What is wrong with your business website?
If you are thinking there is nothing wrong you might want to reconsider. Are you getting traffic or visitors to your website? Do you know?
- Are you getting traffic or visitors to your website?
- Do you know?
- Where are the visitors coming from?
- How do they find you?
- What do they do when they visit your website?
- What do you want them to do?
There is a pretty good chance as a business owner you have no idea if you are getting visitors to your business website, how they get there, or what they do when they visit. Chances are you made an investment in your website anticipating you would get more business from having a place to call home on the internet. Was your intent to just have something in place to prove to prospects you were a real company? Was it to sell services and products directly from your website? Did you want to prove you were an authority in your chosen field of work? Maybe you wanted them to know where your business was located.
All of these are good reasons to have a website but none of these intents will come to fruition unless you have website visitors.
Google rules more than 85% of internet search.
There are a lot of ways to get visitors to your website but leveraging Google Search is one of the best ways. For your website to appear or "rank" in a Google search you will need to follow Google's rules. Google actually tells us what their basic rules are and what you or your webmaster must do to comply with their rules. those that comply the most get the best ranking on the (SERP) search engine results pages. Chances are if your website doesn't appear on the first or at least the second of those pages no one will find your page when searching. Of course, there are other ways to be found but during someone's search may be the best time to be found. During a search someone is actually looking for information, trying to find someone that sells a product or where your business is located. Not taking advantage of that moment in a potential buyers' journey isn't a wise business decision.
What are the rules and how do you know if you are following them?
Start with the technical issues.
Computers programs work better when there are no technical issues. Google's programs are no different. When Google's program takes a look at your website it works best when there are no technical issues. If there are issues the program could miss information or just skip your site altogether. Tough to get noticed if Google doesn't look at your site and index its pages for a search with the Google search engine.
There are several free tools available online to check your website for errors. Just type in your company's website URL and wait for the results. I use a site audit tool by SemRush to initially audit sites but there are others like Screaming Frog and Moz.
The site audit will tell you a number of things that Google doesn't like about your business website.
- Are there broken links?
- Does your site use https://? (security certificate)
- Are you missing titles & headings?
- Do you have duplicate content?
- Do you have alt tags in photos? (programs don't look at your photos they look at the text tags)
- Do you designate a language?
- Do your pages have meta descriptions?
- More forms than text? (spammy pages)
Any of these issues can affect where your site appears in a search. The more errors or issues the worse it will be.
You can also use this quick and easy Moz extension for Chrome or other browsers to see what is missing.
Content is still king.
Many new ideas on online marketing are claiming content is no longer king. Meaning visitors or Google doesn't value good content. Google still considers authoritative content one of the more important parameters for their ranking algorithm of your business website. Google wants us to use their search engine. To be sure we will continue to do this they pride themselves on providing authoritative and relative content for every search we perform. If your business website pages are just self-promotion there is a good chance Google will consider them spammy and lower your ranking or blacklist you completely.
Several of Google's algorithm updates over the years specifically targeted companies with spammy content. Google algorithm change history by Moz.
How do you ensure your website has good authoritative content? Write to educate the visitor on your expertise. Why are you so good at what you do? What should a visitor look for when searching for your product or services? How can they decide intelligently on a good provider of those services or product? Consider almost a DIY, do it yourself type article with the idea that they will, in the end, turn to your company as the expert. Make sure you include pictures and testimonials. A picture may not be worth a thousand words but it does help get the point across.
Use an SEO tool to help write content on the website. All in one SEO and Yoast are great plug-ins for WordPress sites that will keep your content strong. Use Grammarly when typing up the content to ensure you don't have spelling and grammar errors.
Keep the important stuff above the fold.
A simple rule pertaining to everyone's short attention span and lack of coordination or desire to scroll down a page to see the important stuff you want them to read.
Above the fold just implies that what shows at the top of the screen when someone views your business website on desktop or mobile device needs to be the most important information. Be sure to include your business phone number, email address, or physical address at the top of the page. Make it easy because we all like easy. Consider making the number clickable in that if someone clicks on it when on a phone it will dial your number.
Strategy is more than a report! Your call to action.
Google doesn't penalize for leaving a call to action as long as it doesn't dominate everything else. What do you want the visitor to do once the view your authoritative information and nice photos? My guess is asking for more information or contact you. Be sure to include an easy way for them to do either. Why your thinking about it also provides an easy way for them to forward the information. Ensure you have buttons on the page that they can share, tweet, and email to a friend. The best way to have a visitor sign up for more information is to allow them to sign in with a Facebook or Google sign in.
Don't over think it but include the basics.
As a business owner, you have invested a lot in your website. Try to ensure you have the basics covered. Don't miss out on the opportunity to be found when someone from a government agency or prime is looking!
Don't have someone build a custom website. They are impossible to update without someone writing additional code which makes your business totally depending on the webmaster that built it. There are plenty of content management systems available for WordPress, Wix, and others that will allow you or someone you hire to build it and keep it up to date easily. I prefer WordPress due to a large number of themes (templates) available and plug-ins (software that adds additional capabilities) for a free or low cost. Always ensure the ones you use are widely in use and updated frequently.
Your B2G Website needs to be well thought out with your goals in mind to mine visitor information such that your Business Development team can execute a good capture management strategy to win more contracts for you firm.