Just having a website isn’t nearly enough. Your competitors also have websites, but they may be employing some or all of the features and principles provided in this article. If you haven’t revisited your website content and marketing in the past few years, you’re already behind, but it’s definitely salvageable. Some of these tips and suggestions can be implemented by anyone with some computer and internet savvy, but the best approach is to hire a website developer that you can trust who can comprehensively create and manage these elements.
Every website needs to have relevant content. It’s what Google looks for. It’s what your website visitors are looking for. Quality content starts with knowing who your target audience is and what they’re searching for. You want to provide enough information so that your content is relevant to both search engines and site visitors, but not too much that visitors feel like they’re reading a book. Much of this text content may already be written in your sales flyers, brochures or other documents on file. The content should provide just enough information that a call-to-action — a call, email, form submission, link to social media, etc takes them to the next level and allows you to close the deal.
Search Engine-Focused Key Terms
It’s important to duplicate the most important search engine-focused keywords and terms. If your key customers will be searching for chiropractors in a specific town, or you want to be seen when visitors search for several cities, you had better list all of those cities several times throughout the site, as well as making sure all of the services you provide are duplicated on multiple pages. Be aware, however, that if you try to dupe the system, and hide keywords or unnaturally duplicate keywords and terms, Google and other search engines will catch on to your tactics and may downgrade your site. Just make sure your content flows naturally while you’re using your keywords and terms.
Titles, META Tags and Code
This is where it would definitely be a good idea to hire a professional web developer. This is vitally important and, if not done well, could completely negate all of the time and hard work spent preparing great content. The very first thing Google looks at is your Title tag. Next, it looks at your META Description tag. At this point, Google hasn’t even looked at your content. So, if your competitors are using quality tags and code, then, even with the best content, you would fall behind them in search engine rankings. In addition, every business should be signed up for Google Webmaster Tools and Google Places. Both can be setup by your web developer and require a bit of coding.
Your website should have plenty of references to where you’re at. Google’s search algorithms are specifically geared to help searchers find exactly what they’re looking for based on the location of where they’re searching. If I type in Dentist and I live in Cincinnati, Ohio, I don’t want to see a list of the best dentists from all over the world, I want them to be local. Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines are doing a better job of making search results better reflect the location of the searcher.
Social Media Integration
Even if you’re not a fan of social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others, your clients probably are, and having links to these outlets is another feather in your cap for search engines to notice. Most small businesses absolutely need to have Facebook and LinkedIn pages. Twitter is more for businesses that have news and events that are changing daily. Setting up a Facebook business page, and a LinkedIn business page is easy and free. Just do a search and you should be able to find information on how to create these pages. Once they’re created, you’ll want to integrate them into your website, on your business cards, and in the footers of all of your emails. I’m amazed at how having links in the footers of my emails has added members to my social media outlets. Plus, using social media is a great way to stay in touch with your customer and keep them engaged with your business.
Keep It Fresh
Websites can get stale, and Google knows it. Remember, Google’s job is to display the most relevant websites when people do a search. If your competitors are providing fresh content and updating their sites frequently, you can bet that they’ll show higher on search engines. Creating a new page or blog is the best bet. And you don’t need to be a writer or journalist to write a blog. Simply take an hour each week to write about something that your clients might be interested in. Then, while you’re at it, go ahead and post that same information each week on your Facebook and LinkedIn pages. The multiplier effect will greatly enhance your search engine position.
Copyright 2013 by Tom Lempner and Radiant Design.