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Five Tips to get you IN with Google

It should come as no surprise that the most common question I field as a web designer is “How can improve my site’s placement on Google?”

It’s universally known that Google is the main driver of traffic on the internet. The word “Google” has even been added to the Oxford Dictionary.

So, what steps can you do as the website owner or manager to try and snag that front page of Google search results? Here’s five tips that will help you on the way:

Tip #1 – Use your Web Designer to get quick placement!

If your site was professionally designed and developed, your developer should have added your site to Google upon launch via the Google Search Console – a tool built specifically to get your site and its sitemap add into the search engine.

If you aren’t already in there, you can do this step yourself – all you need a free Google account which you probably have already if you use Gmail. The Search Console is also a great tool if you have updated a particular page and want Google to reindex it quickly.

Tip #2: Utilise Keywords throughout your Content

While writing content for a particular page of your site, be sure to include a “smattering” of the page’s keywords throughout. For example, on the front page of a site containing fashion, you would include the keywords that your customers would type into Google to find you – words like “fashion, style, Prada, Gucci, etc. Use these words in the regular flow of your text content, not as an afterthought.

Don’t add them one after the other and most importantly, don’t overload the page with keywords. This is known as keyword stuffing, and you can be penalised by Google for this tactic.

Tip #3: Utilise your Page Titles

Another great place to put your keywords is in the actual titles and subtitles of your site pages. Known as H titles (h1, h2, etc), these are generally the heading titles that you can clearly notice on a web page and Google holds these in very high regard when calculating page ranking for search placement.

Tip #4: Share links with your Industry partners

Link sharing, also known as back linking, can be very powerful tool to make your site look important in the eyes of the search engines. Link sharing is the usage of links between various (separate) sites on the internet to promote each other. Put simply, your site links to another site and they link back to you. Depending on the popularity of the sites involved, this “trick” can help to boost your placement in the search results.

To do this, you must link from high quality, relevant sites – sites that Google likes within your industry. It doesn’t work to link from unrelated sites as this is detected by the search algorithm that the search engines use.

Tip #5: Keep your site fresh with new content

Finally, Google still loves sites that update regularly with fresh content. This can come in many forms – a blog, videos, new galleries, fresh products on an online store or, at a more extreme level, a site re-design. Unbeknownst to most website owners, the search giant does keep an eye on the age and relevance of your website content and does frown upon content that is long in the tooth.

After applying the above tips to your own website, there are a couple of ways you can watch for improvements in your site’s listing. You can monitor the gradual climb through the Google search listings or, a quicker method is to onto your site’s statistics through Google Analytics (ask your website designer to set this up for you). Through GA, you can observe the usage of keywords, which search engines are sending you traffic and the overall site visits that your site is receiving.

Five key signs that your business site needs a MAKEOVER!

The internet has evolved in leaps and bounds over the past ten years and there is no sign of slowing down any time soon.

Social Media, online technology, nbn speeds, and ecommerce shopping among other advances have changed the way people live day-to-day. A commercial website that doesn’t keep up with these changes is in danger of driving away potential customers by conveying the image of an out-of-date business brand that fails to innovate.

So, the question needs to be asked – when was the last time you gave your website a full makeover?

There are some blatantly obvious signs that your site needs some form of makeover and others that are a little more subtle. Here are five of the most important signs that your site needs some serious makeover love:

1. Your site looks and feels like a vintage website from the late ninety’s

If your site is over five years old, it is time for an update. You may be still using your original website, or one created with integrated Flash content (which is no longer supported by browsers) or even worse, a site designed by an employee using Microsoft Word – yes, that Microsoft Word! (I have actually seen this).

Regardless of how old your site is, what’s on it or how it was created, if it doesn’t feel like it belongs alongside the current crop of sites from your competitors, you need an upgrade.

2. The site is not mobile responsive

Everyone knows that mobile internet access has dramatically increased over the past few years but how’s this for a statistic: According to online magazine Fast Company, 25% of smartphone owners ages 18–44 say they “can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t right next to them.”

Wow.

Let’s put it simply – if your site doesn’t respond or convert for mobile usage, you are missing a huge chunk of action. Get a mobile responsive site today!

http://www.business2community.com/mobile-apps/21-vital-mobile-marketing-facts-statistics-2014-0850425#b8OxdTHcMI12frWx.99

3. Your Social Media feeds are not integrated

Having a Social Media presence is no longer optional for small business. If you want to engage and interact with your clients, you must be on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. On top of this, any post, update, or tweet that you make should be linked through onto your website.

This will serve two purposes: – one, you can create an feed-in audience for your site every time you update your social media and two, you can gather more followers using on-page links. If your site can’t do this, once again, you are missing out!

4. Your content is past its used-by date

One of my pet peeves is visiting a website with blog posts that have an old date on them. Of course, you can cheat and not use a date at all however you are kidding yourself if you think that a potential client with a keen eye won’t notice – Google certainly will. The same applies with your page-to-page content. Make sure your information is always up-to-date and if you can’t commit to a Blog post at least every month (more is better), then maybe you should give that task to someone else on your team.

