The performance of your company website is more important than you might realize. Keep an eye on things such as keywords and links.
When it comes to doing business, especially in the services industry, the last question on your mind may be, “How is my website doing?” Does it even matter if I have a good website?
If you step back a moment, however, you will realize very quickly that a good chunk of your business is likely coming from the Internet. Think of it this way: If a company or individual needs their home or business cleaned, secured, inspected or restored, they are probably going to go to Google.com and type their question right in. For example, if I live in Memphis, Tennessee, and I want a company that is reliable and cheap to clean my building, I will type in, “Cheap reliable cleaning company in Memphis.”
If Google has a website which matches the keyphrase, “Cheap reliable cleaning company in Memphis,” they will be more likely to serve that website up as the number one spot on their search results page. This website is going to get the most people visiting it because it’s the first result on the page. Higher traffic on your website means more calls coming in, which means more business and money for your company.
Because of this, focusing on your website and paying close attention to your website content, images and videos becomes all the more important. Small businesses, especially, need to have a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. SEO.com has provided some great tips as well, in a useful infographic seen below.
SEO can be a tricky and fickle beast. So the question becomes, what can I do to make my website more available to the search engines? Here are my top 7 simple steps you can take to increase traffic on your website.
Analytics Tools: Use data. If you make changes to your website in order to improve it, you need to see whether it is working or not. Analytics will allow you to track new visitors to your site, how long they are spending on your site and many other useful data. Make sure to get a good idea of your typical number of visitors to your site before you make any changes to increase that traffic.
Setting up an analytics account is a fairly simple task. Most tools will give you the code and tell you exactly where in your website to place it (usually the header or footer.)
Keywords: This is one of the most effective and (possibly) time-consuming aspects of optimization. You need to let the search engines know what your website is about. If you are a janitorial services company, then that phrase should be found in lots of places on your site. An average of about 2–3% keyword saturation is said to be the best. Better yet, think of what your potential clients will be searching and use those search terms as keywords.
Links: This item is two-fold: First, linking to other pages on your website and, second, linking back to your website on others’ websites. Linking to other pages on your website and links to other websites in your industry (not necessarily competitors, but think more along the lines of industry informational sites which will benefit your users) are very important. Not only does it give your users the navigation they need, but it shows the search engines that your site is useful and will add to their (they being the search engines’) users’ satisfaction.
Often, if you are familiar with the owners of the site to which you are linking, you can get them to post a link to your website on theirs as well. Now when Google indexes their website, they will see a link to your site as well. This is called “Link Juice.” You can also include a link to your website in comments you make on others’ blogs (Just make sure they are relevant comments or they can be thrown out as spam.)
Site Speed: If your website takes more than two seconds to load completely, it is too slow. Things like very large or high resolution images, too many scripts, extraneous or duplicate code, or ANY amount of Flash media will slow your site down. Site speed can also be different between different web hosts, so you may need to contact them if the above issues aren’t fixing your speed problem.
Media: This is one of the most important factors to keeping people on your website. You want, at the very least, images. Here’s the difficult part: They need to be relevant and interesting. You can also attach “tags” to the images within your website code, using the above-mentioned keywords. These tags tell the search engines that the images are also relevant to the keyword and the industry. What’s even better than images? Videos. That said, try not to overload your pages with media. This will slow down your site and cause the user to lose interest or even get confused, as there is too much to look at. Remember that content is king, but try to make your design simple, elegant and easy to navigate.
Call-To-Action (CTA): If you want a potential customer to call you, then make sure your phone number is the main thing you see on the home page. If you want somebody to purchase your products, then make your products easy to find and purchase. This seems like such a simple idea in theory, but in practice it can become difficult. Try to have a clear command statement such as, “Call us now,” “Request a Demo” or “Buy Now!” This call to action must be readily visible no matter where you are on the website. If people can see your CTA, they are more likely to complete that action.
Site Content: CONTENT IS KING! Remember this and never forget it. No matter what you do, always make sure your website has fresh, eye-catching content. Media can only get you so far. Your descriptions and text-based pages need to be engaging and useful. If they are only one of these things, people will stop reading and move to your competitor’s website. Never use filler text or fluff and always strive to make whatever you write interesting.
Okay, so these are 7 fairly simple changes which can be implemented without a lot of man-hours or even technical know-how. Having said that, there is a lot more to each of the above items than would fit in this blog post. SEO and website optimization are ongoing and ever-changing. If you really want to affect your traffic and boost your sales considerably, it may be worth consulting a third-party firm or an SEO expert to analyze and maintain your site.