I recently wrote a small piece for the local Chamber of Commerce that’s worth publishing here. Some basics to ensure your website is working for you.
Times are hard at the moment for many sectors, however there are still many opportunities to do good business. Some businesses are drawing right back on their marketing spend. In my opinion this is a serious mistake. You do not sell more by telling fewer people about what you do and what you sell. Being judicious with your marketing spend makes complete sense. You should demand that every penny be accountable and deliver a return on investment. There is no more accountable form of marketing than online. A well managed website should enable you to understand who is coming to your website; how they are finding it; what they are doing there and most importantly, how much it costs you to get them to do what you want them to do. This might be to purchase a product or fill in an enquiry form or even make a phone call. As a starter, we have put together 10 simple pointers to ensure your website is managed well and will start delivering an improved ROI despite the credit crunch.
If you are intending to get a new website or your first website, research it, plan it and write it down. Deliver your chosen website developers with a written brief and work with them to develop something truly appropriate and suitable to you. You’d be surprised how often we meet business who have spent thousands based on a verbal brief and not got quite what they expected. Writing a website brief
Ensure that your website is W3C compliant. The W3C define standards for the coding behind websites. If a website is standards compliant, it means that search engines stand a very good chance of finding and understanding all of the valuable content on your website. There are tools online you can use to test your standards compliance
Ensure that your website is accessible to people who are blind, partially sighted or disabled in any way. You have a responsibility to make sure your website is reasonably accessible to all parties. You risk prosecution otherwise. Happily, an accessible website is one that usually works well in search engines
Make sure that you have some form of analytics properly installed on your website. Measurement is essential. Google Analytics is free to use and is sufficient for the vast majority of businesses
Make someone senior responsible for the website. All too often the website isn’t an “owned asset”. And make sure that this person has time to work with the website and understands that their work is valuable, perhaps critical.
Understand the keywords and phrases that people use to find products and services like yours. There are many more relevant terms than you think. You can research search terms people are actually using
Make sure each and every page on your website is optimized for perhaps keywords or phrases that are relevant to that page. This is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Wherever you can, ask relevant businesses to link from their website to your website. Suppliers and customers are ideal as they are likely to be thematically relevant to what you do. Don’t get links from or to anyone who you would not be comfortable being associated with in real life. Search Engines like links from other websites. They are like votes of popularity.
Add content to your website regularly. People like it. It gives them a reason to keep visiting your website without getting bored. Search Engines think in a similar way. One way to achieve this is to add a blog to your site. This is a very simple tool that just about anyone can use to publish content to the internet.
Don’t be bamboozled by sharp sales people who offer you 5 page 1 Google rankings, guaranteed. There are no guarantees in search. Search Engines can change how they work at any time. Rankings are merely a tool. It is no use ranking well for a search term if no one uses that search term and you do not generate any business from it. It is conversion into business that generates an ROI.
Finally, if you’re serious about wanting to make sure your website is working for you, PushON will happily provide you with a free website MOT that will give you a simple overview of how well your website is working for you
If there’s anything else you think should be added, then please comment below.