Whichever industry you’re in, improving your website could greatly improve your business’s potential customer base. And whether your website generates sales or leads or simply promotes your brand, there are smart, targeted strategies to ensure you connect with your ideal online audience. Instead of well-meaning guesswork, taking a little time to refine your website and online activities could make all the difference. Newcastle-based web design agency Peacock Carter has put together some advice for anyone looking to connect with their online audience; their experience with WordPress and Magento platforms – as well the SEO industry – puts them in a unique position to offer effective advice to anyone keen to improve their website’s performance.
The first thing to consider is your website’s design. Web design is not just concerned with the graphics and typefaces visitors encounter on your website, it also includes their journey through the various webpages as they search for the product or service they need.
From a visual perspective, ask yourself whether your website’s aesthetic reflects your brand identity and if it is up to the standards of your competitors’ websites. Customers are very selective and sometimes distrustful when it comes to unfamiliar websites. A striking, professional appearance could make a huge difference to whether or not someone decides to trust your company.
With regards to a visitor’s journey through your website, consider its structure very carefully. Are all your products and/or services set out clearly enough for a user to navigate easily? Could you include a filter or tool that helps a customer search for what they need? For instance, an online sunglasses retailer could include a filter that allows users to select the style of sunglasses (Aviators, square, Wayfarer, etc.) and perhaps order the products from cheapest to most expensive. Ask yourself if there’s anything you could change to make your customers’ experience on your website more streamlined and enjoyable.
When it comes to changing your website’s design, you may be able to tweak a few features yourself without moving platforms, but you should also be willing to change platforms if necessary. Your website is your shop window and your entire shop; its appearance and structure is essential to whether or not you connect with your online audience.
Optimise Your Website’s Content
After you’ve addressed your website’s design, it’s important to ensure your content/copy is optimised for search and for visitors. Optimising content for search means speaking Google’s language, ensuring that the content on each page makes it clear to Google’s robots what each page should be ranked for. There is too much detail to go into now, but you may find it useful to visit Moz Academy’s On-page Optimisation for Keywords. Put simply, Google rewards websites that clearly label what each page is about – this includes the Title Tag, H1, and copy that appears on each page. Google wants to point users to exactly what they are searching for, so optimisation is mainly about clarifying exactly what each page is about, using specific ranking factors to make this clear to Google.
However, be wary of over-optimising your website. This is when your content reads poorly because you have only written for Google’s robots and not for real people visiting the site. Google’s algorithms are sophisticated enough to tell when a page is written badly or has too many clunky optimised elements. Google only wants to point users to well-written content, so make sure your language is clear, informative, and includes all of the relevant industry-specific terminology that customers might expect from your business.
Start Writing a Company Blog or News Page
Once you have a well-designed website with optimised content for your various products or services, it’s time to start a blog or news page, writing one or two articles each week. A good blog is an opportunity for your business to comment on your industry. Creating a blog is a nice way to talk to customers and potential customers, reassuring them that you are an authority in whichever product or service you provide. It also serves another purpose: it improves your website’s search engine rankings, as Google rewards any website that publishes original industry-specific content on a regular basis. Google’s algorithm is nuanced enough to understand semantic links between words and clusters of words unique to your industry. This means that expertly written articles on your company blog will continually be cached by Google and your website will be ranked higher as a result.
Write Guides and FAQs Your Online Audience is Looking For
Lastly, it is a very good idea to have a section of your website dedicated to guides and FAQs that add value for your customers. For example, if your website’s aim is to generate enquiries for people interested in accommodation in the North East of England, then it is a good idea to write several tourist guides and resources about the North East of England. If you ensure these guides are fully optimised for search, then Google will rank them highly and people searching for information about tourism in the North East will find their way onto your website. These visitors will be much more likely to convert into customers than other users who find their way onto your site as they are actively looking for information about staying in the North East of England. And, as your website has provided them with helpful information, you have given them a positive first impression of your brand.
The best way to decide what kinds of guides you should include on your website is to research the kinds of search queries people are making in your niche. If you figure out the questions people are asking, then you can make sure your website provides the best answers to every question. One great way to find out which questions people are asking Google about your industry is to use Answerthepublic.com. This website pulls all of the questions relating to your industry from Google’s data and lists them for you. Once you have your list of questions, you know exactly what your potential online audience wants to know and you can make sure you write resources and guides that answer each question in full.