In the online world, your website’s landing page is your first impression. And many businesses not only fail to realize how important this impression can be, but how vital search engine optimization (SEO) is to lead eyeballs from the likes of Google, Bing and Yahoo to your landing page. Ultimately, SEO strategy has one of the most powerful effects on your overall success and most importantly, bottom line revenue figures.

We interviewed “Internet marketing guru” Jason Hennessey, the Director of SEO specialists at Everspark Interactive, a full-service SEO agency on how small businesses can improve their overall landing page convergence rates.

1. Link

push lawn mowers 220x219 5 Essential SEO strategies for 3 types of small businesses [Interview]Do you link to relevant pages? It is a common mistake to aim every link to the homepage, but does this actually relate to the link visitors click on in the first place? For instance, if you are trying to sell lawnmowers then it makes sense to point your lawnmower ads and links to your actual sale pages. Do not think that by merely directing traffic to any page on your website, visitors will go to the trouble of searching further for the actual information they want.

a) Small New Media Business

I’d recommended that all “Small New Media Businesses” pay close attention to what their actual target with search engines. Working in new media often means that you have the latest and greatest technology in video and other forms of media, but even still, having your potential customers land on your home page may not produce the conversions that you’re seeking. Think about the product you are trying to sell. While it is a great idea to showcase your skills and talents, try linking to the products and services that you are offering to the consumer directly with an option to view a demo of your services.

Customers want the information presented in a simple and easy format. Once they have landed on your service/products page, you have them on your site. Provide a way for them to view what you can do for them in a clear and concise way. If you are trying to convert visitors into customers, make it easy for them and do not think that they will go searching around the site.

b) Small B2C business

The competition is huge when it comes to businesses fighting for consumers so it is very important for all business owners to ensure that their visitors are turning into customers. Many people make the mistake of trying to have all their links go directly to their home page. Often times this is due to the fact that they would like to showcase how great their website looks or to inform the customer with more information about the company. While this is great, many customers simply do not care how great your site looks or when your company was formed. In the age of technology where we all use the Internet to make purchases, have you often asked, ‘why is that’? Simple, we want to save time.

468 baby feeding i stick 220x146 5 Essential SEO strategies for 3 types of small businesses [Interview]So if you direct your visitors to the actual products you are selling, the visitor and potential customer will have found what they are looking for. I often tell our clients to try and think like the consumer. What do you want in a website when you are looking to make a purchase? You are relying on visitors to purchase your products in order to stay afloat, so it makes much more sense to have your links land on your actual products and this will turn the victor into a life long customer.

c) Small B2B business

If your customers are that of other business owners always keep in mind that time is money. No one wants to waste time digging around a site just to find out if your business can serve the needs of their business. When you are targeting businesses, it is essential that they land on your services page. For example, if you are a medical billing company and a provider is seeking a new company to assist them in collecting debts, have them land on that page. Businesses owners need to feel that you are a reputable and easy to work with company, and if they have to spend time looking for your services it may leave them thinking that you either cannot provide them with what they want or may be to difficult to work with you. Simplicity is the key.

2. Content

How much information have you provided on your pages? How have you titled you pages and more importantly, named products? Always optimize your pages, particularly product pages with the names or titles most commonly searched for.  These you should have identified as your highly targeted keywords as part of your SEO strategy. Also, try to include as much useful information as you can, including prices or fees. Do not leave anything to the imagination.

a) Small New Media Business

lion 220x206 5 Essential SEO strategies for 3 types of small businesses [Interview]Content is king. As a small media business you may be dealing with consumers as well as other businesses, so you need to optimize your pages for both of your potential customers.

Anything and everything you offer should be listed. Be careful not to overdo it, but within your pages you will want to make sure that every aspect of your business is covered. Product and service pages are always going to be the most important as this is where you will generate your revenue. Take the time to label each page accordingly using all of the highly targeted keywords. A mixture of short and long keywords is the way to go as this will encourage the entire spectrum of visitors. Be sure to answer all the questions that may arise because if you leave a consumer without the information, chances are good that they will find a competitor who has left them feeling satisfied.

b) Small B2C business

Take a look at your site’s content and look at it from a consumer’s point of view. Are all of your questions answered about the products you sell? Let’s imagine you are a pet supplier and the name of your company is “Bob’s Pets”. Of course, you will want to get your name out there so people know who you are but instead of indexing and calling each of your pages as Bob’s Pet’s, you will want to make them much more specific. Try Bob’s Pets Cat Toys and so on. The titles of your pages should reflect the information contained on the pages as it will help with your page ranking. Spend time with your keywords and leave nothing to the imagination. If you sell leashes for pets, be specific as well as general. You will want to use keywords such as leashes, cat leashes, dog leashes, small dog leashes and so on. Never assume that a generic or small keyword will be enough.

c) Small B2B business

Business to Business companies often make the mistake of spending too much time concentrating on getting the name of the business out there instead of focusing on the key elements that will bring the businesses to your door. Whatever field you are in needs to be the dominating factor when it comes to your content as well as how you label your pages. Think outside the box and think about what your business would seek should it need the assistance of another business. All of your pages and content contained within should always reflect the services you provide. Keep this in mind when you title your pages, as the name of your business is important but it is more important that people find your site. Ensure that you provide enough information on your pages that you have gained enough interest of the business owner that they will want to take the next step and enlist your services.

