Websites That Work: Why Small Businesses Need More Than An Online Presence

sad and lonely clown doll laying in a basket

Website Strategy

You deserve more than a sad, lonely brochure website that nobody opens. Having an ‘online presence‘ is a waste of time, money, and effort if you’re just going to let it sit there collecting digital dust.

If you build it, they won’t come.

Most business owners think a website is going to solve all their problems. They think they’ll launch the website and leads will start pouring in, business will be booming, and they’ll never have to do any marketing ever again. What they fail to understand is that building the website is merely laying the foundation for your digital marketing efforts.

If you have a brochure site now, you’re not alone

Only 1 in 5 websites online are actually being updated on a regular basis, and most of those are brochure sites. Having your website neglected puts you at a disadvantage — you’re not able to show your expertise through blog posts, case studies, and other forms of content.

Basic web pages, like a services page, are rarely found in search results

If you rely on your services pages to bring in all the leads, you’re missing out on huge opportunities. By creating smaller pieces of content on your website, you’re able to rank for more keywords, show off your expertise, and help drive more traffic to your site.

You already know the benefits of having a website — it’s why you invested in it in the first place. Now you need to start using it to generate leads, build credibility, and authority in your industry —and that’s done with content marketing.

Services pages sell what you do. Blog posts drives people to those pages

Your website should be the hub of all your digital marketing efforts. Everything you do online should be driving people back to your website. It’s where you can showcase past projects, outline how you solve specific problems that your customers are having, and share success stories through case studies and testimonials. When done well, it makes the case for why someone should hire you.

But here’s the problem I see time and time again: Business owners are busy, their websites are just one more item on their to-do lists, and it keeps getting pushed further and further down the list. Before they know it, their websites are stale and inactive just like millions of other websites online (82% of them in fact).

I have been one of those inactive websites.

I was always so busy working on my client’s websites, that I never prioritized time for my own. Before I knew it, my website was out of date, my blog was sadly neglected, and I even lost a client because of my outdated website — they went with another agency instead of me. So embarrassing!

Now, I’m setting aside time each week to work on my own website and to show my clients how to effectively use their websites after they’ve launched them. I’m seeing more traffic to my website, my posts are ranking higher in the results pages, and more people are seeing me as the expert at what I do because I’m able to educate them through my business blog posts.

As an introverted home-body, this is the best way for me to market my business and it’s the best way for other service-based business owners too. No more pounding the pavement, knocking on doors, and taking time away from your clients.

You don’t need to spend hours and hours each week or month on your website. Some of these tasks you can do yourself and others you might prefer to pull in a partner to help offload the work for you — freeing up your time in your business.

Here are some ways to ensure that your website remains active and informative:

1. Write a new blog post

Think about some of the common problems that your clients are having and the way you would go about solving them, or how your business can help them overcome those problems.

A lot of sources online will tell you that your content needs to be thousands of words to be successful, but really, 400 words is all you need. If you think that sounds like a lot, it’s the same as an 8.5×11 sheet one paper — one piece of paper on a topic that you’re an expert in. You can knock that out in no time.

2. Update an older blog post

As you grow in your business, your expertise grows as well. What you knew a year ago might not be relevant anymore. So, it’s important to go back and update those blog posts with new information, insights, and resources. That way, when people are searching for an answer to a question, your post is more likely to show up in the search results with the most current information.

3. Create a new portfolio piece or case study

If you’ve recently completed a project for a client that you’re particularly proud of you need to showcase it on your website.

Creating case studies and portfolio pieces can help demonstrate what it’s like to work with you and how you can help solve those common problems your customers are having. It also helps build the trust factor so people feel comfortable working with you.

4. Review your services page

Review and actually read your services pages word for word to ensure that everything is still correct. If you have any prices listed ensure that they’re still correct. If you’ve added or removed a service make certain that it’s on your website. Potential clients aren’t going to know that you provide this service if you don’t tell them about it.

5. Review your about us / company pages

Read through any company or about us pages and make sure that this information is still correct. If you’ve changed titles, added new people to your team, or team members have left, this needs to be updated on your website.

6. Evaluate the topics that you’re creating content on

Look through the blog posts on your website to identify if there’s any sparse areas where content could be created. If you’ve added a new service offering, ensure there’s content related to that service and if there isn’t, make a plan to start adding some in the near future.

You can also look to see if any content could be merged or deleted from the website. Similar blog posts could be competing for keywords and could benefit from being merged together into one longer-form piece of content. You could also have other blog posts driving traffic for a service that you no longer offer, if so, it’s best to remove those from your website.

Build It and Keep Growing for Success

Creating your website is just the first step in your digital marketing journey. 

Your website should always be a priority and should never be left to become stagnant — it’s not a stack of outdated brochures sitting in the corner of the office, but an ever-evolving marketing tool that should always be a priority in your digital marketing journey.

  • To start, aim for one update a month to your website — it doesn’t have to be big or complex. 
  • Once you’ve built that habit, think about increasing the frequency to twice a month and go from there. 
  • Not all of these tasks need to be done monthly, some can be done quarterly, semi-annually, or even once a year such as reviewing your services and about us pages.

Doing these activities consistently will keep your website active and engaging while helping to build trust in the eyes of your potential customers. It’s a great way to show what you’re capable of doing without having to spend a ton of time marketing yourself.

If you want to learn more on how to avoid mistakes on your blog posts, check out our article 7 Commonly Overlooked Blog Post Optimization Mistakes.

Struggling to craft an effective business blogging strategy? My Content Marketing packages are here for you! With tailored solutions, these packages can help take your online presence to the next level.

About Leanne Mitton

Leanne helps small businesses get more people to their websites, then turn those people into new email subscribers, clients, and customers through copywriting and content marketing. If you need help writing your website content or publishing new blog posts that drive results, we should talk.

A red apple standing out in a pile of yellow apples and looking like the best and only choice

Learn how to turn website visitors into qualified leads

When you subscribe to Norlink’s weekly email newsletter, you get a free gift! (I mean, duh, isn't everyone doing that these days?) Your gift is a downloadable, step-by-step guide on how to use copywriting, content, and storytelling to stand out, better engage website visitors, and turn them into hot leads.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.