Right now is a great time to build or redesign a website. The Internet has really grown up and devices like smart phones having given us access virtually all the time. With all the changes it's important to make sure that your website isn't lagging behind.
When embarking on a new website project, the key is planning. Think about where you are now and where it is that you want to end up. Having a good looking website is nice but ultimately the main purpose of the site is to be valuable to the visitors. Here are some simple but effective tips to ensure your website is successful...
Think About Search Engine Optimization First Not Last:
The biggest mistake businesses make is not starting with search engine optimization. Sure, you're industry might use a certain terminology, but that doesn't mean that those are the terms people use when they are searching for a business like yours. Make sure to do your keyword research upfront so you know what content your audience is looking for and use those terms when you build the copy. Often in your research you may find there is a real lack of good information on a topic related in your industry. Fill that void, and watch your website flourish!
Just make sure not to go to crazy with SEO, the content on your pages has to be readable. Don't keyword stuff just to increase your ranking. You will end up turning off potential customers and that is certainly not going to help in the long run.
Optimizing your website for search engines can be a lot of work. Fortunately, there are plenty of companies that can help including my own Zebralove Web Solutions.
Keep Your Content Fresh:
To get a lot of hits, you need to give people a reason to come back to your site. Are people going to come back if they already know what they are going to see? Maybe once or twice to find the contact information but overall, no, they won't come back. Think about the sites you go to often, NFL, facebook, and maybe yahoo or CNN. You go to these sites to get up to date information. A great way to keep your content fresh is to add a blog or an articles section. You may think that your business is too boring to keep up a blog, but I guarantee that someone is interested and for your website to do well, you need to be a source of information for those people.
Make Sure People Know How To Get In Touch:
A while ago I used facebook questions to ask "what makes a great website?" I got some interesting responses and one that surprised me was how important it is for the contact information to be found easily. I had several people tell me how annoyed they felt when they had to go searching for companies contact information. Make sure it's located on the home page or better yet provide a contact or subscribe form for visitors to fill out right there.
Ask For Feedback And Listen To It
Selling online is different. You can't just shove media down everyone's throats and expect them to buy your products or services. The key is to ask for feedback, listen to what they want and give it to them. The Internet makes this process possible in a way it never was before and the result can be a much more loyal customer base. You may not be the cheapest but if the customer feels like their opinion is being heard, they will most often buy from you anyway. You can certainly use your website to engage with your audience in this way but the most effective tool will most likely be through social media sites.
I've had many companies tell me that they don't use social media because they are scared about negative comments. It's true, when you are having a conversation with someone, you may not always like what he or she has to say but in listening to their concerns you may have a unique opportunity to address the issue and gain a customer for life.
Hope you have found these tips useful! Next month I will check out Google+ business pages and report what I find.
Milly Welsh is the Priority Learning webmaster and Owner/Operator of Zebralove Web Solutions, a web development company located in southern Maine.
Zebralove Web Solutions