Not having a secure website (SSL)
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) connection is a very important part of any website nowadays. It affects mainly your security, but also your SEO results.
SSL is a way to keep the connection between your booking system and your customer encrypted, and safe. This ensures that data that your customers send will stay private. This is essential in nowadays environment, and will be even so in the future with more data regulation coming up.
Enabling SSL is easy, and should be done for any website. A great way to do it is to use Cloudflare, which also speeds up your hosting speed and prevents attacks against your website. https://www.cloudflare.com/ssl/
Not having a clear way to book
When you have an online booking system in place on your website, it is very important to have a main CTA (Call To Action) button. This might sound like a no-brainer, but there are many websites out there that has a booking system without a clear CTA button. This results in customers not being able to easily navigate to the booking system.
With a booking system, the CTA is usually a ‘Book Now’ or ‘Check Availability’ button. This button needs to be spread out through the website consistently on every important area.
These CTA’s should lead to a booking system such as Serviceform, or any other that you are using.
Forgetting a ‘Book Now’ button from your Facebook page.
Your customers not only visit your website but your Facebook page. Adding a ‘Book Now’ button on to your business page on Facebook helps more customers find you resulting in an increase in sales.
This Book Now button should lead directly to your most valuable booking page that is relevant to your customers.
Forgetting to Link Instagram to your booking pages
Instagram is a great place to show off your products and services through beautiful imagery. However, once your potential customers are done browsing and want to buy your products or services you need to provide them with access to the booking system that’s on your website.
The only place that Instagram allows to place a click-able link is in the bio. Place the booking form’s URL there with a call to action text that says ‘Click Below to Book Now’.
Not telling Google what your website is about
Improving SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) on your website is how your customers will find you online organically without having to pay for advertisements. SEO is known to be a complex topic but it’s easy to understand the basics and these basics will take your online presence a long way.
Many businesses forget to tell google two main things:
Where they are - Location
This can be done simply by adding your city or location in your H1 and around the website.
What they sell - Products & Services
This can be done simply by adding your products and services
The main thing is to write in a way that your customers would search. For catering for example Catering in London instead of John’s Catering in your title.
To improve SEO on your website, conduct a keyword research by using a free tool like Google Keyword Planner.
First, make a list of all the important keywords that relate to your business and identify if these are the keywords you want your customers to find your website through.
Then, enter those list of keywords on to the Google Keyword Planner and check for their search volumes. The search volume will tell you how many times those particular keywords are searched for on the internet once the month.
If those keywords have a good search volume, place them on your h1, h2 tags as well as your meta description.
Not monitoring your website
Setting up monitoring is very easy nowadays. There is google analytics and hotjar. Both are great tools for simple monitoring.
Google analytics allows you to get a high level, and as in detail view into your users as you wish.
Hotjar allows you to track the movements and actions of your users on your website. Putting a bit of time and effort into looking at these simple tools will make a big difference into how you see your website.
Forgetting that people use mobile phones to buy online
92% of website traffic is Mobile. 50% of Bookings come from mobile users. Make sure that you check that your website works with your Iphone, as well as your friends Android. A small mistake might lead to a lot of lost income for you.
By doing these seven simple things you avoid most of the pitfalls that small businesses fall into with their websites. These are not the most obvious ones, but important ones at that.
Share yours in the comments below.