An Australian firm recently created an Infographic that very nicely displayed the 53 things that a small business website needs to make sure they have. I found the article and infographic to be quite impressive.
Then I thought about it a little more and realized that this is part of the problem for small business owners and being online. Unless you’re in the industry, doing 53 of anything is going to seem daunting and unreachable. Most likely, a small business owner is going to hire a Marketing expert and simply ask them to ensure that all 53 things are done properly on their website.
But what if there were a better and easier way? One of the main features of Bizyhood is giving small and local businesses the ability to have their own Business Page on a local digital publisher’s website. Forgetting the 53 things, our typical rationale for a business to have their own Business Page falls into three buckets:
- “Near Me” Searches: Authoritative local sites that include a full business directory tend to do well in “near me” searches. For any business that services a uniquely local market, this is an important marketing tactic.
- Syndication: Most publishers do things to promote businesses that create a Business Page that go beyond simply offering the page itself. It’s a way to “syndicate” information about the business on other local channels, all from a single place.
- Organic Search: Most folks don’t realize that search engines like Google and Bing don’t search every website every day. There just isn’t enough computing power and time in the day. Search engines start to learn what sites have content that updates regularly and prioritize indexing those sites more often, getting your business into organic search results sooner. No matter how good a local business website is, the content isn’t changing often enough for search engines to index that site as often as a local publisher’s site, where new content is being added multiple times each day.
As I reviewed the infographic, it became apparent we have a powerful fourth reason for businesses to claim their Business Page on a local publisher’s site. Their Business Page will have all 53 things built in once they add their profile! This could make building a small business website a lot easier and cheaper. Let’s review the main areas of a site they address:
1. Header and Home
The article points out 17 items you should have on your home page. These break down as follows:
– Basic Business Info
Headline, Phone Number, Logo, Short blurb of text, Services/Products, Quality Content, Easily readable font, Testimonials / Social Proof, Call To Action, Newsletter signup form, Contact Info and Link to Social Pages are all things a business can add today to their Business Page profile. Not only can you add a banner image, but you can add an entire Image Gallery! There is a Contact Us capability as well as additional modes of being reached by consumers that are more effective than a simple Quote Form as well.
– Website Basics
Because you are “renting” space on your local publisher’s site, you don’t need to worry about a domain name or main menu of footer menu. Those will be taken care of by the publisher. And by the way, studies show that less than 4% of the clicks on your site will come from a main menu or footer menu – most people find your content via Organic Search or Social Media. So don’t waste that much time there.
2. Service / Product Page
Your Business Page comes with the ability to create Events, Promotions and Updates. All of this content is directly linked from your main Business Page. And you can easily create links to other pages you create, including multiple Update pages that may not contain just descriptions of your services, but blog posts and best practices around your area of expertise.
As we mentioned above, you already have access to an Image Gallery that you can use to feature all your work. Your URL should describe your business and the page itself – and we create a readable URL for you automatically that’s coded specifically to focus on local search.
3. Location Page
Your Business Page includes your address and a Map – and is coded with the proper schema.org to aid search engines to understand exactly where you’re located. As above, your URL is coded specifically to focus on local search
4. Contact Page
Your main Business Page is your contact page. It’s got your address, hours of operation, Contact Us (and other ways to be reached). All feedback/comments on your page can be moderated to prevent spam.
5. Other Inner Pages
As mentioned above, your Business Page comes with the ability to post updates, which can include blog posts. Your post updates are on a publisher sites that gets indexed a lot more often than your site will, and will be seen by more people! It will be searchable on the publisher’s site as well, and you can share your social media links with readers.
Your Business Page is specifically coded for local SEO, as noted above. Nothing to do here but enter your awesome content!
8. Other Considerations
These are mostly great considerations when you are hosting your own site. Here, all of this is handled by your local publisher. Nothing for you to do here either! This is getting easier, right?
9. Things You Should Avoid
These suggestions here are great, and we do not allow these things on your Business Page. No matter how cool they look. We focus on helping you not be your own worst enemy!
Please note that we are not suggesting you shouldn’t have your own small business website. In many cases, it’s an important part of a business’ brand and you will have total control over the content and look/feel. But equally important are the other pieces of real estate that you create on the web that can help funnel leads to your business. So, just like home ownership means that you have to put money aside for upkeep and maintenance, so does website ownership. Whereas a rental that has everything you need already built-in can handle all of your needs, at typically a fraction of the price of ownership. And unlike a home, there’s little equity in owning your own website – the website itself is not what goes up in value! Consider the value of a “full service” rental that takes care of all the maintenance and provides you with exactly what you want – local visibility through local channels. And focus on 53 other things that are more important!