Like your site but no one’s visiting?
Happens all the time.
I work with you and your budget to pursue design strategies that get you the most bang for your buck. Some of the prettiest, photo-driven sites have no content for a search engine to sink it’s teeth into. In search rankings, they just don’t signify. When building websites for small business, we understand that like the yellow pages of old, if you’re not on the web, you don’t exist. And being on the web isn’t enough – you need to be easily found too.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization goes far beyond keywords and hat tricks and isn’t only something you employ at the end of the design process. Before we begin fine tuning to boost your numbers, we start with these basic principles. Typically, a site that adheres to these basic principles will get decent traffic by its merits.
Does your site consider the following?
Know your market.
Let us help you define the terms for to include in your site that people are actually using! This simple cornerstone to your strategy will ensure relevance and save you a lot of time. Simple WordPress tools and plugins allow for the easy use of terms to reach your market.
Both to your clients, their search habits, and to you. Writing the content of your site requires that the language be informative and persuasive to more than human readers. Writing to both the needs of your clients, AND your search engines should be established at the beginning of the process and not the end.
Keep it simple.
There are lots of fancy practices on the web, and I’m talking about Flash, page frames, and others that just don’t play well with search engines. In designing your site, be sure that the results are straight forward enough to work on mobile devices, have optimal search engine compatibility, and be richly informative. Candy is fun for a second, but doesn’t make the meal.
Remember the old Al Gore analogy of the ‘information superhighway’? Accurate or not, you don’t want to let your site be a cul-de-sac; it just won’t rank significantly. Instead, link freely and intelligently to supporting sites and resources. With abundant cross-links within your site to help knit together the best possible flow and context, you’ll have a more appreciative site visitor.
Does your site provide the necessary channels for visitors to perform the most common things easily? On every page, do you have a clear call to action or phone number, a local address, and linkage to your social media? New, responsive, design, should have phone numbers in the header that are easy to read and one-touch-dial on smart phones as well. Let me know how I can help.
Google knows your location, and this can pay handsome dividends if you play their game and update your profile and connect with social media and ‘places’ accounts. Similarly, listing your service areas and office locations in the footer of your site helps establish your credibility as well. Let us help you show up to in your communications with easy access back to your site.
Remember the real.
Be sure you print those pens and business cards and photo magnets – the darn things seem cliché but they hang around people’s offices and work environments for weeks or years at a time, and do garner goodwill if they’re useful! Whether you’re vinyl lettering your URL on your vehicle, or sponsoring a softball team jersey, remember we all still actually live in the real world. While we’re no longer a sign shop, or direct outlet for the sea of plastic possibilities, we will work with your vendor to give them optimized and designed art, or help you choose a vendor that best suits your needs. We’ve put our client brands on bars of soap and beer glasses, and custom designed bronze plaques and carpenter pencils. What are you working on?
Facebook, SurveyMonkey, MailChimp and many other tools can be employed to convey your message and direct people to your site. If you’re communicating to folks in any medium, your site address should be there. Don’t be afraid to say “come visit!” If you need help, we can provide basic maintenance of your messaging machine. Contact me to learn more.
Care and feeding.
The worst sites are the blogs that haven’t changed in years, or are ancient html constructs that are impossible to read on a phone and leave visitors feeling abandoned. A simple blog update that says what you’re doing this season might be all it takes to make it look like someone’s home. Be sure you’re not starving your site visitors – post an announcement once in a while. It’s easier to do than you think! And if you want help with site maintenance, contact me to learn how I can help.
Got all that?
NOW talk to us about increasing your traffic. We reserve the right to save the conversations about google analytics and boosting your numbers until after you have a well designed site. I urge you to pay attention to whether the site is worthy of their time. Search engine traffic is an indicator of this value – and isn’t as important as utility, honesty, relevance and conversion.