It seems that the most frequently asked questions of the digital business age is: “does my small business really need a website?”
The ease of the internet has seen fewer people seek for products and service through the yellow pages or phone book. In fact these days have long gone and have been replaced with the search and click days. More than 20 million shoppers are now online, purchasing everything from books to animals and food to property.
A large proportion of business revenue is derived from online transactions and offline through online marketing efforts. Even if your business is small and sells products or services that you don’t believe would benefit from being online, without a doubt you should have an online presence. Never dismiss products to be sold over the internet, as the utmost unique and specific products are the ones sought over the internet.
Having a website doesn’t mean that you focus all your budget and time onto selling online. You can still actively trade from your store-front, while having a website which allows for potential customers, employees or business partners to find out the information they seek.
However, it’s simply not enough to have just a website. Your business website needs to be professional otherwise you won’t be taken seriously. Customers usually search online prior to making a purchase, so it’s essential that your website gives a credible impression. A website should be an important part of your business and you should treat it as one.
Many people believe that it costs big money to create a credible website, but there are plenty of excellent websites that have been produced at a reasonable price (without knowing somebody who knows someone). You can do some digging around online to find an affordable design agency, or try your hand at building a website by customizing an online blogging platform with a paid domain. Nonetheless, it’s true that the more pages your website has and the more you update with unique content, the greater the investment.
A website which boasts boring, bland and outdated content with a blog that doesn’t get updated is almost as worse than having no website at all. With blogging platforms such as Tumblr, Blogspot and WordPress, updating your website with a new blog post has never been as easy. And, you certainly don’t need an extra pair of hands as you can simply update your website when you have a spare hour. Share content on your latest works, industry changes and other related issues.
If this is your attitude to your business, then you’re heading into an early retirement.
SEO is basically the practice of optimizing your website content with words and phrases for search engine purposes. Basically, what will your customers be searching on Google or Yahoo! to find your website? If you optimize your website efficiently, you will be higher on the search engine results. Basic SEO can be learnt and put into practice by the least technical of people.
Dawn writes for alldayPA, a telephone answering service offering businesses a bespoke call handling service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Just having a website is no longer the end of the road. Frankly, there is no end of the road when it comes to properly built websites because building a well converting website is a journey not a process. Increasing your flow of leads on your website is a process that requires constant testing and tweaking. Folks, it is a craft to build a website that converts well. Just having an “awesome” product or solution is not enough anymore. Your website should always be leading your traffic down a particular path. Whether it is a phone call, a lead submission or a purchase you must make it as easy as possible for that action to occur.
There is no doubt about it, website marketing is absolutely crucial when it comes to any sort of success online these days. Facebook type growth only comes around once every generation or so. These days, strategic marketing for a website is just as important as having a professionally designed website. With that marketing comes the need to measure how your marketing works which is going to be important if you want to understand just how well your efforts are being executed. I have seen people spin their wheels until they were blue in the face and still not a single positive result occurred from their actions. It is always important to understand what is working and what should be kicked to the curb.
Keep in mind that success online must align with your business goals. For some companies it is just branding, for others it might be rankings and for some they just want the phone to ring a bit more. Everyone has different goals and your website marketing efforts should always align with those goals.
Here are some ways you can measure your website marketing effectiveness:
There is this great little program (sarcastic voice) called Google Analytics that can show you all your website traffic for free! If your website marketing effectiveness is heading in the right direction Google Analytics will show you. It identifies all your traffic, where it is coming from, what type of browser people are using and what geographic location most of your traffic is coming from. A wonderful tool that can give you an enormous amount of insight.
Google Analytics Screenshot
If your marketing efforts are directly executed with a rankings goal in mind there are ways to measure those rankings properly. Keep in mind that Google hates rankings driven marketing efforts because they take it as a direct manipulation of the search results. With that said there are numerous ways to still take a quality approach to increase your rankings utilizing good, solid marketing & branding efforts. There are even different software solutions that can help you identify where your rankings sit and how they move each month.