5. You are receiving little new business referral from your site

How do your customers first get in touch? Do they find you in a phone directory, a newspaper or radio advertisement – or via your website? Conduct a quick survey with customers as they make a purchase – we’ve all seen the instant competition ploy at small business counters. Fill in a survey form (a couple of questions at most) and pop it in the box to win a prize.

Look at and compile the results. If your website is not delivering the customers in a manner that you would expect, then maybe it’s time for the big makeover. Something is not connecting with site visitors and must be fixed to ensure a healthy inflow of prospects to your business.

If any of the points above apply to your site, contact the team at Tropical Coast Web Design today and we’ll take an in-depth look at your old site to determine what needs to be done and provide you with a free detailed report.

Updating your website should be a habit, not a hindrance.

In the case of most small business websites, the first few weeks after the site has been launched are usually the busiest (ever) for traffic through the site.

The owner of the site is pumped and giving the website their utmost attention with both new content and inbound links from their social media accounts. However, as with many things, life (and business) gets in the way and the website sadly becomes neglected over time.

A website should not be seen as a once-off investment, something that you tick off a checklist. To be truly effective, a site needs to be an integral of the small business which it represents. The business is expected to evolve over time, keeping pace with changes in the world around it. The website needs to evolve too.

There’s nothing worse than visiting a website that isn’t cared for – in fact, it can be a waste of your time. The content is stale and boring – totally irrelevant to the customer who is looking for helpful information to help them achieve their original for visiting the site. And the worst thing about an unloved site…. It reflects directly back onto the business.

“If they don’t care about their website, maybe they don’t care about business in general.”

Whilst this statement won’t be true in most cases, it’s a bad feeling to give to your customers and, like most things, it’s incredibly easy to avoid.

The easiest way to avoid a stale, old website is to make the website part of your regular routine, a habit that you tend to regularly.

A great analogy would be to look at your website like you do/should look at your health and fitness regime. The best way to a healthy lifestyle is to put healthy habit into practice every day. Diets with deadlines rarely achieve a long-term successful goal. Changes to eating habits and regular exercise program are more like to achieve long term success.

With your website, don’t do the one-off update to the site and think “well now that’s done – we can leave for a few months”. Put a habit into practice where the site becomes part of your everyday routine. Maybe first thing every morning, add a new piece to the site or give it plug on social media. Or set aside time every week to review the content on the site, move it around, repurpose it, check site visitors, check popular pages, anything that is going to ensure that the site is relevant to those customers looking for it TODAY, not three months ago.

From my own experience, I have found that using a content calendar, pinned to the cork board in my office, helps me to keep my content relevant. It lays out an entire month of changes, new content, social media placements – I create all my content for an upcoming week (according to the calendar) on the previous weekend, ready to roll out.

Make your website a long-term partner with your business by making it an integral part of your business.

Why does your “small” town business need a BIG business website?

With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic limiting access to goods and services at times, there has never been a more important time to invest in a website for your small business.

A website opens a range of online possibilities for small businesses, and benefits that go beyond the bricks and mortar of a physical store.

Even in a small rural community, like Ingham, where I live and work, it’s vitally important to remember that there are no borders to business anymore and technology has made the world a much smaller place. Regardless of who your customers are, they will be searching for you online and if they can’t find your business, you can guarantee they’ll find your competitors instead.

If you need more convincing than that, here’s three clear-cut reasons why your “small” town business needs to get online.

A website expands your business beyond the borders of your community.

With a website there are no boundaries for your business. Once online, your site can sell products and services around the globe – it can even sell them while you are asleep! And, with the multitude of shipping options available nowadays, you can “move” your products very quickly to any destination on the earth.

Why would you settle for doing business with a limited audience when you could go global?

Websites level the playing field for the “little guys”.

Regardless of the size of your small business or its location, your website can compete on the same level as any other business in your industry. You may not have the flashy storefronts of your competitors or the sheer magnitude of their operations, but a website doesn’t have to worry about these things.

Your site can compete on the same level if it offers:

  • An easy-to-use interface.
  • A clear Call to Action (CTA).
  • Helpful service (through contact forms, online videos, pop-up chats, tricks, or tips).
  • High quality products or services.

In short, if your website can deliver the same service as expected from the “big guys”, it has a chance at grabbing customers that would have once dismissed you as “too small”.

You can connect with customers like never before.

Businesses, both large and small, can now build their brands and followers using an effective Social Media strategy. With little effort, you can start a conversation with your customers and, as a result, grow a better understanding of their needs and wants.

Conversely, customers can carry on these discussions separate from your business being involved and, if those discussions are positive, this will help to build the public image of that your brand.

Examples of this include:

  • Fashion products being spruiked by customers on their Instagram accounts.
  • Special announcements being launched instantly on Twitter.
  • A loyal Facebook following (a great source of testimonials).
  • Hashtags leading directly back to the source – your website.

As stated, a properly built and effectively managed website allows a small-town business to build and expand beyond what was traditionally possible. By making your business easy to find, helpful and value for money – you will not only encourage locals to stick with you but may just hook into some lucrative “outside” business and from there – the only way is up!

Tropical Coast Web Design