To some dive shops their web presence is an afterthought or not even a thought at all. It’s seen as just another expense to add to the long list of other expenses that come with running a business. The thing is – people young and old are using the internet to search for local companies and validate whether or not that company is worth doing business with.
Now more than ever it’s critical that you have a solid, informative website.
1) You don’t even have a website.
It’s been over 20 years since the first website was established; we’re already on to the middle stages of the mobile internet’s growth. At this point if you don’t have a website you’re missing out on tons of potential new business.
2) You have a site but there are parts of it that don’t work.
Links leading to nowhere, web forms that users can’t submit, broken images, and cut off text that can’t be read. These are just a few of the primary problems I’ve seen on many websites that I have come across.
When was the last time you did a thorough checking over on the functionality of your website? Every broken link or un-sent form is a potential lead lost, it’s vital that you take the time to occasionally check your website. Click on the links you have placed, make sure images are still showing up fine, and be sure that your contact and lead forms are submitting properly, and that you’re receiving the emails themselves.
3) Your site exists and functions but the design hasn’t been touched in years.
If you haven’t touched your site since 2006 it’s time for a design update. Times have changed and your website’s users have different tastes. The latest trends put emphasis on cleaner, spacious layout and larger, easily readable text.
A modern website is all about the user experience, keeping the user interface free of clutter with enough spacing that it’s easily used on any type of device. As well as a focus on proper contrast between background color and text color and keeping colors consistent throughout.
The most common way to make your site mobile responsive is with a web developer that is familiar with what is called CSS media queries. With this coding your developer can have your website dynamically resize to fit a mobile device’s screen width, similar to how our site functions.
Another possibility is having what’s called an “m dot” mobile site. This would be a mobile version of your website at a sub-domain such as m.yourdomain.com that mobile users are redirected to. It’s currently unclear if a mobile responsive website is better for search engines than an “m dot” mobile site but it could be an inconvenience to your customers if the design of your “m dot” site is drastically different from your desktop site.
The only advantage of an “m dot” site over a mobile responsive design is the speed at which you can get a mobile friendly version of your site online. The mobile responsive route would require custom coding unless you start with a website template that is already mobile responsive.
5) Your website doesn’t contain the information your customers are looking for.
The main purpose of your website as a dive operation is to get your customers to be able to get in touch with you. Your physical location/address and phone number should be prominent and near the top of the page. They may also be interested in courses you offer, the people you have on staff and their diving experience, and upcoming dives and trips you have planned.
The right amount of information about who you are as a company can help foster trust and start the relationship building process.
6) You have a modern, navigable and informative site… but no one can find it.
Proper navigation structure is an important aspect of a user’s experience on your site. You may have tons of helpful content on your site but if it’s buried 10 layers deep where no one can easily find it, it may as well not exist at all.
There’s a balance that you have to find which is unique to every website and its average visitor between being concise but informative. Too much information can overwhelm a user but too little information will frustrate them.
7) Your site is solid and it’s getting traffic except you’re not converting that traffic into customers.
The previous point leads us to the ultimate end goal for a website, converting your traffic into a paying customer. This is done through CTAs, or call to actions, which include text that stands out and draws the user’s attention to complete an action. This can include signing up for a newsletter, filling out a contact form or even picking up the phone and giving you a call.
You may have heard of SEO or Search Engine Optimization before but what is it exactly? Well there are a few paths to SEO and each can affect your ranking in search engine results. Some of it is link building which is getting links back from other trusted, related websites. Another is local citations such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo business listings, or Yellow Pages and Yelp. You can easily check your business listings and verify their accuracy through Moz Local here.
And while all of those points above are important they mean very little if your onsite SEO is not optimized. Onsite SEO is ensuring you are using proper HTML code and rich content to let Google and other search engine website crawlers (automated bots that scan your website’s content for their search results) know what your site is about. They use these metrics to better list your website in relevant search results for their users.
If you’ve made it through this list and implemented these changes you’re well on your way to converting a lot more business out of your website investment. It may seem like a daunting task but with a proper plan of action all of these can be quickly implemented.
There’s no reason why your website shouldn’t be bringing more customers through your door. Looking for help getting started? Get in touch with us to receive our free website SEO audit by filling out the form below: