2018 website trends for small businesses
The main constant since the invention of the world wide web has been change. So much so that it can be difficult to keep up with the latest technologies, strategies, and benefits of the web’s evolution - especially for small business owners and managers. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of five 2018 website trends for small businesses.
1) An SEO strategy that targets your services and products
Most business owners with a website in 2018 have heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but aren’t sure how it can help their business. While the art and science of SEO are quite involved and ever-changing, we can explain a few actions that will help target your services and products.
Use keywords related to your business. You’ll need to do research (or have someone do the research for you) to find a main keyword but it’s important to have related ancillary keywords that support the central keyword. When you create your web copy and write blog posts that use these keywords, you signal your business focus to search engines and also that you are an expert in your field.
Make sure your keywords are mentioned in your website URLs - product pages, blog posts, tech support articles, etc. You’re not looking to “stuff” the keywords but simply keep them in mind when crafting title pages and header text. These items are given weight by web crawlers and can help elevate your site on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Create content that addresses gaps in what the SERPs return. For instance, searching for “how to choose a digital agency” returns a lot of pages with “# of questions to ask” so you might write an article titled “Answers you should hear from your digital agency” and then share that to your audience.
2) Business listing management for local SEO
Local SEO has built a lot of traction in the past few years with local searches on mobile devices increasing 50% from the previous year. With so many companies competing in the marketplace to deliver local results (Google, Yelp, Apple, and Facebook to name just a few of hundreds), you’ll want your business listed across all of those services. Having a listing service manage that process for you might feel like taking a risk, but there’s a greater risk in not having your business appear in local results.
3) Active social media accounts
It’s important to know which social media services are best for the needs of your business. Providing value is the key to selling on social media, but how and where to provide that value? Look at your business to find out!
Facebook appeals to friends and family for event reminders and has a good toolset for paid “boosting” of your content to potential customers.
Twitter is about being real. There is room for ad placement but it needs to be relevant and useful for your audience. Instead, it may be helpful to have company principals tweet out links to your content throughout the day, along with other relevant links and content for your customers.
Instagram is clearly a visual medium, so you’ll want well-shot photos and video of your products. These services are very different, however, and appeal to a broad cross-section of social media users. If your business provides a service, you may want to use Instagram to highlight the company culture or highlight your services through short “explainer” videos. A restaurant or store could use custom Snapchat filters that visitors can swipe onto their self-shot content that will show your location.
4) An e-newsletter sign up Call to Action (CTA)
While social media and “inbound marketing” get all the press, e-mail works quietly in the background. According to this article from Constant Contact, not only are people twice as likely to hand over their e-mail address than engage with your page on Facebook, but e-mail returns $38 for every $1 spent. That’s some serious ROI. Make sure your capture those e-mail addresses with multiple CTAs for your visitors to sign up throughout your website.
5) A blog for your business
If this seems like it’s on the “trends” list every year, that’s because there’s no better way to establish authority and keep your website toward the top of search rankings than a regularly updated blog. Your blog is where most of your inbound marketing comes from, both in the form of search engines indexing the posts themselves and also when you share your new content on social media channels. Once you’ve established a regular blog, you can also share out older posts that are still relevant, leveraging that content without having to do more work. HubSpot claims that 70% of their blog traffic and 90% of their blog-generated leads come from posts published prior to the current month. So start writing and keep it up!
If you want to learn more about how these website trends can help your small business, contact us here at Bigfoot Web and we’ll explain it all and help you put these into practice. Don’t wait until 2019!