Small business owners are used to wearing many hats. When you’re just starting out, filling all these roles may be necessary, but in order to grow, there comes a time when you need help in certain areas. Since your website is such a crucial source of business, developing a digital strategy that focuses on boosting your website’s performance is a primary way to reach that next level of growth. You may be able to handle some of your small business web essentials, but finding a pro who can deliver exactly what you need is often the best use of your time and money.
Is Your Security Up to Snuff?
This is the first question to ask yourself when you start thinking about which web-based projects to prioritize. Before you even think about increasing traffic and profits, you need to be confident that customers’ data is secure when they do business with you. Cybercrime is rampant, and it isn’t only big businesses that are hit. Make sure you’re familiar with the most common types of cyber attacks, which can include malware, phishing, and other tactics that disrupt your network and put your customers’ data at risk. Being vulnerable to cybercrime not only threatens your profits, but it’s also a major threat to your reputation.
One of the most important security issues is the need to maintain PCI compliance, especially if you process credit card transactions. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) lays out requirements to ensure businesses maintain best practices for keeping credit card information secure. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to review these requirements and adopt essential security measures, such as using antivirus software and firewalls, data encryption, and password protection policies. You can take some of these steps yourself, but it may also help to hire a professional who specializes in PCI compliance to be sure your customers’ data is as secure as possible.
Increase Web Traffic by Growing your Small Business Web Essentials
For most small businesses, a surefire approach to achieving growth is to drive more traffic to your website. Start by developing a plan to keep the content on your website fresh. Add a blog (if you don’t already have one) and post regularly with varied, valuable content. This means posting articles that convey helpful information relevant to your industry, plus videos, images, and other graphics.
Along with adding and updating content, you can also utilize analytics to get a better sense of who is visiting your site and how they’re finding you. The National Federation of Independent Business recommends learning how to understand Google analytics reports, which are free. Then you can focus on areas of improvement, such as increasing interactions or getting more complete transactions. More small businesses are also investing in software and the help of analytics experts to make the most of data as a tool for growth.
Once you have potential customers on your site, you want to give them a positive experience. One of the best ways to do this is by improving an outdated website. You may even want to hire a web designer to optimize your site so that the layout, graphics, and other key features are user-friendly. Don’t underestimate the importance of these seemingly small details! According to the blog Green Geeks, one third of visitors to a website will leave if the layout is too clunky to navigate easily.
A better customer experience will also increase engagement, which ultimately leads to more sales and satisfied customers. To maximize engagement, focus on giving customers more ways of connecting with you on social media. And as old-fashioned as it may sound, another guaranteed way to know what customers want is to ask for feedback.
Even though some of these small business web essentials require buying software or paying a professional, the return on your investment will pay off. In the early days of the internet, having a website was a nice extra for small businesses. For small businesses today, your website is your gateway to growth, and investing in that growth is the smart way to achieve that next level of success.
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