe to the channel below like the button and share it on social media.
Don’t forget to go to my Amazon account, and you can see the book behind you, but also here’s another copy. You definitely want to see I’ve already marked it up. You’re going to want to get this book on Amazon. It’s going to be available on German in German soon and Kindle too. And the trick with Kindle is if you have Alexa and the Alexa app and the Kindle app, she will read it to you. So then you can have as an audiobook. Okay. See ya!
Click here for information about our book, and a link to the Amazon paperback and Kindle version! http://warrenlainenaida.net/small-business-book
Visit my YouTube channel for all my Online Marketing Videos.
Thank you so much to Mann Foto von rawpixel.com – de.freepik.com for the cool image!
Your Voice. Your Power. Your Brand.
Bridget Willard – Social Media and Content Marketing
Business to business relationship marketing.