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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.

Make the most of opportunities online for your small business!

With COVID-19 sending more customers online than ever before and the obvious benefits of having a website, some businesses still don’t understand what can be gained with a small business website.

To be competitive, your business must be easily found and the best way to do that is by getting it online. Get active with a Facebook page, a YouTube Channel or even a fully-fledged website. Put the hard yards into developing an online footprint and it will reap your business the benefits.

So why don’t some SMB’s get this message? Because some small business owners don’t fully understand the possibilities of what can be done with an online presence.

Let’s look at some theoretical case studies that I have observed along the Tropical Coast:

The Local Stationery Store

It’s not as hard as it sounds to take on the big boys here when it comes to online commerce. Of course, some consumers are always going to take the path of Officeworks or the other big retailers simply because of the price (which, by the way, isn’t that much cheaper than our local guy here). To make sales online, our local store should market purely on convenience and speed. They can:

Make all stationery goods available online allowing the consumer to log into an account and place an order quickly.

Ensure that staff fulfil and collate that order within the hour.

Then deliver the customer’s order to their door within a couple of hours – ensuring they have no disruption to their day.

Order by 10am – delivered by lunch. Beat that Officeworks!

The Pizza Shop

One of our local pizza stores already has a great online presence. They also use their Facebook page to promote their business through spur of the moment competitions – “How many pizza boxes are currently stacked over the ovens at Roscoes Innisfail?” – Win a free pizza!

But, borrowing advice from Andrew Griffiths (Australia’s leading small business author), the store could also take advantage of slow nights in the same way. If the pizzas aren’t flying out the door on any given night, they could make an announcement via their Twitter feed or Facebook page by announcing discounted or two-for-one pizzas. There is a backpackers hostel mere metres from their restaurant and there’s nothing more a backpacker likes than a cheap feed! Just get them to follow….

The solo Accountant

What about in a crowded marketplace? How can you stand out when every man and his dog have a website and social media presence too? You do it by being helpful. If you are an accountant, get that site loaded with helpful content.

Everyone hates tax-time. It is easily the most stressful time of the year for businesses (and everyone else too).  An accountant can help to ease the pain during tax time with useful online tools such as:

  • How-To videos showing the completion of a BAS statement.
  • On-site calculators for determining taxable income.
  • Downloadable templates for all manner of money management.

Do a great job with helpful content and the snowball effect will kick in. Soon everyone will be heading to the site checking out the tricks, tips, and tools on offer. The more site visitors that come in and see how helpful you are, the more likely that some will convert into customers.

As you can see, the potential of online marketing is clearly apparent for some businesses. For others, it may take a little creative thinking to draw out the possibilities of getting online and generating a profit.  But today, any business would be foolhardy not take advantage of the online world and the opportunities that are available to them.

If you aren’t sure of the online advantages for your business or organisation, give me a call at Tropical Coast Web Design. I’d love to have a chat about your online presence and see what we can do for your business.

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.

Tropical Coast Web Design