How to improve your website and reduce the need for google ads & social ads
Google ads and social ads are great but the average small businesses often does not have a large ad budget. As a result small businesses should only be using ads for short-term sales boosts such a new products/services, seasonal promotions, etc.
For the medium/longer term small businesses should focus on improving the basics of their website to get found on google and realise an increase in sales from their website.
Listed below are 12 SEO suggestions to improve your website. They are all free and if implemented they will result in an increase in website sales within 3-9months, if not sooner.
Even if an SEO/website person is paid to do these suggestions, it will end up cheaper than running monthly google/social ads campaigns.
1. Website for the visitor
Write website copy with the site visitor in mind – commonly called a customer persona. This means using the same words that a site visitor will use to search for your products/services, and using the similar kind of language that they will understand, avoiding any unnecessary technical terminology.
2. Review how the pages show in google searches
Type the url into Google without the “www.” and the “.com” parts (ie websitename instead of www.websitename.com), and see what google shows for each page. If the text is not about the page topic (eg a product or service) then the page will not be found when people search for that particlular product/service. Change this text to make sure that is relevant for the topic of each page by adding a relevant description and using the core keyword in both the description and title.
3. Works on Mobile
More than 50% of users use their phones for searching so having the website look good on mobile devices is important.
4. Fast Site Loading
Simple things like like using small images will help websites load faster. Also, older websites can load slower as they were not developed using the current versions of the platform, so any websites older than 5 years should be updated.
Check this out!
Note: you might find that these tools give you an SEO score of 100/100 – these tools only assess what’s there, they do not take into account what’s missing such as those in this list.
5. Top of the page header text
Have some simple header-text on the top of each page that describes what each page is about – you would be surprised how many sites are out there where visitors have to spend ages working out what the business does or offers! If site visitors have to spend more than a few seconds working out what products/services the website offers then they will hit their browser’s back button to Google to try another page.
6. Good Design
An ugly design can kill your websites chance of any sales or conversions. According to a report by Stanford University people largely judge your site based on design first… and content second.
7. Relevant website content
Make sure website content is relevant to the products/ services being offered. If you sell chocolate bars then your home page should be about the range of chocolate bars sold and what makes you different from the hundreds of other chocolare-bar-sellers out there.
8. Good page length
Make sure website pages have more than 50 words! We recommended to have 300-500 words per page but this depends on the page, for example you will not be able to get that many words on your contact page.
9. Plenty of CTA’s
These are Click To Action buttons that you want your website visitor to perform, for example:
- Contact Me – complete a contact form
- Buy Now – select the product and start the purchase process
- Book Now – go to a calendar to make an appointment or book a product/ service.
Make sure that you have plenty of them around the pages in relevant positions, if visitors have to scroll around to find it then they will probably leave without doing anything!
10. Google My Business
Google My Business is a free tool that helps small businesses manage their online presence and can have a big impact on how they show up in search results, including Google Maps. In fact it is considered one of the most effective tools for boosting a company’s local search engine optimization (SEO) and online exposure.
Is it really important to show up for local searches?
Yes and its because of these types of purchasing patterns:
- 78% of local-based searches on a mobile device end in purchases being made offline. (Neustar)
- 76% of people end up visiting a business within one day of searching for something nearby. (Google)
- 71% of people search for a business in order to confirm its location before going there for a first-time visit. (Search Engine Land)
Bearing in mind that we have already mentioned that more than 50-70% of users search for products/ services with their phones, the above purchasing patterns indicate that local search can be very significant to the success of your business.
What should you do?
One of the first actions is to claim your Google My Business page to get your company free exposure on Google’s search engine. Potential clients can then easily see your company’s detailed information, find images of your business, check online reviews, finalize a transaction (such as making a reservation), and find other information that catches the visitor’s attention — all without ever accessing your website.
We have helped many clients claim and setup their Google My Business page, if you want some advice or help then please reach out to us.
11. Get Active with Blogging
Blogging is the process of creating articles, photos, and other forms of content and publishing them on a website.
Although it can take some time to bring positive results such. additional sales it is one of the most effective means to increase traffic to your website and improve your rankings in Google search.
You only need to do 1 blog per month but more is better, especially in the beginning. However one of the biggest problems with blogging is always needing fresh and unique ideas relevant to your target audience. You can start with the common questions that your customers/ prospects regularly ask you, and then move on to other company- and product-specific issues. For example, I’ve always wandered how a chocolate factory makes sure that their chocolate bars are hygenic for eating, perfect opportunity for a video blog!
12. Link your website to Google Analytics
Accorging to Google, Google Analytics gives you the tools, free of charge, to understand the customer journey and improve marketing ROI.
Linking your website to Google Analytics allows you to collect data from your website visitors so that you can assess things like:
- where your visitors are coming from (social media, organic searches, ads, etc)
- the bounce rate of your site (Bounce Rate is defined as the percentage of visitors that leave a webpage without taking an action, such as clicking on a link, filling out a form, making a purchase, etc) – if you have a high bounce rate then you need to find out why
- how many peiple are taking the desired action (sending you a contact form, buying a product, booking a course, etc)
Add a CTA link to your website to every social media post so you can work out how effective your social media is being in getting new business.