The age-old question that every small business owner grapples with: How can I improve my business’s visibility and get more customers? In the age of the internet, social media, AI, and minimal attention spans, this question looms larger than ever. Either you stand out online, or you essentially don’t exist.
As someone who runs a digital marketing company on Long Island, the version of this question I frequently get posed is:
What can I do to my website to land more local clients and customers?
Below are seventeen actionable strategies to improve your small business website so you can get more leads and ultimately more clients and customers.
1. Simplify your website navigation immediately.
Cluttered menus and confusing layouts frustrate visitors. Streamline your navigation menu so potential clients and customers can instantly find what they need.
- Limit your primary navigation links to a maximum of 7, organized from most to least important.
- Use clear, descriptive navigation labels like “Services” instead of vague terms.
- Ensure your most important pages like About, Services, Contact are within 1-2 clicks from the homepage.
- Group related content together logically under dropdown menus.
- Add search functionality if you have an extensive website.
- Test your navigation and remove any pain points.
The goal is to make it dumb easy for visitors to figure out what you offer and how to contact you.
2. Optimize for mobile.
Close to 60% of website traffic comes from smartphones. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you are losing business. Here are some best practices:
- Use responsive design so your content adapts seamlessly to fit any screen size. Responsive design creates optimal viewing experiences across devices.
- Use legible text sizes of at least 16px. Body text over 20px is ideal. Avoid thin fonts. Maximize contrast between text and background.
- Clickable buttons should be large, at least 40px tall and wide with enough padding. Taps should require little precision.
- Check your site on multiple physical devices like phones and tablets to identify issues. Resolve spacing, formatting, or loading issues. (See point 7 on this page for information on loading speed)
Also, keep in mind, Google ranks mobile-friendly sites higher in search results so optimizing for mobile will directly improve your search engine optimization (SEO).
3. Add eye-catching Call-To-Actions (CTAs).
“Contact Us” pages often fail. Homepage banners with phone numbers perform better. Place click-to-call buttons, chat widgets, contact forms, and lead-generation offers everywhere throughout your site. Make it effortless for visitors to ask questions and convert into a lead at any given moment.
Your website’s job is to always be clear on the next step you want visitors to take, then guide them there with strategic CTAs:
- Place click-to-call buttons above the fold on the homepage.
- Add booking or scheduling buttons prominently on all service pages.
- Embed lead generation CTAs in blog posts and resource pages.
- Include CTAs in popups and exit intent offers to capture leads.
- Use contrasting colors, bold fonts, and arrow icons to grab attention.
- Craft descriptive text for your CTAs: “Talk to an Expert Now” instead of just “Contact Us”. “Get a Free Quote” instead of “Get in Touch.”
Test different variations to determine which CTAs convert best for your business.
4. Upgrade your visuals.
Amateurish or low-quality photos and graphics scream “unprofessional.” This can hurt your credibility and have people leave your website just as quickly as they came. People respond well to visual content, so invest in a professional photo shoot to showcase your business – showing real customers being helped by real employees.
Here are some tips for elevating your visuals:
- Hire a professional photographer on Long Island to capture high-quality images of your products, services, office, and team members interacting with customers. These bring your business to life. (If you don’t have the budget for a pro photographer, take these photos yourself.)
- Use lifestyle stock photos to complement your original photos. Sites like Unsplash and Pexels offer free high-quality stock images.
- Create simple yet visually engaging infographics to explain services, processes, statistics, etc. Infographics simplify complex topics.
5. Leverage social proof.
Prominently displaying reviews and testimonials on your website from satisfied Long Island customers will help your business appear trustworthy and credible. Video reviews can be exceptionally effective. The point is not just to say you offer great service; prove it with specific examples and case studies. This can make all the difference between someone choosing your business versus one in the next town over.
Here are some tips for showcasing convincing social proof:
- Create and optimize your Google Business Profile to enable customers to leave Google reviews easily as they are highly visible in local search results.
- Create a dedicated Reviews or Testimonials page on your website to list your best reviews.
- Curate and showcase your best reviews from Google, Facebook, and Yelp reviews.
- Embed a stream of recent Instagram reviews.
- Record 5-10 short video testimonials with long-time customers showcasing your services.
- Add logos and quotes from established business partners or sponsors.
6. Offer a free consultation or trial.
Your website’s main job is to encourage potential clients to take the next step. Offering a free consultation or trial is a great way for them to get in touch, book an appointment, or purchase something. A free taste of your services can be just what they need to become paying customers.
Tips for offering free trials:
- Create an online offer by promoting a free consultation or trial prominently on your homepage and service pages exclusively for web visitors.
