If you want more visitors to your website, there here are some questions to ask yourself.
- Is your website easily found on google for all the appropriate key phrases that someone might search for?
- Are other businesses linking to you, and promoting your services?
- Is your website link included on all advertising, business cards, brochures, magazines and invoices?
- Do you run a monthly email newsletter?
- Are you participating actively on forums relevant to your industry?
- Have you reserved your username on all popular social networks?
- Are you using social networking tools to seeking out new people to do business with?
- What is your message?
- Are you converting traffic into sales?
Key Phrase Optimisation
- Google only finds words that are visible on your pages. If you don't use relevant key phrases in your website content, then Google won't list your pages. Review your content now, and make sure you include all variances that a potential visitor might search on. Remember that every search key phrase returns different results. You cannot depend on "did you mean?".
- Google does not always link to your home page. This is a great feature when used effectively. You should promote each page on your website to a different key phrase. eg a different hook to capture a different fish.
- Google applies a formula when ranking search results. Focus on each key phrase on a separate web page. Include your key phrase in the first paragraph, filename and meta title of each page. Also include the key phrase in the link text when linking to a page from other pages on your site. This is really effective when linking from your home page.
- Incoming links bring traffic to your website. That's all that matters. Outgoing links only take people away from your site. Inbound links are hard to get, because you are dependent on someone else setting those up for you.
- The more incoming links you have, the better. However, quality is better than quantity. Getting a link from a popular website, or a prominent page on another website is more important that having thousands of irrelevant pages. Focus on getting incoming links relevant to your industry or geographical region.
- Participating in online forums and social networks is a great way to spread your links around, and although the SEO benefit is minor, the quality of traffic can be higher if your interaction in the social groups are meaningful.
- Don't forget to include your links on all your business printed materials and adverts. These links encourage your existing customers to come back to your website from time to time.
- Newsletters are great at bringing customers back to your website. People don't check back on websites just in the hope that you have published a new news post, so you need to push your content to your customers.
- Ensure you have "opt in" buttons everywhere that a customer might enquire, contact or purchase.
- Ensure subscription buttons are prominent on all pages of your website
- Manually add addresses from all business cards you gather.
- Focus on a quality informative newsletter that recipients would like to read, perhaps forward to friends, and at the very least not unsubscribe. Just emailing specials is spam. Use case studies to indicate how a customer benefited from the use of your products or service. Discuss changes in your industry and how you are responding to them.
Social Network Sites / Forums
- If you are not already registered on all of them, then you need to do it now. Reserve your usernames and defend your brand space. You cannot preference one network over another. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are all important networks in NZ. Other countries and industries may focus on other networks.
- Posting links, videos and photos is not enough. You need to engage with your friends, fans and followers. You need to start public conversations with your customers. If all the posts on your wall are just from you, then you are not using this medium effectively. You will also need to deal with the harsh realities of unhappy customers, and directly address their concerns in a timely manor. Merely listening and taking on board their comments will make other readers respect you more.
- Sitting back and taking a passive approach is not enough. You need to search for people that you want to be friends, fans or followers. Making connections this way is faster than via a traditional real world networking event. You might like to search for existing customers in your database and connect with them, then introduce yourself to their business oriented friends.
- The value of participation in social networks is two fold. It increases your overall search ranking, and the direct participation with people online will also turn into traffic and sales. Focus on quality interaction, not quantity. A few quality posts or comments on a popular topic/trend/thread will do more for you than a spamy approach.
- On your website, the first paragraph should contain the primary 3 word key phrase that someone might use to find the page. The 1st paragraph should confirm to the reader that they are in the right place.
- Following the 1st paragraph, you should then link to your "calls to action", or continue the story you have to tell.
- Focus on your customer needs. It's not what you can sell them, it's what problem you can solve for them. For example, don't sell drills, sell hole makers! Or better than that, teach your customers how to make their own furniture, and then sell them all the tools they need.
- Don't just repeat brand messages everywhere. Ask questions that customers can relate to, that encourages them to become engaged with the rest of your message. Research target customers. Learn from what they want.
- Use different language in different mediums. Blogs, forums and social media space are not places for formal language. Engage with a human touch.
- Successful websites tend to focus on on key niche. For example, picking one product, and providing the most comprehensive online information about it. Or providing a service to a niche audience. If you can't be the top of "wellington accommodation" listings, then make sure you are number one for "wellington hotel near convention centre". Generic catch all phrases just won't help you online, because no one searches for them.
Convert Traffic To Sales
- Check your web statistics to see how many unique visitors you are getting. If you have lots of visitors, but few page views, then something is wrong with your either your message or site navigation.
- Ensure your "calls to action" are clear and easy to find. Ensure that your shopping cart or enquiry forms are easy to use.
- Are you promoting your website in the wrong places? Sometimes people think too laterally during the search engine optimisation phase. Ask your self these questions: Who is my perfect customer? Where might I find them? What key phrases would they search for? What would be the perfect introduction when direct marketing via social networks?
- Review your business offer, is your offer competitive? Search on your own key phrases, and check out the competitive space. This is what your customers are doing. You might be well ranked, but the customer might check out the pricing on 3 different websites. If you can't engage on best price, then you need to engage on service levels.
- If you can't capture a sale or enquiry on a customers first visit, make sure they can stay friends with you on a social network prominently positioned along with other calls to action.
Posted: Wednesday 28 July 2010