Here are a few:
Industry influence is something that is very important when it comes to website marketing effectiveness. How do people perceive your voice? Do they listen when you speak? These are important questions to ask yourself when marketing your website online. When you are marketing a website your voice is all you have. That voice either has weight or it doesn’t. One way to build up that weight is through content marketing, social media and having an active blog. Online influence is not something that occurs overnight but there are ways to measure that voice.
Here are a few ways to measure your online influence:
Writing press releases is very important to marketing and branding your business, writing optimized press releases is even better. Personally we really enjoy using PRWeb for PR distribution. PRWeb recently put together this infographic showcasing why it is important to have an optimized press release. I think the numbers speak for themselves.
When it comes to website performance user experience is extremely valuable. Google Custom Search gives the ability for website visitors to conduct search queries directly through your website.
Google offers two different options:
You heard it folks, now you can get a penalty for over SEO optimization which can be a big problem. Google has been trying for years to get website owners to take the right approach when it comes to search engine optimization. They recently announced that over optimization could generate a penalty so you have to really make sure you are conducting the safest SEO tactics possible.
Here is a nice infographic from the folks at SEO Peace that go over the right tactics to help you keep your SEO in the safe zone.
Yes! Well, you should at least get it onto your website at the very minimum. Google Webmaster Tools gives website owners valuable insight as to how their website is interacting with the web and overall health of a website.
Google wants the community to really understand the technical behavior of their websites so they can properly market them and drive valuable targeted traffic. Not that long ago Google launched Webmaster Academy where website owners can learn even more about the interaction of their website and the technology of Google.
Here are some important reasons why you might want to use Google Webmaster Tools:
Your website or blog does not serve any purpose if the major search engines are not able to find it. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a method by which you can make your blog as well as your website search engine-friendly. You can learn SEO techniques easily by doing a research on the internet.
Listed below are 5 effective online resources that will teach you various SEO techniques:
Online tutorials that teach SEO techniques are a great way to start. Most of these tutorials are available free of cost and are written in a lucid manner. For a beginner, these tutorials are very helpful because some of these tutorials provide detailed steps on how you should apply SEO techniques to your website or blog. You can even download the tutorials on your PC or your e-reader and read them at your convenience.
SEO is a very common topic in the virtual world. Hence, you will get a host of e-books written on this subject. You will find both free and paid e-books dedicated on SEO techniques. If you wish to spend some money on real books on the topic of SEO then you can buy many of them from any of the online shopping portals.
Look for blogs, which have content on SEO techniques. Type in the keyword like seo techniques tutorials in the search engine and you will get a list of blogs. In fact, it is very useful to choose the blogs that have appeared on the first page of the search list generated by the search engine. It shows that the writer of the blog does have proficiency in the SEO techniques and that is why, his or her blog has received a higher ranking.
The internet has many article directories that offer a pool of knowledge pertaining to any topic under the sun. These directories are accessible free of cost and provide a number of articles on SEO techniques. Hence, a good place to start learning SEO techniques is these article directories and you will get important tips on how you can optimize your website or blog in an effective way and get huge traffic.
Forums are live discussion portals, which come very handy when you are learning anything new. These forums are visited by experts and they use their knowledge to help the members of the forums.
You can start threads when you want questions or doubts regarding SEO techniques answered. In forums, whenever a person has a question, he or she starts a thread by asking the question. You too can join a forum and can start a thread. Soon, you will get responses for your query.
The web offers a huge reservoir of knowledge, which you can access and utilize for optimizing your website or blog. Use the above-mentioned resources to get started on learning SEO techniques. Soon, you will gain expertise in optimizing your blog or site and make these a favorite of the major search engines.
About the author: Claudia is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on luxury and technology. She recently read an article blog posts on that attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on social media devices.
Many times SEO is not to blame when it comes to a website not running at 100% efficiency. You have to understand that search engine optimization is a process that requires many other areas to be finely tuned in order to work properly. If those areas I am referring to are not running at 100% than your SEO will never work how it is supposed to. Remember that SEO is about delivering inbound traffic to your site, once that traffic is there it is up to your brand, website layout and product to convert that visitor into some sort of action the aims at generating revenue for your company.