- For services, offer a free sample service, intro session, or partial service. Use a form on your website to collect the contact info for those interested in the offer.
- For subscription-based services, like a gym membership or weekly home cleaning service, offer a 7-14 day free trial period.
- Be transparent about what is included, such as timing and eligibility requirements so visitors know what to expect.
- Follow up diligently with every lead to convert them into paying customers. Offer discounted packages to sweeten the deal.
This will build trust and at the very least, it will put them on your email contact list even if they don’t convert to paying customers now. You can re-market them in the future.
7. Ensure fast load times.
People are impatient online, and a slow website can cost you valuable leads. Nothing turns website visitors away quicker than a sluggish site. Additionally, a slow-loading website hurts your Google ranking.
Optimize your site speed with these tips:
- Compress images and videos to reduce file sizes. Use tools like TinyPNG.
- Leverage browser caching so assets don’t need to be re-downloaded each visit.
- Minimize HTTP requests by consolidating external scripts and stylesheets.
- Upgrade to optimized web hosting for faster load times if needed.
- Test site speed on PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix. Target under 3-second load times.
- Monitor site performance regularly and address any slowdowns immediately.
Any quality web developer on Long Island can help implement speed optimizations. Fast load times should be a priority, not an afterthought.
8. Create informative blog posts.
Establish expertise and authority in your industry by consistently publishing in-depth, informative blog content that attracts and engages readers. Write on topics your target audience is searching for online to attract new visitors.
Here are some tips for leveraging blogging:
- Answer common customer questions and address pain points.
- Publish at least 2 blog posts per month, ideally more. Fresh content brings new visitors.
- Focus on in-depth, thorough posts rather than short snippets.
- Repurpose blog posts into smaller social media updates to extend reach.
- Include call-to-action buttons within posts to convert readers into leads.
Not only does this build authority in your local community, but it also will do wonders for your SEO. This is another hack, that if more local businesses pursued, they would outshine their local competition.
9. Use relevant keywords.
Speaking of SEO, perform ongoing keyword research to optimize your web copy and content for Google. Sprinkling in the right keywords can help your pages rank higher in search results for terms potential customers and clients are searching for. For local businesses, local SEO is essential for driving traffic to your website.
To get started with keyword research—which doesn’t need to be tricky or elaborate, you can use free tools like:
Once you have your keywords, include them on your site:
- Work them naturally into page titles, headers, body copy, and meta descriptions.
- Include location-specific terms such as “Long Island” and the town names your business predominantly services.
- Update old content by swapping in more relevant keywords.
Keyword optimization is an ongoing process, so if you have some budget, you can invest in working with a professional Long Island SEO company—which will accelerate your growth.
10. Prominently display your contact information.
This goes back to the earlier point of making it easy for prospects to get in touch with you and learn more about your services and products. For small business websites, the golden rule is to always prominently display your business’s name, physical address, and a link to your contact form across your site.
Follow these best practices:
- Place your physical address and phone number in the website’s global header and footer so it appears on every page.
- If you have multiple locations, list all addresses and phone numbers.
- Include an email contact form for visitors to provide their basic information so you can get in touch with them.
- Add click-to-call buttons that connect mobile users instantly.
- For service pages, embed a contact form directly on the page, allowing visitors to get in touch without having to go to your dedicated contact page.
- List business hours and directions for customers visiting in person.
- Consider adding a live chat widget to high-traffic pages to instantly answer questions.
Remember, the goal is to remove any barriers from people contacting you.
11. Set up an email newsletter.
Start collecting email addresses of prospective customers, clients, and people interested in your business. Send subscribers the latest news about your business, your latest offers, and valuable content that establishes your expertise. This helps keep your business top of mind.
Here are tips for creating an effective email newsletter:
- Use ConvertKit to get started. It’s free for your first 500 subscribers and easy to set up and integrate on your website.
- Offer an incentive like discounts or free resources in exchange for subscribing.
- Include an email sign-up form prominently on your website.
- At a minimum, send a monthly newsletter with your latest news, offers, and helpful content.
- Ideally, focus on providing value to your subscribers, not giving them sales pitches.
- Respect subscribers’ inboxes. Only send content they would find valuable.
Remember, email marketing is not about instant gratification. It’s a marketing tactic that compounds, helping you turn subscribers into loyal customers over time.
12. Use clear, concise language in your copy.
Keep the copy on your website simple, concise, and compelling. Nobody has time to read a novel or your life story, get to the point, and give people the information they need.
Here are some tips for clear website copywriting:
- Write in a way that speaks directly to Long Islanders; use words that resonate with the target audience in your community.
