Introducing Friday 15: Small Business Tips

Looking for ways to grow your business online? Meet Friday 15.
In 15 minutes, you could check email, take a nap, dance to your favorite song…three times, or you could learn some new tips to help your business succeed on the web. Friday 15: Small Business Tips is a series from Google’s Get Your Business Onlineprogram designed to help small businesses like yours make the most of their online presence. 
Friday 15 answers questions like: How should I choose the pictures on my website?  How can I monitor my business online? How should I handle a bad review?  And more.  Check out highlights from two Friday 15 lessons below. Enjoy!
Attract customers with clear page names and descriptions
One quick and easy way to help Google and other search engines understand your website is to add names and descriptions to your webpages. A page name, or page title, describes the content and context of the page. The more specific and informative the title, the better chance that page has to be displayed on a related search.  For example, use “Hours and Location,” instead of “About Us.”
The page description is a longer summary of the webpage. Google may display this description on a search results page underneath the page title and URL.  This description is essentially your “sales pitch,” your opportunity  to convince the searcher to visit your website in just a few sentences.

Improve your 404 error page
Most people have seen it: the disappointing “Page Not Found” message on a web page, also known as a “404 error page.” This message appears when a site visitor clicks a link to a page that moved or doesn’t exist, or if they type a URL incorrectly.

This can be a frustrating experience for a visitor. He might decide to leave the website rather than continue searching. You can’t control what URL a person types in, but you can create a better 404 page that encourages visitors not to give up.

Here are some quick tips.
       Don’t create a visual disconnect. Your 404 page should have the same look and feel as the rest of the website, including the navigation.
       Apologize, and let the visitor know what happened. Avoid technical language and write something like “We’re so sorry, the page can’t be found,” rather than “404 Error.”
       Guide the visitor back into the website. You could add links to your most popular content or a search box to help the visitor find the page he was looking for.
Check out the full lessons and view more tips for growing your business online at Don’t forget to sign up to receive new lessons directly in your inbox.
On behalf of the entire Get Your Business Online team, I wish you great success growing your business.
Whitney Lemon – Friday 15 Host, Google Small Business Engagement
Whitney hosts Friday 15: Small Business Tips, Google’s series to help small businesses succeed online, in 15 minutes or less.  Friday 15 is part of Google’s Get Your Business Online program, providing small businesses with a custom domain name and web hosting- free for one year.

**Source: BCG Report, “The Connected World: The $4.2 Trillion Opportunity,” March 2012