Running an online business isn’t simple, no matter what some people might say.
It’s never simply a question of setting up a website and waiting for the sales enquiries to come flooding in.
If it was truly that simple, there’d be a lot of online millionaires. No business can afford to design a website and then sit back and let everything else take care of itself. It doesn’t work that way unfortunately. Unless online businesses constantly add to and update their websites regularly and look to constantly improve the way their sites is represented on search engines using the latest SEO techniques, then they will soon become one of the also-rans. So, what can online businesses do to keep their websites relevant and vibrant? What sort of changes can they make that will make their search engine marketing campaigns more targeted and effective? Here are a few simple pointers that you might find useful:
Quantity is an essential prerequisite for any website.
Many people would argue that content is king. It might be a rather overused phrase, but never the less it’s underpinned by fact. The better quality material you can add to your website; the better it will be received. What’s often overlooked is that quantity is an equally important SEO strategy to quantity. Simply having a basic website is no longer enough to generate the amount of business to make an online company successful. Leading businesses actually spend significant amounts of money keeping their websites vibrant and they are constantly adding new content and webpages. Now you may only run a smaller business, but if you want to be successful then you can no longer rely on simple one or two page websites to generate traffic and sales: you’ll need to up the ante, particularly if you’re thinking of investing cash in SEM campaigns. What you should be doing is developing your website and adding further pages, whether that’s landing pages or product pages. The more relevant and targeted information you can provide for your customer the better.
Words maketh the website.
It goes without saying that keywords are crucial to the success of any SEM campaign. Keywords have to be relevant to your particular line of business and they need to be focused. However, as competition is now tighter than ever and there will inevitably be others targeting those same keywords, so your business will need to make every effort to distance itself from the competition and accentuate what makes you different. This has become increasingly significant after Google dropped the number of first page listings from 10 to 7 last year. Don’t forget to establish your local credentials either, as ‘local’ is the fastest growing area of online business. Use plurals, abbreviations or colloquialisms if appropriate as all of these have their uses. If you’re struggling to choose relevant keywords, you can always have a look at Google Adwords keyword tool for inspiration, but using the most popular keywords is unlikely to attract additional business. Once you’ve decided on the appropriate keywords, make sure they’re embedded not only in your website’s copy, but also in its source code. This makes it easier for search engines to rate it.
Don’t forget to use your keywords in relevant advertisements.
Don’t forget to include your chosen keywords in any special promotional offers or discounts you plan to market. What you’re offering may be ‘special’, but that won’t mean it will be capable of selling itself. Customers need to be persuaded to move in the right direction: they won’t necessarily do what you expect them to, so make sure you guide them to where you want them to go. Always ensure you include a call to action with the offer and ask them to ‘buy’ or ‘sign up’ to whatever it is you’re offering.
Customised landing pages are still valuable tools.
Your website’s home page may look great: it may even tick all the right boxes. Unfortunately it won’t necessarily generate the level of sales you’d like. So try to create customised landing pages for each of the products or services you’re offering. These pages should obviously be specifically related to your chosen keywords. Customised landing pages make it much easier for customers to find exactly what they’re looking for. If they have to access your website through the main page and then need to search further to find what they’re looking for, they’ll probably get frustrated and look elsewhere. If your business wants to attract new custom, or build on what it already has, then it’s sometimes necessary to serve the information up on a plate to the customer.
However, it’s worth stressing that even when you’ve made these changes, your business can’t afford to stand still. You’ll need to test the effectiveness of the new keywords and re-test if necessary, as well as continuing to build in additional content to keep your website fresh and relevant.