3. Your Calls to Action

If you assume that visitors will not scroll down the page then you need to ensure you include the attention grabbing content at the top (what we call above the fold), along with links or buttons to either purchase your products or request further information about your services. Make these nice, bright and truly stand out. Remember that landing pages need to call for one specific action and not clearly asking visitors to take action could be the biggest cause of your lack of conversations.

a) Small New Media Business

Your visitor has landed on your page and is very interested in your services, but they do not see how to contact you. Do you have your contact information listed at the bottom of the page? One of the key things that we tell all of our clients is that you need to assume that your visitor will never scroll down the page. For this reason alone we tell our clients to make sure that you have all your contact info above the fold. Above the fold simply means: at the top of the page and within view of the visitor without having to scroll. Always make your contact info stand out, so that it is in a sense jumping out at them. Include your method of contact in bright and bold colors, but make sure it is tasteful as well.

b) Small B2C business

289Al Green Call Me 220x219 5 Essential SEO strategies for 3 types of small businesses [Interview]As a business dealing with the general public, you need to have a call of action if you want to increase your conversions. Your potential customers need to know how to purchase your product or who to call for more information. This information needs to be at the top of the page in an easy to find location. If you choose to have a contact page that is fine, but also make sure that your call to action is listed on the landing page. Never assume that one will go looking for a way to reach you. Give them your information in a bright and bold way that will invite them to call you.

c) Small B2B business

Often times business owners will like to speak directly with whom they choose to do business with. Your call to action, such as your phone number, needs to be in a spot where one can easily find it. If you have your contact information below what we like to call the fold, you are probably losing out on your conversions. Try having your contact info at the top of your page(s) so that one will easily find your information. Time is money and no one wants to spend 10 minutes looking for a way to contact you. Make it easy and make your call to action leap off the page in a sense.

4. The Aesthetics of Your Page

Imagine stepping into a store filled with poorly organized, untidy looking shelves and unreadable signage. Chances are you will simply turn around and walk out. The same thing could apply to your website and the overall look and feel of your landing page. Just like a brick and mortar store, you want to enhance your visitor’s experience and instantly make them feel that they have come to a website that is both credible and trustworthy.

a) Small New Media Business

New media businesses need to pay special attention to the page aesthetics of their site. You will want your visitors to feel like they have landed on an expert and authority in the field so make sure that your site looks like an inviting experience. Ensure that you are using logos and graphics that are easy to read and that your site looks clean and presentable. Keep in mind the different browsers and mobile apps that people may be using when you’re designing your site.

b) Small B2C business

If you have a site that is poorly designed with logos and designs that a reader may have a hard time deciphering, you are losing conversions just like if you have many items that are sold out in a brick and mortar shop. No one want to go to a store that is poorly lit and has empty shelves, right? This is the same case of the Internet, if not even more so. With all the competition out there, if your page’s aesthetics are poor, you will lose customers. Ensure that your website is designed with your customer in mind and give them the experience that they are seeking. Your customer needs to feel safe providing you with their credit card information and a poorly designed site with bad page aesthetics will often make them leave. Always consider having your site for your business designed and maintained by professionals.

c) Small B2B Business

You need to create an inviting and credible web presence because your website is how people will view your business. So with that being said you need to build an environment where your potential customers will know upon arriving that you are an authority in this field and that you are a trustworthy site. Pay attention to the design of your site. Make it user friendly and ask yourself if you would feel confident providing your credit card or other personal data to a site like yours? It is always recommended that you have your site designed and maintained by professionals. An out of date site can also make you lose conversions. As technology changes so should your business.

5. Your Overall Site Design

Try to avoid cramming every available space on your website with ads, flash graphics and other irrelevant information. It is both confusing and a big cause of the loss of conversations. Try to keep your site design and landing pages clean and uncluttered, especially when you want a particular call of action.

a) Small New Media Business

pets 220x161 5 Essential SEO strategies for 3 types of small businesses [Interview]There are many things to consider when it comes to a new media business and site design. You may want to showcase all your talents in an elaborate and flashy website, but this often leads to customer confusion. Try and keep your site simple and clean but yet able to show the customers what you can offer. The more you cram into a page, the messier the site looks. A messy site is a sure fire way to create a loss of conversions. If you have information that is cumbersome and irrelevant all you will do is confuse and frustrate the potential customer. Once again you will also want to keep in mind the various browsers that people may be using. Some flash sites will not work on mobile apps and this will definitely cause you to lose conversions. Keep your pages neat and clean and you will see an increase in your conversions.

b) Small B2C business

In this scenario, you are dealing with consumers who have probably had a choice of a dozen or more competitors. In order to gain the loyalty of the customer, your site needs to be neat and clean and avoid over cramming with too much information. You may have a lot of products to sell but do it in a neat and organized way. Try and think about what you look for in a site and design your site around those principals.

You also need to keep in mind that there are various browser and mobile apps that your consumers may use, so design your site that is compatible with all. Less is more when it comes to your website. If you have too much information your visitor may wind up becoming confused and simply leave and go on to your competitor. Avoid using too many flashy images as well as irrelevant information.

c) Small B2B business

Your website represents your company. Do you want to have the image of an unkempt and disorganized business? Of course not, so pay special attention to what image your website is portraying. By choosing to have every detail listed on your site the chances are great that you’re confusing your potential customers. A neat and clean website will give off the impression that your business is running like a well-oiled machine. This is what you will need if you are looking to increase your conversions. Your overall site design should be neat and clean and presented in a way that is easier for the consumer to find what they need as well as appealing to the eye. This is especially true if you are looking to have your customers follow through on your call of action. They need to know that you are a credible and well organized business and if your website is designed crisp and clean this is the image that you will portray.

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