(This article was originally written for and posted in Women Magazine, September 11, 2018 issue)
Your business’s website is your 24/7 storefront and the hub for your digital presence. Not only should it demonstrate the credibility and personality of your brand, but your website should also drive sales and marketing, be optimized for search engines and provide a great user experience for your visitors. Your website has never been so important and in today’s “need it now” society, investing in a great website and website maintenance is simply a cost of doing business.
You often only get one chance online to make a first impression, so it has to be done right. So how can you drive sales, make sure your website can be found online and provide a great user experience? Here are a few ways to make sure your website works as hard as you do!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is made up of hundreds of small things to help your website rank better with search engines and be found more readily by your prospects. Think of your pages as cards in “Google’s rolodex.” When someone searches for information, Google searches its index for the most relevant data in the attempt to deliver the best search results. Google’s algorithm changes frequently, but there are some core SEO strategies that will help to make your website optimized for search engines.
- Keyword research: what are people looking for?
- Create a site that gives them what they’re looking for! A balance of information and entertainment always wins. Being helpful is always appreciated and they payoff is customer loyalty! Blogs are the ideal way to provide great information and boost your SEO.
- Optimize your site for search engines: On-Page SEO will organize each page of your site with keywords, titles and descriptions so Google understands the page.
Having a mobile-friendly website is a must! Not so long ago, you had the option of having a site that was responsive for mobile, but this year Google introduced Mobile First Indexing, meaning they will use the mobile version of your website to rank you. This is because more and more people are using phones and tablets to browse the internet, and Google wants to provide them with the best possible experience. If you have a slow mobile site, chances are that Google will not favor this and will not suggest your site.
- Using a responsive design that scales according to the device used (phone, tablet or desktop.)
- Use larger fonts and buttons.
- Organize text in an easy to read format.
- Compress images and videos.
Sales and Marketing With Your Website
Whether you utilize ecommerce to sell directly on your site or not, your website is a powerful marketing and sales tool to keep your customers moving through your sales funnel from initial research to becoming your repeat customer. Your site should also be able to capture lead information using simple, yet effective forms and content.
- Customer Awareness: Pages should answer questions and provide helpful information and great images.
- Customer Research: Site should be fast, functional and appealing. Is the copy compelling with calls to action for lead generation? You don’t have much time before your prospect moves on. Make the most of it!
- Customer Consideration: Why choose you and what makes you credible or an expert? Does your site tell your story? Stories sell! Your site should have a robust About Us page and a current Blog page.
- Customer Conversion: Does your site make it easy to buy or sign up? Reinforce your customer’s decision to choose you by making the journey seamless and easy.
If you’re ready to drive sales, make sure your website can be found online and provide a great user experience, let’s talk! Set up your free marketing evaluation to learn more.