Springboard your website during Covid-19 - do it now, don't wait!
Now’s the time to spring into action to check and boost your website so that it’s delivering optimum results today and when we emerge from the Covid-19 lockdown.
Remember: We’re in a lockdown, NOT a SHUTDOWN!
Yes, it’s tough. Yes it’s not what you planned. Yes it’s hit business hard. But it’s not a time to drop your head and shut down, it’s a time to look forward, plan and use this time to prepare for the rebound back to business. Let’s face it, most businesses are quieter now and while that is not what you want, it’s an opportunity to use the spare time to maximise your online presence. You can use this as a springboard to promote your business online and be ready and powered up once we are on ‘the other side’.
What are you saying?
In the words of the March Hare from Alice in Wonderland:
“Then you should say what you mean,” said the March Hare.
“I do,” Alice hastily replied,
“at least I mean what I say – that’s the same thing, you know.”
Too many times we see websites that mean what they say but don’t say what they mean. As an example, here is a home page intro (from an unnamed website). A selection of words that on the face of it look good, but while the writer may have ‘meant what they said’, the end result is meaningless!
We provide a holistic solution that will address your business, make it disruptive in the market place, with a 360 view on operation. Talk to us and we can stop you working in silos, adopt best practices and start building a consensus. If you stick to your core competencies then you’ll be able to focus on the critical areas that matter to you and we’ll give you a heads up on this.
The 3 second review
Google returns hundreds of pages of search results and analysis says that visitors will spend between 1-3 seconds after clicking on your site to decide if they want to read more. If you don’t get the message across quickly in that time they move on to the next Google result. You can explain your company in more detail further down the home page and on other website pages, but your first hit must grab them.
When you want to quickly see how a visitor sees your offering try the 5-step review.
- DISPLAY – open your website in a browser
- VIEW – look at what jumps out at you as the main message
- STEP BACK – get up from your desk and walk back 5 steps
- REVIEW – take another look. At this distance can you still see the main messages? This is what a visitor will pick up in the first 3 seconds
- CHANGE – if you can’t see the main messages clearly then you’ve probably got too much text and no clear, easily definable message. Time to change.
Can you still see messages from 5 steps back?
How's your performance?
The performance of your website is crucial to both website visitors and Google.
If it isn’t found on Google’s first page, takes too long to display or doesn’t display on mobile, you’ve lost that visitor.
Every visitor costs you time, effort and money to get to your site – but it’s worth it. A lost visitor costs you even more as not only have you lost them but Google knows they came and went quickly (bounced off) so they make a note and this can affect your ranking in search results.
Google want to know that the answer to a search query fulfils the request, if visitors keeps bouncing off your site then Google will investigate and your ranking can go through the floor.
So how do you keep everybody happy?
Boost your performance. Just as a car won’t run well if it has the wrong fuel, clogged up engine or old malfunctioning parts, so your website needs to be maintained and kept running smoothly. Key areas of performance to look at on your site:
- Content – keep content specific and don’t ramble, tell visitors what they want to know, don’t get lost in babble-speak
- Key words & phrases – use keywords for a page to emphasise the topic of a page. Using Google Trends and Keyword Planner to research relevant terms and make sure you are using popular words that are being entered in Google search
- Text to HTML ratio – make sure that you have a good ratio – the bandwidth is 15-70% in favour of text, so the more text you have on the page the more relevant it will be to visitors and for Google ranking
- Layout – Content needs to be easy to read, but it also needs to adhere to Google’s requirements and a range of hidden codes such as headings (Hx), image tags (alt & title) and many more
- Site files – every website has some hidden files that need to be set up and maintained, these include robots.txt, sitemap.xml, .htaccess. Make sure these are set up correctly.
- CSS, JS, MicroData, OpenGraph (and more) – a range of tagging and controlling files manage your display in browsers and in social. If these aren’t set up or specified correctly your site will not be displayed as you need it to be.
- Google Tag Manager, Google Search Console – two key Google tools that provide analytics and fault finding. Key to utilise and link with your site.
How do I check these out and fix?
These and many more areas need to be looked at to ensure smooth website running and you can get a report on specific website pages by running a website check to get an overview and details:
Test every page on your website to make sure performance is at a premium. Use our free test: https://insightgroup.co.uk/webcheck
Blogs. Blogs. Blogs.
Google ranks your site based on hundreds of criteria – depending on which report you read it’s either 250, 500 or over 1000 factors. No-one really knows (except Google!) as Google don’t publish the ranking criteria but they do publish advice on what’s good for search engine ranking in their blogs. But this changes regularly to make sure that real results are shown and they aren’t being swayed by sites fiddling the results.
What has been shown in research is that blogs work for your search ranking. They hit 17 of the top search criteria featured in Google advice blogs and Google Partner Insights when built correctly and promoted via social media, email, posting to other relevant sites and PPC, including:
- Regular website updates
- Easy to follow images
- Advice content
- Direct website visits
- Time on site
- Pages per session
- Bounce rate
- Organic website visits
- Total referring domains, links (in & out), referring IPs, follow-backlinks, text anchors
- Content length
- Keyword in anchor, body, title, meta fields
- Keyword density
Producing regular blog articles and promoting them will hit these and more.
You can get ideas for articles by using Google Trends and by drilling down on suggested messages to get ideas on relevant topics. As an example if you need ideas on how to attract people to your financial services for pensions:
But I just don’t have the skill or time. What can I do?
If you really need help you can employ a freelance copywriter to draft blogs for you regularly. However you achieve it, blogs are key to your site success.
Push your messages
With all your site content it’s important to make sure that new visitors and repeat visitors are made aware of your updates.
A powerful way to notify your target audience is to push updates directly to their browsers. You will probably have seen these updates that appear in the corner of your browser from social media and email. But it’s not reserved for just major platforms – you can use the same technology to get your messages out so that your updates are seen even when your visitors aren’t on your website:
You can see how a blog published on our website is pushed out to our visitors when it is published, clicking on the popup will take you directly to the new content.
You can achieve this by using one of the leading solutions such as One Signal or Gravitec – both of which have entry level solutions enabling you to implement and test for no cost to evaluate the effect on your leads.
Who's been here?
Once you’ve implemented everything you really need to know who is visiting your site. One method to track and identify B2B visitors is to implement an IP tracking solution.
These link to your Google Analytics and identify visitors by comparing their IP addresses with a business database. You can see which companies have been on your site, what content they visited and details on their company and published contacts. As an example of this look at these screen grabs (obscured to remove contact details) from LeadBerry, one of the solutions that identify visitors. It shows how visitors are captured and the information you can see as you drill down. Armed with this you will know more about the company and can put active sales and marketing plans in place to further raise your awareness with key contacts to generate sales leads:
Top 5 marketing tips - what now?
The above tips will guide you through some of the key activities to make sure your website delivers leads during the coronavirus lockdown and beyond.
If you want to go further or need help to implement any of the above then we are here to support you and you can contact us directly on 01344 578 104 or via our contact form.
We do this for our clients, here’s just one testimonial that we received on LinkedIn after posting a blog about boosting your online presence:
“I can highly recommend Mark Robson and his Insight Group team. They have transformed our website and through the work we’ve done with them over the past 18 months we’ve seen a tangible return on investment through all the points raised in this blog and more.”