As a local business, how the community perceives you is of the utmost importance. Unlike the larger, more corporate companies, you do not have the luxury of hiding behind a high rise or parking garages. How the community sees and interacts with your business can make or break success. And this is where creating a fun online presence can end up being your greatest asset.
If consumers wanted bland products at the lowest possible cost, Amazon already exists. This is not your competition. There is no need to structure your online presence like a giant box store. People want to use your business because it is local. Embrace the weirdness of owning a local business and make your website reflect it.
What does your Home Page Look Like?
Imagine a customer, they use Google to find local businesses near them. Your company pops up and they click. Your landing page is the first impression they see. If it's lame, nobody is going to click through your site. Going back to Google and searching for another company is a very real possibility if the first reaction is boredom or worse, disgust.
Examples of What Your Site Needs
Understanding what consumers want in a website is a useful exercise. Start to look at other websites and see how they can be improved. Once you get the "eye" for website design, you can start to think of your own ideas.
- Banner photo
If all a visitor sees is a block of text on your homepage, chances are they bounce right off that page. Nobody wants to do homework to find a business. You need to wine and dine your visitors. Give them something fun to look at. If you are a pizza place, use a nice-looking picture of your pie that makes the visitor hungry.
Is your website mobile friendly? Having a website that looks good on a desktop is less than half the battle. With more and more consumers relying on mobile devices, your website needs to look good on a smaller screen. And this trend only shows signs of speeding up. If your website crops your banner photo on a smartphone, then it is not responsive. As a local business, it is important to have all your bases covered. You cannot afford to miss out on a customer.
Similar to responsiveness, adaptive websites take the transfer of information between devices to a whole new level. Not only can it restructure your layout to still look good on the device but it changes the content. This means that depending on how the website is accessed, what the viewer sees changes. If your website is accessed from a laptop, then the website will have a lot more content on it. But if a mobile device is used, then the site will only show the most basic information.
This is still a relatively new advancement in web design and it is a good idea to get ahead of the curve.
A one-off visit to your website is bound to happen but keeping people coming back is the art of content. People are naturally curious and a new website is always worth a few clicks. However, if the content you have is valueless and adds nothing for the consumer, then they will never visit again.
- Write local stories.
As a local business use your authority to create valuable blog posts. Give people a reason to keep on coming back to your site. Write about weather patterns or how construction is affecting your business (or not affecting it).
- Incorporate humor.
What's better than reading a funny, lighthearted story? The Answer, nothing. According to some Instagram data, one of the best times of day to post is around 5:40 pm. This correlates almost precisely with rush hour traffic. Try posting some content that will cheer people up while sitting on asphalt. You don't want to encourage texting while driving but according to the data, it's already happening.
Make Your Site Original
Having a local business means you are a creative person. Let your website be an extension of originality. Give your viewers the full experience with a well-designed website. If you want some professional help, contact IgnitedLocal.