Website Spring Clean



Website spring clean


Ok it may not actually be Spring, far from it! But now is always a great time to Spring Clean your website regardless of the weather.


There are lots of little things you can do to blow away the cobwebs. Where to start can be a problem. We’ve made it easy, here is a checklist to make sure you touch on all the important things.


*  Your home page is the most important page when it comes to telling the Google search engine what you do. It is also the page most likely to show up first in the search engines. You may not have time to go through the Meta Titles for your whole site, but at least go and take a look at your homepage Meta Title. Make sure it has the important search phrases towards the front, is unique, is close to 70 characters.


*  Next look at your homepage Meta Description. Remember this shows up as the summary on the Google search page, so write it as if you are directly making an offer to a client. Mention your location, your service or products, and how you would love to help them find what they need.


*  Check the headings on your homepage in particular. Are your search phrases appearing in headings across your site?


*  Take a look at your homepage and make sure there is a clear call to action. Do you tell the visitor how to learn more (draw them into the site) or how to contact you?


*  Glance over contact pages and staff profiles. Remove anyone that has left, including their email address if it appears anywhere. If you have time, add the new people.


*  If you make use of galleries, upload a few new images. If you can, add a whole new exciting gallery on a new product or category.


*  Add a few new images across the site. Some cool stock images or something snapped on your iPhone, either way new images freshen things up. Don’t forget to complete the Alt Text field for Google image searches!


*  This list wouldn’t be complete without reinforcing how important it is to be adding new content on a regular basis for Google to stay interested and keep ranking you nice and high. After all content is king.






Stuck creating content?



Stuck creating content


Maybe now it is time to create some new solid content. If you are stuck, all is not lost. Here is a process to help demystify the task. Either way don’t wait, after all content is king.


So how do we begin to create content from a blank page? This is my simple approach!


Absolutely first of all, have in mind your key 3-4 key search phrases that you want to use to optimise your overall site. If you have these in mind or written down, they will naturally appear in your content and this is what Google wants to see.


1 Plan the content you are going to make. I find it difficult to pull content from thin air. But if I plan what I’m going to say on 4-5 pages, I know what I need to generate.


2 Ask yourself a question. Let’s say you have planned pages called About Us and Services. Start by asking yourself a question as if a client has rung you on the phone. Questions such as ‘how do you guys operate and what territory do your team cover?’, ‘What services do you provide and what size businesses do you generally work with?’.


3 Once you have asked these normal everyday questions, simply answer them! You could answer these naturally if someone were to phone you, so write that answer down. Turn the questions into sub headings – ‘Territory we cover’. Writing in your own personal manner can be really appropriate for content on websites for small and medium size businesses. This depends on a little on your industry. Mostly we don’t all have to write content trying to sound like some high flying marketing corporation. At the end of the day, it’s about good, useful information for your clients. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind while creating content.


*  Write for the customer personally

*  Keep paragraphs short, 3-4 lines

*  Use Sub Headings

*  Write short sentences

*  Keep your keywords and search phrases in mind

*  Add little bits of content regularly over time and Google will love you!





What is sticky website content?


Sticky Content


Wikipedia sums it up nicely “Sticky content refers to content published on a website, which has the purpose of getting a user to return to that particular website or hold their attention and get them to spend longer periods of time at that site.”


It depends how your website is positioned. You may just want people to find your site, and ring you. You may just want people to check out your website for credibility in support of other marketing material.


If however you want people returning to your website on a regular basis, you need to think of what will make them return.


It might be that providing an eCatalogue (products and categories online, without the shopping cart and purchase facility) will bring clients back to the site regularly to check out product offerings or specifications.


Instructional videos, even 30 second home made ones, can be a resource clients return for.


If you are a service based industry, regularly update your portfolio or case studies.


News. Treat your website as your press release room. If there is something different of interest featured on the home page each time clients visit, it creates anticipation and expectation.


Think about what makes you go back to certain websites. Think about what would bring you back to your website.



What is a ‘call to action’?


What is a call to action?When a web page text link or image link or just content invites you to take some action, this is a call to action.


The call to action depends on what you are trying to achieve. Some calls to action are designed to get you deeper into the website, to learn more about the product or service, and then once you have more information to make contact through phone or the contact form online. Some may be as simple and bold as telling visitors to call you now. Your call to action will be specific to what you want to achieve.


For example as text link might say “For more information about our custom solutions click here >>”. This link is inviting the website visitor to click and go further into the website to learn more.


Call to action


This is an image from our website at the bottom of a paragraph of text inviting visitors to go and take a look at how easy our content management system is to use. On our website this image is a link. Click on the image and it takes you to the page.


“FREE QUOTE – CALL US NOW ON 0800 888 8888!”. Just plain content can be a call to action! If visitors know they need an emergency plumber, they just want to contact you fast from the home page.


Calls to action are not limited to the homepage of your website. If you have directed visitors to look deeper into the website, you may place on internal pages a call to action prompting them to contact you using the online contact form, or to make a booking enquiry, or simply to phone you.


Calls to action can be overdone, so keep it simple and keep it clear.



How to find out what your customers search for


How to find out what your customers search forWe are all wanting that elusive balance that produces quality traffic to your website – from your target market.


We know broad search phrases can deliver large amounts of traffic, but a big percentage of that traffic is irrelevant to your cause. We also know optimising for longer search phrases narrows your traffic to a much more targeted group of searchers, much more likely to be your target. But how do you find out what you should be optimising for to reach your intended customers? You have two options.


1) Educated guess. That’s not a joke. You may be really in touch with your customers, and be really aware of how they describe you, and what they are likely to be searching for.


2) Ask them. Choose a good select group of trusted customers, and send them an email saying the following – “What would you type in Google, to search for a business with services like ours?”. An associate of mine who is a Computer IT Consultant was devastated to discover four out of five customers he asked, would search for him as a “computer technician”! If I were him, I’d bury my pride and start optimising my website with this jewel of information.


3) Use an expert. The inputs are key to optimising anything from your website or Youtube channel or Social Media, up to and including your conventional marketing channels too. Some well done market research from someone independant to your business could be money really well spent.