Every month I get calls from SME's looking to improve their web presence. A typical call would start off like this, “I have a website [probably built on WordPress] and I'm having having trouble updating it, is this something that you can help you with?”. These types of call are usually from people who are a little bit disgruntled by the fact that they have to pay their web developers to make minor changes or have possibly forgotten how to update their sites themselves.
When you dig a little deeper you find this is not the only issue that they are having. And, more often than not, and after asking a couple questions, you can find out that there are probably a whole raft of tools they could be using and techniques they could be employing to improve their website presence.
So, here are a list of simple tools and techniques that SME's can be employing to maximise their web presence.
1. Website page titles and meta descriptions.
Page titles can be seen in the search results when you do a Google search and the in the tab of your browser:
They are often generated from page/post headlines (especially if you're using WordPress) but can be changed to be more focused for your target audience. Try to make sure the focused keywords for that page appear here. If you want advice on keywords, try Ubersuggest or Google's Keyword Planner. Meta descriptions (which often but not always) appear under the page title can give the searcher more detail about the link they are about to click. It is hard work but it is worth working on Page Titles and Meta Descriptions on your key pages.
2. Website content basics
- Think CRABS! Back in 2005 a couple of years after I first started out in digital marketing I remember teaching CIM students the acronym CRABS which I believe had first been created by Chaffey and Smith. It stands for: Chunking, Relevancy, Accuracy, Brevity and Scannability and is ideal when thinking about writing web copy. You can also consider using <H1>, <H2>, <H3> headings to break up content, along with bolding up text.
- Internal links. People love links. It reassures them and helps them. Bryan Eisenberg had this to say about pages: “pages should link together, in a step-by-step fashion, to guide visitors through the process of buying from you. Lead them through, one page at a time, and constantly anticipate their every move.” Don't forget that if you're writing blog articles, Related Producs/Services or Related Posts are a good idea (see below!).
- Calls to action - have you got them in the most appropriate places? And have you carefully considered what you would like your customers to do? Examples include:
- Get in touch
- Sign up
- Book now
- Register interest
- Structure - is your website structured in the ‘right’ way? Check out this visual from Dave Chaffey:
- What’s your physical evidence? Here’s one from the 7 P’s of the marketing mix. Physical evidence relates to you prove your credibility on the web - it can include case studies, reviews, testimonials, awards. You can even think of team bios/photos, evidence of a physical location/address and local phone number.
3. Google Analytics 1
Google Analytics is Google’s powerful, free measurement tool. Once you have put Analytics code on your website, Google will start reporting activity to and on your website. The key reporting areas are: Audience, Acquisition, Behaviour and Conversion. In shor,t this tells us where visitors come from what you looking at any website and whether they have succeeded in achieving goals (see next point).
4. Google Analytics 2
Once you install Google Analytics it is critical that you find out whether visitors are doing what you expect them to do. This could include buying from you, getting in touch with you, watching a video or even subscribing to an e-mail newsletter. Basically, you need to sort out your conversions. Here's a neat video from Google which explains a little more about goals.
5. Google Search Console
Having added Google Analytics you can now turn your attention to adding Google Search Console. The process is simple - once logged into Google analytics, navigate over to Search Console (Google it and log in) and add your website URL into the dashboard. Having verified the website, you can now make use of this tool. Not only does Search Console let you view Google search queries (even integrating into Analytics) but it also shows search position and impressions. It lets you highlight information such as events and check broken site links, amongst other things.
6. Google My Business
Whether your business is local, national or global you should be using Google My Business to add information regarding your company. More often than not when you type in the name of a company, you will find on the right-hand side of your desktop page information regarding that company - address, telephone number, opening times, photos, reviews and even social media accounts. Sometimes this information will appear when searchers type in a ‘local’ keyword search, such as “CIM courses Cardiff”. Google My Business also lets you create updates, flag up products and even add events (it all appears in this panel).
7. Ratchet up your use of Linkedin
LinkedIn is seen as the professional networking site. There are three key strands to it: your personal profile, company pages and groups. For recruiters, paid advertising means that you can get your job adverts in front of exactly the right people. People use LinkedIn a LOT and this affords you the chance to get your thoughts in front of them throughout the day. You could say that Linkedin may be one of the Social Networks which employers are cool about you using throughout the day.
LinkedIn, and more importantly its users, has changed over the past year or so. People are now more likely to use it as a social media stream, in much the same way they would use Twitter or Facebook. So, why not create updates which feature product images, staff images, testimonials, quotes, and much more? And, lets not forget that ‘native videos’ (posted directly to LinkedIn garner 10 TIMES more shares than YouTube videos!
8. Fire up your Facebook page
Are you, your family or your friends on Facebook? Yes? Well, so are businesses and this is a great medium for ‘interrupting’ the conversations you are having about the rugby last week or those cat videos you love to share! Facebook Pages falls ‘broadly’ into 2 main areas: organic and paid posts/adverts. On the organic side it offers straightforward updates - text, images and video which let you teach customers and potential customers about your company and brand. The more relevant the posts, the more engagement and the more engagement, the more visibility.
On the paid side, you can can access one of the most powerful targeting platforms on the web to target ads to specific audiences. And with the use of the Facebook Pixel, people who visit your website can now have your ads appearing within their timeline. Just like Lilienthal Watches:
9. Get Tweeting
Twitter has been around for over 13 years and is still being widely used by companies. There are so many ways that this tool can be used by businesses, including PR, selling, raising awareness and customer. Instead of listing how you can improve your Twitter presence, I thought it might be useful to point you to an article I wrote previously - 30 tips on how to improve your Twitter performance.
As you can see there are quite a few techniques that you can be using to improve your web presence. I wish you all the best!
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