Getting people to your website
A website only works if people are visiting it and that a portion of those people are engaged to buy your products or services. Nowdays Google is the predominate source of visitors to your website. Google chooses who they list in their search results. It is not like the yellowpages where you pay for the listing and for how big your ad is. Google attempts to serve up relevant results for its users. So how do you get noticed by Google?
The first step is to have a website built with your customers and Google in mind. A decent website designer will optimise your website for Google as part of the design process. First and foremost however the website should be built for your customers, answering their questions and solving a problem for them.
Optimising websites for Google involves creating content related to search terms that you think your customers might use. For example, an accommodation business would want to optimise for their location and words like accommodation, motel. "Armidale Accommodation", "Armidale Motel", terms that people would search for when looking for accommodation. The content on your website must have these keywords in it and be related to this topic.
There are lots of optimising methods that web designers and specialist search engine optimisation businesses will use. I like to be guided by the idea that Google and I are headed in the same direction. Google wants to provide search results that benefit the searcher, to provide them with what they were looking for quickly and easily. I want to provide a website that does the same thing, provides a person seeking accommodation in Armidale, connection to a service that meets their need.
So instead of trying to trick Google or do lots of dubious things, if you do the basics well and provide a website that meets peoples needs, regardless of how Google changes, we are going to meet up. This can take time but it is a solid, reliable approach.
Google Places and Facebook
Recently Google updated their Google Places. When you search for something local like "Armidale Accommodation", Google would present a map of the town and a small list of businesses that has a Google Place listing. This was at the top of the results but took up little space and the organic results continued below.
The recent change has seen Google Places become more prominant, from a list of 10 or 12 before, there is now only the top 7, but they take up more space. This has meant the viewing area you want your website in, has more space taken up by Google Places.
So in addition to your own website, it is now important you ensure you have your Google Place listing updated. You can easily claim your listing and update your details, products & services, opening hours, website etc. You just find your Place Page and log in with a Google account. Your web designer can assist you with this.
Another change we have been noticing is the amount of visitors Facebook is bringing to websites. Some one updates their friends and family about a product or services they enjoyed and then your website gets hit with new visitors. This is true for other social media sites as well like Twitter, Linkedin, Foursquare etc.
So having a facebook page for your business could be another way of attracting people to your website.
The Internet is evolving quickly, with Google updating services, new social media sites becoming more powerful, the rise of mobile device use, and who knows what else coming along, it is important to remain engaged with your website if you want it to continue to perform.
A website is no longer just a business card online, it can be a homebase for various marketing campaigns. Think of your website as another physical branch of your business. Invest time in making sure it is performing.