Ok, so you have had a small business website nicely designed for you. You’ve paid the web designer and now you’re waiting for the traffic to come knocking on your website ‘door’ and increased business as a result.
Unfortunately having a website built for your business is just the first step. A lot of work is needed to get it out there and make sure people notice.
Here 5 fundamental onsite (meaning what you can do with your actual website) marketing optimization techniques. Quite simply, by following these steps your small business website will perform that much better.
1. Create lots of good, quality relevant content
There is certainly truth in the mantra. If you want your business website to do well with the search engines, you have got to make sure the content is of good quality and is relevant.
The more of this glorious well written content you have on your website the more the search engines can scan and therefore index you for the type of search terms you are targeting.
Which leads to the importance of Keyword research. Gone are the days where you can stuff your site with keywords you would like to be ranked for.
Now careful research is the order of the day. Using the Google Keyword Planner, you can find out the sorts of words your potential clients are keying in to Google to find what they need.
Then you write content that uses these keywords (in a natural and readable context), so that Google will rank you higher when those terms are searched.
The important thing here is remember to write for your audience, not the search engines. Keep in your mind why would people come to your web site? How do you offer them anything more interesting and informative than another competing website in your field.
If you stand out by giving something original and worthwhile, both your audience and Google will appreciate you.
Try to set aside an hour a day (or at least an hour a week) to adding new, quality content to your web site.
2. Keep your content Fresh
So you’ve built up a load of content for your small business website and feel you can relax for a bit. Not so I am afraid. If you allow your content to become stale and old it will lose relevance. Google actually tracks how often a website is being updated when it visits the site for indexing.
The more often your site changes the better your rank will be in the freshness category.
The best way your website can be designed to allow for all the fresh new content you are writing from step one, is to include a blog. Platforms such as WordPress are built in a way that Google loves. If you add fresh content through your blog, with good navigation through the use of tabs and categories, (this basically means your content is ordered in a way that makes it easy for a visitor to find what they want), your site will perform well.
And once again your website visitor is happy.
3. No ‘Black Hat’ SEO Tricks
All over the internet you will find deals for 1000 quality back-links, or SEO tricks for success. All with the aim of fooling the system so you can reach higher position in Google. Any tactic of this nature is considered ‘Black Hat’.
These techniques did work once upon a time, but with Google’s continuing algorithm updates, (the now infamous Panda and Penguin), your small business website will quickly be penalized if you have used such tactics.
The simple solution to this is to not play that game. These days the effort involved pursuing black hat principles in a way that doesn’t get you punished by the search engines, is so difficult, you may as well expend that energy doing it the correct way. (Also known as ‘White Hat’)
By following the recommendations of the search engines – (most will set out rules for web masters that outline what they would like to see in a website ) and articles such as this, your website will perform all the better. More importantly, it will continue to do so even after the most recent Google algorithm change.
4. Links – Both inbound and outbound links should be relevant
In short, you need other websites in your niche (with as high a page rank as possible) to be connecting to you. The anchor text, (the text used to link back to your website) is important in that it needs to be descriptive of the keywords you are attempting to rank for.
If you are going about link building yourself, target blogs and forums in your niche. Leave valuable comments with a link back to your site and not only will you be spreading the word of your business, you will be showing potential clients your knowledge and ability to help.
Links to this very website are placed within small business website forums through out the web. I have left what I thought to be helpful advice and I have generated leads from this.
5. Structure – Organize your small business web site so people can find that lovely content
It is amazing how often people forget this and opt for sloppy navigation with their website, with dead links and hard to find information tucked away in the far reaches of the site.
The search engines bots work by breaking down websites into elements based on the structure of the pages. If your structure is coherent, the bots will like you and you will be graded higher in this part of the ranking algorithm.
Your audience works on reaching your site by wanting specific information. If they can get that quickly and efficiently, (people rarely read through web pages, they scan headings and bulleted lists to find the detailed sections of interest) they will like you and maybe come back for more.
In both cases a well structured small business website will perform so much better than one that is a hodge-podge of information haphazardly thrown together.
Use relevant headings, and tags. Organise sections of content into groups, or create link pages that cater for a particular topic and pulls together all your content in that area. Make sure your menus and sub menus are clear. Use bold and bullied lists to present key points. And get rid of any dead links.
Simple site TLC and some thoughtful reformatting can turn your small business website into a worthwhile hub, engaging your audience and more importantly converting those leads.
In later tutorials I will be going through each of the steps in more detail.
If you feel that your website is lacking in any of the areas above, or you would just like an appraisal of your sites performance, please feel free to contact me.
I offer absolutely free, no obligation consultations, and web design health checks.