Here are 10 reasons why it could be everything but your SEO which is prohibiting your website to convert traffic how it should:
If your website is built a bit sloppy with no little to no flow you will have a difficult time converting anything. Your web audience has to be able to flow properly through your website otherwise they are going to bounce and move on to your competitor.
Your content is your virtual sales man, if it is written poorly with no flow people are going to split. Your copy has to be able to communicate exactly what your sales person would if they were speaking with a potential client.
Design is very subjective but up to date web design is crucial for branding and trust building. In the digital space people do judge a book by its cover so make sure your design up to par with what it going on in the industry.
Broken links, pages not found and forms that don’t work will not help you grow. Make sure your site isn’t all botched up. When your web traffic clicks on links that lead to nowhere it certainly does not build up trust and confidence in your brand.
You have to keep things fresh on your site. Try changing and adding items once in a while so things are not stagnant. A blog is a nice way to keep new fresh content making its way in front of your audience consistently.
What you think is SEO and what we think is SEO could be vastly different. Make sure what you are doing is actually what needs to be done in order to get the job done. SEO/SEM is not once it once was years ago so don’t think your efforts from 2001 are going to work today.
Everything around you online is competition. That random web page sitting near you, the PPC ads above and to the right, everything you see is an obstacle and all obstacles should be viewed as competition. The reality is that the search engines are inundated with massive amounts of material every single day and you have to be willing to admit that to yourself.
Social media is not going anywhere. Social media has changed the way everyone does almost everything on a daily basis. If you can’t include this into your marketing strategy you will fail over time.
If you can’t properly lead your visitor down the right path you can’t expect to see the right conversions. Website conversion metrics are probably the most important part of building a new site for your company.
Building trust is one of the most important things in today’s digital landscape. People do not just submit their information to any old web page they bump into any longer. If you want their info or the credit card information you have to instill confidence in your audience.
Do you sometimes feel that you are trying to do everything you can with your own SEO efforts and you just can’t seem to get anywhere in the process? You put a nice solid search engine optimization strategy together for yourself and you follow it very closely but yet you still feel like your search engine optimization efforts are just not moving like you would like them to.
Whatever you do don’t start to scramble around and do high volumes of untargeted SEO efforts and stray vastly away from your quality SEO thinking it will help you, it won’t. This happens to many people who try to do their own search engine marketing and if your knowledge on this industry is not as vast as other professionals you could drive yourself crazy.
If your SEO circuits have gotten scrambled for one reason or another here are some things you should think about:
Do you know everything there is to know about SEO? Are you running at 100% industry knowledge with your campaign? You can never know everything. Sign up to many different high powered industry leading source newsletters and start educating yourself on the SEO industry and also your own on a daily basis. You could potentially find something new that you could be applying to your search engine marketing efforts for your own business that you are unaware of.
Here are some great resources for you to learn everything there is to know:
Don’t panic, search engine optimization takes a very long time to really start working so depending on when you started and how fierce your industry is no matter how much you kick things up you are going to get the same response for the most part. Follow your strategy and sprinkle in some new stuff here and there along the way. Things take time to really start moving around so it will take a little while before you see real nice results. Focus your efforts like social media marketing while you give your SEO time to grow.
Are you outsourcing your writing and paying a buck for PR or an article? Chances are the quality is close to poor if you are. SEO is not about quantity any longer. There is a very large quality ingredient that is becoming much more important as time goes on. The days of hammering away a thousand articles is over. Who do you see more and more in the first few pages of search results? I don’t know about you but I am starting to see more industry leading sources than landing pages that have been over “scienced” to appear in search results. When it comes to SEO/SEM if it is too good to be true chances are it is.
The industry is evolving and it changes almost every day. Things take longer and require much more quality than ever before. The days of quantity in SEO are slowly coming to an end so it is even more important to really start thinking about what you put out there for the search engines to find. Take your time and do it right on the first attempt.