Being found online involves more than simply having a website.
And being found is only one step towards a meaningful online profile.
What happens after people find you?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of configuring your site so that it ranks well in certain keyword phrase searches and so features on search engine results pages – preferably in the first 10 results!
Typically, 90% of your traffic will come from search engines.
This is quite a challenge in itself. Once a visitor lands on your site, the next challenge begins. Engaging your audience is key to keeping them on your site and having them click through to your next goal.
Having a website is not enough. Being found, giving people a reason to stay on your site and come back later – as well as tell other people about it – is the aim.
While every website is unique, here are some steps towards building an effective online presence for your business.
Content remains a key factor; original, compelling text, well written (grammatically correct & free of mistakes) and suited to the web.
People tend to scan web pages rather than read them word for word so good web copy tends to be short and concise.
Appeal to your target audience, give them valuable information and offer compelling reasons to buy your products or follow through on your calls to action.
The web is all about fresh and up to date. New content gives people a reason to come back to your site.
If possible, add content to your site on a regular basis. Whether it is news items, articles, product information or images, search engines love fresh content because people do.
The overall look of your site creates an immediate impression. Design trends are constantly changing, but visual impact and usability should drive your design decisions.
Is it user friendly? Does it work well across a range of devices? Does the look suit the purpose?
Behind the pages of your site lies the technomagical world of code. For your site to operate effectively and securely on the web, up-to-date, clean, compliant code is a must.
Two websites that look the same may have vastly different code bases. While visually similar, their destiny is influenced by the quality of the code from which they are forged.
Milliseconds count online. The time it takes for the pages on your site to load affects your ranking on Google Search. In their own words, “Faster sites create happy users”.
A study by Amazon showed that for every 100 milliseconds of page load delay, they were losing 1% of sales. Serious stuff.
The longer people have to wait, the more likely it is they’ll abandon your site.
There are a variety of factors which influence performance. The size of the page and type of content, site configuration and optimisation and your hosting server all affect website performance.
Quality is the key word here. In the bad old days, dodgy ‘SEO experts’ employed underhanded methods and promised the world by getting your site thousands of back-links.
This practise was soon flagged and is now penalised by Google and other reputable search engines.
The idea though is sound. If people like your site, they will mention it and link back to it. Genuine back-links from quality sites are good for business.
Social Media Profile
A strong social media presence is not only factored into search engine ranking, it’s an indication that people are engaging with your business or organisation.
Social media marketing takes time and energy but it’s a common sense strategy.
Go where your audience is and engage with them.
Good Site Statistics
The results of all your hard work can only be measured with advanced site statistics.
Who’s coming to your website? How did they find you? How long are they staying? What page did they land on? Where did they go from there?
In order to monitor the effectiveness of your changes, you will need to constantly monitor how traffic is interacting with your site.
This will require a number of tools and some expertise. Tools like Google Analytics can also be used to set up goals and assess conversion rates.
This article outlines some key factors in online marketing. Other areas such as email marketing and complimentary strategies like print, will likely be part of an overall marketing campaign.
If you’re interested in how Lifeform Digital can help you with these and other key marketing areas, contact us. We’d be happy to discuss your project.
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