24 Dec Website tips for better marketing in 2016
Successfully marketing a website online requires a lot more time and effort than most businesses realise, it can effectively become a full time role to make sure that your website is performing the best it can to help grow your customer base and increase sales. But as a business are you making sure you are working with your marketing team to make sure that your web presence is matching your core business values and pushing the latest offer and trends?
Most small businesses built a website long ago when it was trendy to have a website and you would be surprised at how many businesses still don’t have a website, in that time those businesses have not really paid any more attention to make sure the website is driving traffic and generating sales leads.
Having a website just does not cut it anymore when it comes to online marketing, competition from similar businesses are flooding the space daily and your start to fade away, but why?
Here is my list of reasons your website is sinking your business online:
Update your Meta data
You probably never given your website a second thought when it comes to using title and descriptions to market your website online, but as search engine marketing keeps growing keeping your meta data fresh and up to date with keywords that relate to your business.
Meta title is the heading you give your index or homepage for your website. Typically businesses use their own name, but unless you are a well known brand you are not likely to get any search traffic for your actual business name. The best advice is to focus on keywords such as the service you provide and the location you offer that service, this works better for small and local businesses.
Meta description is a short paragraph about your business and the services you provide, these are what appears in the list under the main title in search engines such as Google. This short paragraph needs to explain what your business can provide to the customer searching for you. Below is an example of how www.robcullen.co.uk is listed in Google.
Google uses meta titles and descriptions to help identify the kind of content your website provides and checks to see if it is relevant to the search terms used by customer. One small tip is to use heading tags that reflect the keywords used in your meta title and description in your main body copy.
Many web designers might not really understand the marketing side of a website and in the early start of websites this would have been missed completely, check your website now and see how well it performs for your keywords, remember don’t search your business name focus on keywords that you want to be competitive with.
My example would be “Website Design Newmarket” and not “Rob Cullen”, website design has a larger chance of being searched for than my own name, as no one would know who I am in a large competitive market.
Tracking your customer interactions
Being able to see how your customers are using your website is a huge advantage to any marketing team. You can see what pages are the most viewed and how a customer moves through your website. Having a simple customer flow from clicking a promotion to adding to a basket to making the final sale should be friction-less, no confusing messages or pages that are not relevant to making the final sale. Being able to see this kind of flow also allows you to identify parts of the website that is not performing so well, in an example, people are clicking on a product and then adding that product to the basket.
But then they stop the process of paying for the product, now, there can be many reasons to why they stopped the process, but if it happens over and over it could be time to change the way the flow of the checkout works, it could be possible that the button to continue is not clear or that the button is simply not working, but tracking the customers interaction can identify and highlight any issues the website might have in converting a sale.
Tracking can also show how best your website is acquiring customers / users, is the growth organic? referral or social media driven traffic? Identifying your traffic acquisition can help tailor how you focus your business marketing online. It is not worth spending X amount on Google Adwords, if social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are driving more customers to your website, that budget would be much more wisely spent on Facebook adverting and Twitter ads.
Sitemap and Google validation
Having a sitemap for your website is a must to any online business these days and using Googles webmaster tools allows you to upload your sitemap directly to the search engine. The purpose of this, is to tell Google exactly what website pages your website has and tells the Google spider bots to crawl those pages to find relevant information. Google will then start to index your website pages as those pages become more relevant and the information you supply is highlighted as useful.
This works in Googles algorithm in a way of monitoring traffic to the page, links to the page and how your present the information and keywords, not to mention the code on your website. That’s right, Google bot has to look through your website in a format called HTML which builds the core of the websites structure, messy and broken code can cause Google bot to stuggle reading the page and identify the website as a performance issue.
Responsive website design
Not a new buzz word but one that is still very relevant today, as we move through many changes in trends in website design, mobile first design is starting to take over. With more and more customers / users using mobile and tablet devices to browse the internet a website that can change its layout to match the smaller screen of a device, but still provide the quality content is one of the most important marketing changes you need to make to your website.
Not to mention Google search on mobile now priorities mobile friendly websites in the Google results. Why? Because Google knows how important it is to customers to be able to view and browse the internet and websites on smaller devices and the search giant release figures that showed that mobile search had over taken desktop search for the first time.
So the question is, is your website responsive?
The old saying still rings true today more than ever, “Content is king”. Now most businesses ignore this when focusing on online marketing. Blogging is one of the oldest ways to provide content to users / customers is a relevant and informative way. Yet lots of businesses just forget to blog. So why is blogging so important? Two reasons, it shows search engines that your website is being updated regularly with fresh content that users / customers may find useful and shows you are actively looking after your website and two, it offers another way of marketing your business and products. Google will rank relevant blog posts in its search engine if that blog posts contains useful information, just how the above would work for your website it also works great for your blog posts.
Now, the main issue businesses find with blogging is not having anything to say, well that is not quite true. As a business providing a service, there is a big chance that you are an expert at what you provide and you have lots of useful tips that could help someone say, “market their website online?”. Just as I am doing in this blog post, I am providing you, the reader some valuable information about website design and how you could change your website in minor ways to help improve your search engine rankings and online marketing.
Become the expert of your industry, talk about trends, events and any other news that is related to your industry, be an industry ambassador. Focus on providing useful and relevant content that most of all provides value to the end user, in my case, you. I hope that by reading this blog post I have provided some value to you on how to help market your website online.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post and I hope it gave you and your business a few simple changes you can make to your website to improve its online visibility.
For more information about how to bring your website up to date, get in touch.