Your Local Business Website Checklist

By Erin Gleig, EMG Design

What should you put on your local business website so viewers will purchase your products or services? How do you get search engines to find your local business website?

For small business owners, these questions are important. The web is a sea of information and businesses selling their products and services. To help you get started with the planning of your local business website, I’ve created a simple checklist.

Your Local Business Checklist

  • Headline

What do you offer? Keep it short.

  • Sub-headline

Description of what you offer. What value you give your customers.

  • Benefits

What are the advantages to the consumer of your product/service.

  • Call-to-Action

Create a piece of content intended to induce your viewer to perform a specific action. For example, “Buy Now” or “Get Started.” CTAs turn your homepage into a lead-generating machine. Your website should tell your viewers what you want them to do in the buying process through calls-to-action. You want people to learn more about your business and offerings and move them further down the sales funnel.
Your primary CTA should be above the fold of your site pages, stick out from the others, and lead people to do the number one thing you want them to do on each page. Using a contrast colour will help make your CTA stand out.

  • Contact Information

Your contact information needs to be listed exactly the same on your website and on every directory on which you’re listed. This is called your NAP.

NAP stands for name, address, phone number. NAP is critical for businesses wishing to rank well in local organic search results. Google takes the NAP data into account when determining which companies to show for geo-targeted searches. Google and the other search engines cross-reference your NAP information across a variety of websites as a validation that you are a legitimate business. The more directories you can place your NAP data, the better.

  • Schema

What is schema?

The propose using the schema.org vocabulary along with the Microdata, RDFa, or JSON-LD formats[7] to mark up website content with metadata about itself. Such markup can be recognized by search engine spiders and other parsers, thus gaining access to the meaning of the sites (see Semantic Web). The initiative also describes an extension mechanism for adding additional properties.

Wikipedia

Blah. In laymen’s terms, it tells search engines what your website is about and puts it in a database category, such as “local business.” Schema provides a better search result so people will find your local business website. If you’re a WordPress user and you don’t want to decipher the code for schema, you can use several free plugins to generate the proper code. Here’s a more in-depth guide to Schema written by Yoast: Yoast Structured Data article.

  • Map and Directions

Tip!

Link to Google Maps and register with Google My Business.

  • Capture Content

Opt-in offer to capture leads. To further people down the sales funnel, offer a freebie such as an e-book on a subject that would be of interest to them if they sign-up for your email list. This will generate a list of generation leads that you can follow up with an email newsletter campaign.

  • Testimonials

Indicate that a real person has had success using your product or service. Include a photo and name to verify that it is not fake.

  • Navigation

Keep it simple and easy to use. Don’t frustrate your viewers—this will give you a high bounce rate.

  • Product Images

Show what you sell. Well lit, in focus, well composed photography is best. If your camera skills are lacking, do yourself a favour and hire a photographer. Bad photos do not represent your products well. In fact, they make your products look like garbage.

A good search engine optimization strategy (SEO). Read my blog post “On-Page SEO” where I discuss the important elements of SEO and why it is important.

  • Web Analytics Tools

Track data on your traffic and conversion rates.

Print Design
Keep navigation simple!

By providing a powerful headline, sub-headline, CTAs, simple navigation, testimonials, and great product photos your website will become an important promoter and sales generator for your products or services.  You will also need to create an SEO strategy and connect your website with web analytics tools to keep it accountable. Continue to test and tweak your site to optimize it for leads based on your own audience. Finally, remember to maintain your website or your search ranking will slowly decrease. To learn more about why website maintenance is important, go to my blog post “Why You Should Maintain Your Website.”

Comment below if you have further thoughts on the subject! Do you have anything to add to the list?

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Erin Gleig

Erin Gleig

Erin Gleig builds marketable online identities for Arts, Culture and Non-profit organizations. She is the owner of EMG Design, a digital design studio in Delta, Canada. Connect with Erin at Twitter @erin_gleig.

Are you an Arts Organization that needs help executing your marketing?

With several years experience helping theatre companies and non-profits with their digital marketing needs I can save you time and reach a wider audience. Let’s chat! View my services offered by EMG Design.

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