Using Your Website to Maximize the Value of Your Business
In the digital age, it is imperative for a successful business to have a well-functioning website. A website can help increase your sales, improve your brand image, and keep your customers informed about important happenings in your business. All of this will help you maximize the value of your business.
The rest of this blog will discuss some tips for how to produce the most effective website for your business.
Designing a Website
When designing your website it is important to keep in mind the target audience for which your website is intended, and to design your website based on what you would like to get out of it. For example if you are a clothing retailer and you want your website to be an online showroom, you would design it differently than if you were a lawyer using your website to show off past success and specific industry expertise.
However, there a few things that should be included in every website. Most importantly, the layout of your website should be simple and easy to navigate, because if your visitors cannot find what they are looking for easily they may get frustrated and look elsewhere. Additionally, your website should include an “About Us” or homepage that clearly explains what it is that your company does, and explains what distinguishes your company from your competitors. This is so visitors that stumble on your page can quickly find out what your business is about, without having to scour through several website pages. It is also important to include a “Contact” page that provides the contact information for your business, or for specific employees within the company, so that potential clients can easily get in touch.
For B2B websites, it is important to include testimonials from past clients that demonstrate your knowledge, expertise, and ability to provide a quality product or service. A B2B website could also include past transactions that detail the notable parts of the deal that you achieved for your client.
Additionally, it is important to produce original content, such as blogs, for your website, and to ensure that your website is integrated with social media platforms.
Google Search Visibility
Having a great website is not beneficial if no one ever sees it, so it is important to consider how high your website appears in Google searches. In theory, the closer to the top of a Google search that your website appears, the more likely it is that people will be driven to your website and a website’s Google search rankings can be boosted by the internet marketing strategy called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
There are two kinds of SEO: internal and external. Internal SEO refers the design of your website, and how search engine friendly it is. This is done by having the elements of your website mapped and coded such that they are easiest for the Google algorithms to identify. Internal SEO has typically been less important than external SEO in Google’s algorithms.
External SEO means to have an online presence outside of your own website. This can be done by creating original content on a regular basis which include blogs, articles, press releases, and providing usable online services that your customers would be interested in. Linking other websites to your page creates back-links, and the more back-links that your site has from trusted sources, the higher ranking that your site will have in Google searches. Another aspect of external SEO is to make sure that your website has keywords relevant to your product or service for Google’s search algorithms to pick up. These tactics make up the majority of external SEO.
However, Google recently released its new search algorithm called Penguin, which decreased its emphasis on internal and external SEO metrics (i.e. number of back-links), and increased the weighting given to social media presence, such as Facebook likes and shares and Google +1s. The rationale behind this shift is that Google considers it easier to fabricate online presence through back-links, than it is through social media metrics. This is done by spamming the internet with low-quality content to artificially increase the online presence of a website for Google’s algorithms to pick up.
Furthermore, Google considers that if something is being re-tweeted or shared than it is more likely to be genuinely useful. That is not to say that faking a social media presence is impossible, just that it is more difficult than SEO, due to factors such as Facebook actively hunting down fake accounts. So it is becoming more and more important to have your website engaged in social media activity.
Why this is Important
In the digital age websites have become the first introduction of clients and prospective buyers to your company, and a sloppy, hard to navigate website with a low Google search rank will leave a poor first impression on potential clients, or buyers of your business. Leveraging a quality website to increase the value of a company is something that is often overlooked by business owners, and doing this can provide a competitive edge over your rivals, increasing your business’ value average company in your industry, allowing you to command a premium when you are selling it. Although creating a quality website and SEO strategy can take some time and effort, once it is in place it is easy to maintain and update as necessary, and is sure to pay dividends in the long-run.
Measuring the Quality of Your Website
You can measure the quality of your website by using the Business Development Bank of Canada’s (BDC) Free Website Assessment. This program assesses the strengths and weaknesses over several different areas such as accessibility, coding quality, amount of traffic, social media interactivity, and so on. It will also provide useful feedback about how to improve the weak areas of your website.
As a business owner, whenever you are making decisions about your company you should always ask yourself “how can this increase the value of my company?” Having a great website, that is updated regularly is something that can significantly help maximize the value to your firm by being a key revenue driver, and providing a great selling point when it is time for you to sell your business.