If you own or manage a business of any size or shape you will certainly be aware of what a website is but, interestingly, even in 2016, you may still not actually have one set up. According to a survey carried out two years ago by a marketing company in the US, 52% of small businesses did not have a website*1. This seems a shocking statistic. Is this you?
There’s a lot of talk of small business being the backbone of the UK economy but it really is true. The Federation of Small Businesses reported that 60% of all private sector employment came from Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) last year, and that figure increased by three per cent from 2014*2.
Cuckfield resident Rebecca Jabbar runs her own small business which helps others to grow by looking at what they say, how they say it and who to. “The biggest problem most businesses have when considering a website is ‘what should it say?’,” she comments.
Rebecca, through her company Strategic Marcomms, helps create websites for startups and ‘mumpreneurs’ right through to national organisations. “But almost all begin with the same question: ‘Where do I start?’,” she continues.
Rebecca grew up in London and only moved down to Cuckfield two and a half years ago with her husband Mazin. His claim to fame, incidentally, is that his greatgreat-grandfather was editor/owner of the Manchester Guardian and took it national in the 1870s - but more of that another time!
Rebecca has worked in the communication industry for 19 years, helping hundreds of businesses to say the right things, at the right time, to the right people. Most recently she was managing a team in an agency in Brighton but she felt a strong desire to go it alone, taking the plunge 14 months ago. “I love being back in touch with the clients and being able to make a real difference when we are working together. This is especially true of small businesses,” she explains.
Strategic Marcomms can help your business in a number of ways. This article is about website copy and creation but Rebecca could also be the perfect partner for you in writing press releases, adverts and blog posts, and creating email marketing campaigns for you to send out to your customers and prospects.
“When businesses create a website it is often a great time to decide exactly how to describe what they do,” Rebecca explains. “A website is a good hub for presenting your business to the world.” Who are you expecting to look at your site? What will the people be searching for, who you want to land on your website? The structure of the site needs to be simple and easy for those people to navigate and find the information they require. In the past it has been the physical creation of the web pages which has often held people back from building their own website. However, right now, there are dozens of reliable and nice looking website builder platforms which make it simple to create a website with none of the technical know-how that was once required.
“There are also loads of website designers out there who will do that part for you, but not many work with you to write the words and messages on your site. That’s what I do,” Rebecca continues. “Having talked to you about your business and the sorts of customers you are looking for, I get to work to communicate in the right way to reach that audience.”
Of course many businesses do already have a website.
“A lot of small businesses come to me when they have outgrown the website which their friend or relative put together for them as a favour.” In a survey of 500 businesses nearly 28% of them admitted to entrusting their website creation to someone with no specialist skills whatsoever!*3 Very often sites like this can give the wrong impression of the company. Not only wording but images and colours can all negatively affect the personality presented. Does your website make you look credible to your potential customers? This is important as over three quarters of internet users conduct research online before they call or buy*4.
Perhaps your business has an already established website which you gave due thought and consideration to in the past. Does it get the traffic you expected? Are you regularly receiving new enquiries from your online presence? Is it Search Engine Optimised (SEO) - in other words, is it coming up when users search for your product/service? Do you check on a regular basis? This is a really good idea as this can change over time. To perform this test it’s a good idea to sign out of your own Google account and use the search terms that matter to you.
Where does your website come in the rankings? At Strategic Marcomms Rebecca will automatically and intelligently apply important search criteria when writing and building your website.
Another aspect to the website which does help with its search engine ranking is the creation of a blog. A blog is simply an area of the site which holds a number of stories related to your business. If you have a blog it should be regularly updated and added to. This can be written by you, a member of your team, or Rebecca can help here too!
So there you have it, some advice and words of wisdom from a local specialist on how you can improve or start your website in 2016. Rebecca Jabbar has shared her top ten website tips on this page 11 of the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of Cuckfield Life. So there’s no excuse for inaction in the New Year!
If you would like Rebecca’s expert help with your website to support your business growth then the first step is a simple one. Call her on 01444 301302 or send her an email to email@example.com and she’ll get back to you to have a no obligation 30 minute chat about your requirements.
*1 Yodle market research, New York 2013, www.yodle.com. *2 Small Business Statistics 2015 from www.fsb.org.uk. *3 Smart Little Web with OnePoll survey of 500 businesses. *4 -78% according to Hubspot Blog 2011, blog.hubspot.com