Are you playing website hide and seek?
OK so you have a website.Maybe you had it designed fairly recently or maybe you have had it for a while. Either way you want to be seen. NOW! So why is it that every time you speak with your clients or colleagues they can never find your website online? Hide and seek is only fun when both parties actually want to play...
I once heard an analogy that is fitting for this article:
Having an awesome website is like having the best shop window display around. When people pass this shop they can't help but go inside to check out what is on offer. But without any pathways leading to your shop you might as well build it in the middle of a ploughed field. You need roads and paths leading to your shop. Some signs would also help as well as some advertising. Don't build the best shop in the world in the middle of nowhere.
A good looking website is the tip of the iceberg. What goes on behind the scenes is what counts to a large degree in helping to source traffic (customers).
On Page SEO (search engine optimisation) is a way of making sure the pages of your website can be seen in the right places. Behind the pages they should be labelled with relevant text to help viewers find you. The content on the page should also be engaging and relevant too. You should make sure your pages are laid out correctly and aesthetically and there is plenty of good research material online to help with this process if this is a project that you have time in which to investigate.
Your website should also have a sitemap. This can be likened to an index and chapter list of a book. It makes your website more easy to navigate for all those enquiring, searching minds out there. It also helps when search engines like Google try to find stuff out about your website too.
From page titles to image labelling, meta tags in the header, data capture points and more, you can see why a website is a time expensive project (from set up to maintenance).
Then of course once your website is done you need to start building pathways to it from other locations too. This is 'off page SEO'. Think of 'On Page SEO' as PULLING traffic towards your website and 'Off Page SEO' as PUSHING traffic towards it.
Off page SEO could be building social media pages that are linked to your website. Links need to be from reputable sources to earn brownie points for your website. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest and many, many more are out there to be used. Each have their own way of reaching out to customers and each will often have a way to offer paid advertising methods too which can be cost effective (that's another article though). Social media pages for your business can be great way to engage with your customers and help to be seen in a competitive market.
You might also want to consider other reputable links to directories, local council websites, newspaper websites, niche sites and more.
I think of this as a spiders web where your website is the spider sitting in the middle and the web is all of those sites sitting around you which all lead towards you and are all linked to each other in some way. You can see how roads can start to increase around your website using the above methods.
BE WARNED THOUGH!
Whatever you set up you need to maintain. You can't just set up a Facebook page and then leave it stagnating for months on end assuming it is doing something. It won't. You would need to update it a couple of time per week and work to grow your 'likes' (audience) whilst engaging and interacting with them.
The more you have the more you need to maintain so make sure you get in control of one project before you start another!
I will cover paid advertising in another article.
Having a solid presence online is invaluable for business now. It really can be the making or breaking of a business. In our experience the main reason for SMEs falling behind online is not a budget issue but rather a TIME issue. Many hours can be spent correctly promoting a business online. Indeed it is a full time job in many cases and you can choose to pay a marketing manager thousands and thousands of pounds per year to manage this (as well as stumping up further funds for ad budgets) or you could give us a call at Full Circle Website Design, based in St Neots to handle it for you at a fraction of this cost.
We can build your website, your other pages, link them, update them and manage them. Total control for you in one place with one contact to really get to know your business.
Contact us to find out more on firstname.lastname@example.org or call our project manager on 07825559642