Creating social media profiles for your company is a quick and easy way to reach customers, isn’t it? Not so fast.
The algorithms of many social media platforms have become paid sites, rewarding accounts that use advertising dollars for their promoted content.
Creating and maintaining your website gives you the freedom, flexibility, and ownership of your content and the voice of your brand.
The great website is goal-oriented, easy-to-search, convenient, organized, and trustworthy, according to Dave Meyer, certified Google trainer and president of BizzyWeb.
Mayer shared his thoughts earlier this year during the Propane Education and Research Council’s Propane Education and Research Conference on Energy for All in Minneapolis.
The goal of your website: to act as a resource for customers, encouraging them to interact with your company.
First, assess the reasons why a propane company needs a website. Some of the reasons might include: building brand awareness, generating leads, making sales, re-engaging customers, attracting employees, and providing customer support.
Mayer suggests setting goals for your company’s website. For example, your company might want to increase unique website visits by 20 percent over the next three months or add 500 new email subscribers in nine months. Once you set a goal, you can measure your success by tracking data from online sales, contact form submissions, phone calls, or website linking.
A free Google Analytics account can help monitor the behavior of visitors on a website. Set up Google Analytics at g.co/analytics.
2. Easy search
Google searches for “now near me” increased more than 100 percent year over year, according to Mayer. Customers are looking for local businesses, like your propane company, now more than ever.
A searchable website should be created with the following characteristics:
- You have a fast loading time. Prioritize and improve site speed.
- Create useful content. Dissemination of original and relevant information to customers.
- Include text links. Take customers to other useful content on your site.
- Set up page titles and descriptions. Include keywords your customers will be searching for.
- Develop a clear information architecture. Organize the site for both customers and Google to navigate easily.
- Use responsive design. Make sure the site works on all devices and browsers.
Google offers a search console that can help you check and adjust the search results on your website as needed. You can monitor the data using g.co/searchconsole.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, customers have been expecting more convenience with online billing, flexible delivery options, and even virtual consultations.
Not only do websites with a mobile-friendly design rank higher in search results, but the design also makes it easier for customers to navigate.
Having a fast loading time improves search results and customer engagement with your site. Improving your upload time by 0.1 seconds can increase conversion rates by 8 percent, according to Meyer. Test your site loading speed at g.co/testmysite.
Having an organized website is essential for search engines like Google.
Information architecture is a plan for organizing the content of your website in an efficient manner. Meyer says developing a clear information architecture helps build a search-friendly website. His three tips for organizing your website are:
- List your website pages in the navigation menu.
- Set a clear call to action for each page.
- Highlight useful website information with visual elements.
Once your website is organized, it suggests using Google Trends to search for ideas and find out what topics are popular among your customers. You can use keywords in your area and see related searches. Find common search terms around using g.co/trends.
A secure website builds trust with your customers when they enter personal details or payment information. An SSL certificate will authenticate your site’s identity and let your visitors know that it’s a secure connection.
Meyer says that including reviews and ratings on your website from customers will establish credibility, and help validate potential customers’ decisions to do business with your company.
Finally, be sure to provide up-to-date contact information on your website so customers can feel confident that they can receive support from your team.
Read more: Meet Propane Customers on Google