We talk to companies every day looking to grow their business through their website and online channels. Many believe by simply having the website up there and with no further marketing,  the business leads will come. Well in the majority of cases they won’t. The analogy is the small corner shop – unless there is footfall or you promote it heavily in your ‘local area’ you won’t get customers through the door. Your website design is no different!

So what do you need to do to give your web presence the best chance of driving real business leads or indeed sales (if doing eCommerce) online. Here’s 5 key tips – Ensure the website is

  1. Designed and developed to be easy to use, loads fast, has secure / reliable hosting and is responsive on mobile devices.
  2. Well optimised and all pages are ‘tagged’ and appropriately targeted for Search Engines.
  3. Given a clean bill of health with Google.
  4. Promoted regularly and proactively using appropriate Digital Channels
  5. Marketed through a good link profile

Easy to Use / Loads Fast / Secure Hosting / Responsive

Via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net David Castillo Dominici.
Via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net David Castillo Dominici.

These website design elements are simple enough to implement but many companies ignore the basics. “Easy to use” simply means having a clean website which makes it simple for your site visitors to navigate and quick to find what they need.

Website Speed  is now critical for not only for the user experience but it’s also a factor in Google search rankings. Test your speed; try this tool – take action if red flagged. Also your hosting set up may be holding you back. Make sure you are on a hosting package appropriate to your website and that it’s reliable.

The final point ‘Responsive’ is critical . Web browsing is moving exponentially onto mobile devices across almost all sectors. Your website design simply must provide a good user experience appropriate to that mobile environment. Think in terms of easy down scrolling and strong key features. No one on mobile wants to browse the desktop version of your website, having to pinch screens with additional unnecessary scrolling.

Good Onsite Optimisation

Via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net Stuart Miles.
Via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net Stuart Miles.

Start as you mean to go on! A well optimised website is the starting point to prime your website for good future performance in google.. Inspiration has produced a detailed guide on upfront onsite optimisation. For companies planning an eCommerce site it’s even more important as your entire business may well depend on how your website performs in search results. Have a read here SEO Search Engine Optimisation eCommerce pre-launch checklist .

Clean Bill Of Health

You need to ensure that your website has not been adversely flagged by the search engines. We recommend you manage this in 2 ways. Ongoing by monitoring your web master tools account (WMT). If you’re not sure what that means, give us a call.  Also Beginners guide available here. Your WMT account should be linked to your google analytics account and indeed your AdWords – all should be available under the same login. Your WMT will show up issues around google penalties, indexation issues, speed issues, mobility issues, broken pages etc. Stay on top of it monthly or more frequently for eCommerce sites.

The second area is to ensure you don’t have any historical issues holding your website back. Google and major search engines frequently update their algorithms to improve and make their search results more relevant to searchers. Each update has the potential to negatively impact your website. Check using this tool if your website has been impacted by any recent Google updates.

Via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net Stuart Miles.
Via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net Stuart Miles.

The other key thing to address is duplicate or light content on your website. Have you copied content from another website – be honest? It could be holding your website back as googl;e doesn’t like duplicate content. Also review your own website to ensure that you have no pages with light or minimal content. Again that page may not be performing as well as it should. Guideline is minimum 300 words per page.

Promote Regularly Through Digital Channels

We could write a book on this one! In short, speak to inspiration.ie or your Digital Marketing Partner on how best to promote your website to get more traffic, more enquiries, more leads and more online sales.

Via freedigitalphotos.net Sujin Jetkasettakorn.
Via freedigitalphotos.net Sujin Jetkasettakorn.

Start with a Strategic Digital Marketing Approach . You then need a plan to deliver on the strategy. It may comprise of a number of channels – seo, email, social, content marketing, paid advertising etc. Build it and they will not come. Promote it though and use proven approaches, such as our Monthly Marketing Support programme, then they will! Check out our own blog for a lot more guides and advice in this area. Just use the search function on the RHS to find specific topics you may be interested in.

Good Link Profile

Links into your website from third party websites can be extremely powerful and important e.g. a listing from your industry association with a link to your home page included will be good. Relevant, trusted and authoritative links can convey credits and help raise your overall website visibility in the search results. A link from a website whose whole purpose is simply to supply links online is bad. Bad links from ‘spammy’ websites, “unnatural” links, some “paid links” can lead to your website being penalised or held back and therefore not perform as well as it should in the search results. Talk to us to  get a profile of your current external links, we can  conduct an audit and work with you to remove undesirable links.

Go into 2016 with a plan to sort out your digital marketing activities and enjoy the benefits of increased business next year. Contact us to learn more

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