As recently as 2014, half of all small businesses in the U.S. still didn’t have a website. A few years ago, I would’ve understood. If you’re running a gas station or a pizza shop, why on earth would you need a website? My opinion on that matter has changed. Every small business should have a website, if only to provide basic contact information and a description for the occasional visitor.

But you’re different. You have a website. And you took the time and the expense to build a good one. Except, there’s a problem: you’re not getting leads from it. Why is that? I can give you four good reasons.

1. You’re not mobile optimized. 

No one’s going to find your website if your search engine optimization is poor. And if your site isn’t mobile “optimized,” you’re hurting your chances even more. SEO is a continuous investment – don’t believe those guys who say they can launch you to #1 on Google for just a few thousand bucks. They’ll do it – but for an instant. To get found, you either need to spend the time yourself changing and nurturing your keywords, as well as using Google Analytics to track what’s working…or you need to hire someone to do this. And it won’t be cheap. But it may be worth it. Also, Google this year has started to penalize those sites that aren’t mobile-friendly.  You need to make sure you have a mobile-friendly site so that it can be found as people are searching from their mobile devices, and that when they find your site, it’s visually appealing. Talk to your Internet Service Provider about the service they offer to mobilize your website.

2. You are not listing yourself properly.

Ever Google a business and the results show a bunch of information about the company called out prominently on the search page? You think to yourself: Wow, what did they pay for that? Actually, nothing. To get the optimum results on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, you need to be listed. Go to Google My BusinessYahoo BusinessYP and Bing Places for Business and fill out the forms. You will be asked for your contact information and data about your business, which will be displayed when a user searches for you. Most of these search engines are becoming hyper-localized, so you’ll get priority placement in your local area just by submitting this information.

3. You don’t have enough actions.

Your website exists for one purpose only: to get leads for your business. It’s all well and good to have a beautifully designed site full of great information about your company. But if you can’t measure the business it’s generating, how do you know if it is actually doing it? You want contact information. You want to know the names and emails of everyone who comes to your site. How do you collect that? By creating action items a.k.a. “calls to action”. And giving stuff away. You need to have multiple actions on your site that will require a visitor to give you their information in return for a reward. Maybe the action is registering for an event. Or signing up for a newsletter. Or requesting a whitepaper or more information about a product. The more actions that can generate lead information, the better.

4. You need more real-time engagement.

Do you know who’s on your site right now? And are you doing anything to reach out to them? If someone is on your site, it means they probably have an interest in what you do. They’re fish and they’re smelling the bait. Now you’ve got to reel them in. To do this, you should have a good website chat application configured. Try BoldChatWhosOn or LivePerson. There are many others. A good chat application will not only notify you (or designated people in your company) when someone is on your site, but will provide demographic info (like what country they’re in) and give you the ability to message them from anywhere to see whether they need help. It’s a way to communicate and get leads in real time.

I bet your website is great. But is it really generating leads?

Join writer and small business owner Gene Marks each Wednesday on the Small Biz Ahead podcast. You can also submit a question for Gene to answer on the podcast

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