- Avoid confusing industry jargon, buzzwords, or overly formal language.
- Break up large blocks of text with subheadings, lists, and images.
- Limit paragraphs to 3-4 sentences. Users skim and scan online.
- Active voice and common words are more readable than passive voice and $10 synonyms.
- Focus each page on the information that matters most to your prospective customers.
- Proofread your content before publishing. Spelling and grammar issues will make your business appear unprofessional.
13. Include an FAQ section.
Include a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section to answer common questions potential clients may have.
Ways to implement an effective FAQ:
- Create a dedicated FAQ page that lists questions and detailed answers.
- Add individual FAQ sections to relevant product and service pages.
- Address common pain points, objections, and questions prospects have.
- Use clear headers like “How much does it cost?” so users can skim the page.
- Link to your FAQ prominently from your homepage, navigation, and elsewhere.
- Periodically review and add new frequently asked questions.
An FAQ section demonstrates a deep understanding of your ideal customer’s problems and needs. Additionally, it is a great way to bolster your SEO.
14. Use video content.
Video is king on the web. Research has shown using video on landing pages could potentially increase conversion by up to 86%. That means video can create a personal connection and convince your audience that your product or service is the perfect fit for their needs in ways that text-based cannot.
Effective ways to use video:
- Create overview videos explaining your services or walking through a product demo.
- Interview satisfied clients on video for testimonials.
- Share behind-the-scenes videos giving an inside look at your business.
- Post frequently asked questions (FAQ) videos answering common questions.
- Spotlight recent projects or case studies.
- Post videos natively on your site and also on YouTube for SEO.
- Repurpose your videos on social media to expand your reach.
Ultimately, videos humanize your local business and build connections.
15. Create an online booking form.
Make the process quick and seamless for prospects to schedule appointments, services, consultations, or purchases directly through your site 24/7. The easiest way to do that and integrate it on your website is to use Calendly’s free plan.
Online booking eliminates back-and-forth emails and has been shown to drive higher appointment show rates. If a big part of your business is doing consultations with clients, this is a no-brainer. Tools like Calendly will save you time and have everything you need to have a fully loaded appointment system on your website without any technical effort.
16. Update your content regularly.
What good is an outdated website? Don’t fall into this trap that many small businesses do. Update your site at least every quarter. For one, visitors can tell when a site seems old or even abandoned. It will make them question whether the information they’re reading is correct and if you are actually still in business. Additionally, Google loves to rank fresh, up-to-date content.
- Start by reviewing and refreshing existing content. Ensure accuracy and relevance to maintain a trustworthy image.
- Expand beyond mere updates by introducing new elements such as all the things mentioned in this post: blog articles, service pages, videos, offers, and case studies. This will demonstrate your business is engaged and ready to serve the community.
A lively website is a reflection of a vibrant and forward-thinking business.
17. Hire a professional web designer or developer.
If the task of enhancing your website feels overwhelming or your DIY efforts aren’t yielding the desired results, this is Long Island, there are plenty of talented web development companies who can help improve your local business website. These digital agencies house expert web designers, developers, copywriters, and marketers who can help you get real and tangible results.
Plus, leveraging a local web company means they understand the unique dynamics of the Long Island market. This will allow for targeted strategies that resonate with your local audience. It will prove to be well worth the investment.
If you need help hiring a professional web designer or developer, check out these 22 tips for hiring a Long Island web design company for your business.
Bonus Tip: Measure, Refine, and Evolve.
The secret to standing out online for any business lies not only in optimizing for the present but also in anticipating the future. For one, that means regularly revisiting and reassessing your website’s performance, and adapting your strategies to align with the forever evolving digital landscape.
In order to do that, make sure your website has Google Analytics installed so you can measure your traffic, engagement, and other performance metrics.
Embracing the power of analytics will provide you with valuable insights into customer behavior, the effectiveness of your CTAs, and the impact of various optimizations and updates you make across your website. This wealth of data helps you make informed decisions, refine your approach, and continually elevate the user experience of your prospects.
Secondly, aim to stay abreast of emerging technologies, evolving consumer behaviors, and search engine algorithms.
Explore tools like ChatGPT, MidJourney, and countless other AI tools that can simplify creating content for your website. Innovations like these are not merely trends; they represent the next frontier in digital engagement.
We have entered a world where online visibility is pretty much synonymous with existence.
Your commitment to staying agile and informed will set your Long Island business apart and enable it to grow well into the future.
Do you need a better website
or to rank higher on Google?
Hey, I'm Anthony Lombardo, a fellow Long Islander. I'm determined to help businesses on Long Island thrive online. My only question is, will yours be next?Book a Call