With the New Year just around the corner, it’s time to get serious about a resolution to make your small business website a success. Not sure where to start? You’re in luck! We’ve made a list (and checked it twice) to help you get on track for your business’s best year yet.

1. Get a custom domain name. We don’t mean to harp, but this is a big one. Having your own domain shows customers that you take your business seriously, and they should too.

2. Create a custom email address. Another benefit of having your own domain name is the ability to have a custom email address, like email @ mybusiness.com. Do you want your customers hearing from your old Hotmail address? Probably not.

3. Customize your website footer. One of the benefits of a premium website package is the ability to customize your site’s footer and remove the provider branding. This is a good step toward looking more polished.

4. Set up a mobile site. Did you know that currently US consumers spend almost 1 in every 10 ecommerce dollars using a mobile device? Good motivation to have a great mobile version of your website for customers to browse on the go.

5. Submit your site to Google. Want your website to show up in search results? Start by telling Google that you exist.

6. Add meta tags and descriptions to your pages. Doing this tells search engines how to organize your site, and gives them something to display to the people who view your site in search results.

7. Get listed on location-based sites. Having your business listed — or claiming an existing listing — on Yelp and Google is very important for small businesses. It’s a great low-cost marketing tool, and that’s where your customers are already looking.

8. Get reviewed. Having third-party reviews is incredibly important to establishing your business. Ask family, friends, and past customers to help you start building your online reputation.

9. Set up social media profiles and link them to your website. We don’t have to tell you how important social media can be for a small business. The next step is to link to them from your website so your customers can stay connected with you in different ways once they leave your site.

10. Keep your site fresh and current. One of the most important things you can do to make sure your site looks professional is to keep the content and details completely up to date. It does not look good for customers to visit your site and find outdated information. Also, Google’s algorithm considers how frequently a site is updated in determining search rankings. A great way to make sure your site always has something new and fresh? Start a blog.

Cheers to a successful website in 2013!

From our How To Make A Website series:
Dos and Don’ts of User-Friendly Website Navigation
How To Make A Website: Breaking Down The Pieces
Example Sites: Inspiration Edition
Prepare Yourself: What You Need to Start a Website
Checklist: 10 Steps to a Successful Business Website in 2013
Building a Website: Do It Yourself or Hire A Pro?
Creating Your Own Website: Top 10 Myths and Objections

7 Responses

  1. Reply
    Jason D. Reese
    Dec 29, 2012 - 12:21 PM

    Thanks for the tips!

  2. Reply
    MOUSSAIF
    Dec 31, 2012 - 04:40 PM

    Happy New Year 2013 webs

  3. Reply
    curt
    Jan 09, 2013 - 08:31 PM

    These were some good suggestions I will be using them in 2013. Thanks for the post.

  4. Reply
    Announce It!
    Jan 10, 2013 - 10:30 AM

    Great checklist for beginners.

  5. Reply
    Rich
    Jan 19, 2013 - 12:32 PM

    Good advice Sarah!

  6. Reply
    Skip MacKenna
    Jan 19, 2013 - 02:09 PM

    I tried the conversion. It did not convert my existing site to look the same. If I bit the bullet to learn how to manipulate the site to a new look, will there be SEO compliance with Google Standard (that does not exist with the current site builder)?

  7. Reply
    Casey
    Jan 20, 2013 - 07:26 AM

    Hey very nice blog!

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