Tag Archives: SEO
How a Cheap Website Could Cost You Thousands
“Apples to Apples” is an old and often overused phrase, but the definition still holds value. Basically, when you’re shopping around for a quote for a service or product, make sure the quotes you receive include all the same services. That way you can accurately compare quotes like-for-like.
When it comes to getting a website designed and developed that is capable of generating leads and interest in your business and brand or even directly selling your products and services, the true ‘Cost of Ownership’ is a better factor to consider.
For example, a website costing £1,000 might seem like a much cheaper option initially than, say, a £2,500 website. But actually, it could cost you more in a very short period of time.
A £1,000 website is likely to be just that. A website. Box ticked. No extras. No bells and whistles, which really aren’t bells and whistles at all, but are actually an industry standard now.
It’s possible that the £1,000 website will have no SEO keyword research carried out, so the content won’t include the keywords (or search terms) you wish to rank for in the results of search engines like Google. The content itself could also be minimal, with no clear Call-to-Action.
This hurts your business twofold. Firstly, you’ve paid for a website that no one can find. Secondly, any website visitors your new site does attract are instantly put off by the lack of information, possibly resulting in zero leads being generated for your business.
A £2,500 website, however, could have full SEO, both technically and in terms of content. That would mean it will be more visible in search engine results pages for the focus keywords you wish to target, following your web design team’s keyword research, identifying what people search for the most. This ‘more expensive’ website is therefore likely to generate more click-throughs.
The chances are the content on the website will also be of higher quality and displayed in a much more engaging way, compelling website visitors to get in touch with you. Thus the new website you’ve invested in is generating and converting more opportunities for you, as it should be!
Download our Question Checklist to Help Businesses Compare Website Quotes Like-for-Like.
To help you ask the right questions and ensure you’re investing in a website that works for you, check out our downloadable Question Checklist to Help Businesses Compare Website Quotes Like-for-Like!
The Rise of the Virtual Assistants
There’s been quite a noise over the last couple of years with regard to the virtual assistants that are slowly but surely taking over. If you’re one of hundreds of millions of iPhone users, you’ll know yours as Siri. If you’re part of the Google crowd, it’s Google Now. Or if you’re one of the comparatively few folks with a Windows Phone, you’ll know her as Cortana. And most recently, Amazon’s Alexa started taking over the scene with specific products like Echo Dot made simply for the purpose of becoming your Virtual Assistant.
The ease of the technology coupled with the time it saves means more people than ever before are swapping the written word for a simple voice command. Instead of going to a search engine and typing in a search query, users can now speak their desires. The numbers show exactly which was technology is swinging, where more than half of teenagers and adults use voice searching capabilities frequently and 55% of teens use voice search more than once a day, and those numbers are sure to grow even more in the future.
While users are simply happy to get their information more easily and quickly than ever before, there’s a battle taking place on the other side of the equation. Programs like Siri and Google Now are specifically tailored to respond to verbally entered text, which means there’s potentially a whole new avenue for companies to get noticed. After all, virtual assistants have to get their information from somewhere, making it essential for digital marketers to consider Voice searches in their 2017 search engine optimisation strategies.
As an online business owner, SEO company or digital marketer, you should be asking yourself a few questions:
- If users no longer need to click on an actual web page to access information, am I likely to see a decrease in organic search traffic?
- How can I deliver the same text-based information from my web pages via voice search?
- Speaking of voice, what is my brand’s tone and how do I convey it in as natural language as possible?
The age of relying on writing for robots and keyword stuffing is over. In its place comes conversational search queries.
Understanding Voice Inquiries
One thing to remember about virtual assistants is that they’re not always asked the same types of questions as your typical search engine. People might want to find out about your business, but they’re not looking for a lengthy blog about an industry topic. They just want basic information — business in the local area, their hours, and their contact information. If they want to read something, they’ll search for it on their home computers when they have free time. The virtual assistant landscape, then, is limited to only the most basic of queries.
Using A Natural Voice
Although you may normally write with SEO in mind, it might not be a bad idea to talk with SEO in mind. Verbally discuss the aims of your content. Identify sentences and phrases that link back to what people might search for, then include them in your copy. Approaching your content and your website copy in this way can have applications that go beyond assistant-based SEO. You may find that a more conversational tone can go a long way towards presenting a friendly face to new and current customers.
