A powerful marketing strategy – whether for redesigning your website, improving its rank, or devising an ad campaign – takes into account your competitors. Competitor information is especially helpful when planning to optimize your website. By learning which companies appear higher in search results, and the relative popularity of your business, you’ll know where to concentrate your efforts.
Do you really know how people interact with your website? When they land on a page, do they get the answer they were after? Do they help themselves to the tools or resources you’ve provided? Or do they leave as fast as they can reach the back button? We can make many assumptions about the usage data we see, but we’re never entirely sure what each person is looking for and whether that magical thing called communication happened.
No matter how intimately we know our business, DIY writing almost always stinks. Perhaps we know (or think we know) our work so well, we can never look at and describe it the way the customer views it. Therefore, if we were smart we would assign a copywriter to every web development project … but good luck explaining that to your client!
I asked my associate Paula Tarnapol Whitacre to help frame this discussion so we can take it to our clients. Paula is principal of Full Circle Communications in Alexandria, VA. An experienced writer, she manages writing, editing and content strategy for businesses and nonprofits.
Our website is central to our marketing and lead generation strategy: New leads are the lifeline to building relationships and growth. Yet, we are often so concerned about bringing people to the site – whether through search, social media, advertising, or other channels – we tend to overlook what website visitors can actually do while they are on the site. Converting site visitors into customers should be the whole point of investing time and resources into the website!
From its beginning, the Web has given us access to resources via hyperlinks. At the time, that was a revolutionary way to connect people to information. Now, we take them for granted and might not be fully aware of how links play a central role in a website’s visibility. The fact is, all other things being equal – graphic design, usability, branding – the website with the best links to and from it will rank higher than its competitors .
Promises, promises, promises. In your web design and development proposal you probably assure the client that the website you create will be search engine friendly. The SEO (search engine optimization) component could be significant to the client – the client hopes the site will be a source of additional business, and the client expects a level of SEO to make that happen. While you are busily envisioning the design, it would be a good idea to take a step back and assess just how you are going to make the site search engine friendly.
Clients assume and hope that their pretty new website will attract customers like bears to honey – that customers will be drawn to it by virtue of aesthetics. It’s true that visual design plays a huge role in engaging and communicating, but whether or not people find a website depends on factors other than design.
Designers and web developers often ask me how to improve their website’s search engine optimization. As the field expands – as ever more businesses offer websites and online marketing – the terrain has become very competitive, indeed.
Patrick King has built his agency, Imagine, into a full service marketing company for professional services firms, with an uncanny ability to bring droll topics to life. In exploring how to tackle issues in managing a website for a creative agency business, Patrick has been kind enough to share his insight with me for today’s post in Strategic Team.
With each new shift in Google’s methods (updates such as Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird), clients want to know: Do websites still need to be optimized – is SEO (search engine optimization) necessary? The answer is, without a doubt, “yes.” Therefore, a better question is: How is SEO still relevant?
Search engines have to keep up with an Internet that’s growing at an unbelievably fast pace. Google’s changes are designed to deal with the huge influx of material that’s uploaded while preserving its ability to crawl, index, and deliver information to us before we even finish typing our queries. Optimizing your website with this in mind is your ticket to staying in the race.
As business owners we’re so immersed in our work we often lose perspective, and don’t realize that the rest of the world sees what we do differently than we see ourself. Does your website talk past your prospective client, or do you connect from the moment she searches online? This is the fourth of Four Questions for your Website’s SEO: Getting a handle on how to make your website – and your business – better.