Think Location First
If your business has a physical presence, it is even more crucial to optimise your content for voice assistants. Voice searches on smartphones are usually location-dependent, ending with “nearby” or “near me”. They’ll display different results based on the searcher’s proximity to your business. It’s crucial to get your business location into all the major directories (Google, Apple and Bing Maps). Also, make sure that details such as your opening hours and phone number are correct.
Include an FAQ Page On Your Website
People use conversational speech when they use voice search, and they often ask questions with common phrases. These phrases include words like “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, and “how”. For example, rather than searching “Samsung VR”, people are more likely to search “What is Samsung VR?” FAQs like these are the key to increasing your business’ chances of being picked up by a virtual assistant. Use an FAQ page on your website with questions that begin with these common phrases, then include conversational answers. You ultimately want to focus on ranking as highly as possible for questions consumers will ask about your product/service.
While voice assistants present a new challenge to marketers, they are also an additional opportunity to reach a target audience. Voice search will continue to grow, making up an estimated half of all searches by 2020. So make sure that you’re continually thinking about the conversation you want to have with your potential customers. Put yourself in their shoes, and act accordingly. You’ll be glad you did.
For many years I have been saying to website owners: “there’s no point having a fantastic website if no one is visiting it”, and, by the same token: “there is little point spending lots of money getting visitors to your website if, when they arrive, they find it difficult to navigate or find what they need, and it has no call to action.”
What I was really highlighting was that you should always consider Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) AND Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) together, and spread your digital marketing budget, no matter how small, across the board as a whole digital marketing strategy.
The CRO bit…
So ‘what is this CRO?’ I hear you ask. Well its nothing new. Good shopkeepers have been doing this for centuries: Making customers feel welcome, pleasantly asking what the customer is looking for today, placing products in the right place of their shop. Knowing what goes best where to entice the customer. Showing off the special deals and the price reductions on the way in and on the way out. Making sure the payment counter is clear and friendly.
Now imagine your website. Does it fill all these criteria and more? Try to think like a visitor. Just look at your website and see: is the navigation clear? Do your products stand out? Read your text out loud and see if it still makes sense. Of course, it’s hard to check your own work sometimes, so ask colleagues and friends if they would do a ‘usability test’ for you. Ask them to be honest, even brutal, and you will be on your way to a better and well thought out website.
You can start to be a bit more scientific if you like. There are plenty of applications and tools that will conduct a survey for you and even do complex split testing (show different versions of your site to different visitors so you can get data on what converts better).
It may be that a different font or font size may do better. A different colour pallet may get the customer clicking ‘add to basket’. That may sound silly but these simple style and format changes are proven to improve a web site bounce rate (or otherwise if you get it wrong).
However, if you’re not at the stage where you can employ a load of analysts, or perhaps just starting out, then for me, asking a load of friends and colleagues can be a very good substitute.
The SEO bit…
Once you’re happy with the look and usability of your website, and your ‘shop’ is looking good, you need to look at how to get more people inside it.
In basic terms, the more visitors you attract to your shop, the more sales or leads you are likely to make.
In our Victorian shop example of setting out (optimising) the shop to make it easier for the customer, now takes us outside and asks ‘how do we get more people to walk past the shop?’
You could put up a bigger sign with spotlights on it, so customers can search you out better as they walk along looking for services like the ones you provide. If your shop is in a town of other shops all selling the same thing (as typically displayed in a page of Search Engine results) then it might be important to be on the main street and not a back street, and maybe have a sign on the window highlighting your unique selling points that the others don’t have.
In the modern world of Digital Marketing, there are many ways to attract ‘click-through’ visitors to your website.
Search Engine Optimisation can be a big part of that marketing, and in itself is a very wide subject that can make a huge difference to the number of quality visitors you receive.
So even on a basic level, make sure your titles and tags are all completed properly, your products have good descriptions, and refresh your content on a frequent basis.
Of course, all this takes time and consideration. If it’s not the best use of your time, but you see the rationale, then please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.