How will your customers know how AMAZING your site is if you don't use it?
We all make the mistake of just thinking our website will take care of itself. Here I will briefly discuss ways of using your site better and SEO basics.
I have lost count how many stunning sites I have designed for my clients and then they just don't use them! Don't rely on google to bring you lots of traffic, it's also down to you to use your site to it's full potential. I always give my client's lots of help and advice but many just don't use it and miss lots of opportunities.... it's frustrating to see but I also understand everyone is so busy but if you get the basics right it can help you thrive in the future.
How to Maximise Your Websites Full Potential . . . Be Inventive!
So how can YOU use your own website? You need to use it as much as your customers do. The more traffic you get through your website the better potential ranking you will get with google. Here are a few simple ways you can plug your site;
EVERY TIME you post on social media always add your www address at the bottom. This may entice the reader to click on your website. Not just external posts but your OWN posts.
Add your website address in all bios ie. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
Add your website address to your google business account profile and ask your customers to review you on google.
Any leaflets or stationary you give out, always add a QR code or a www address.
When using Instagram add a QR code or www address to your social media background.
In your social media stories add a link to your website.
If you have willing friends, family, customers or followers - ask them to share now and again.
If a customer contacts you via email, social media or text, always guide them to your website - either add a link at the bottom of your message or if you have the information already on your website that they are asking about, refer them to that page via link.
OK so we may have new customers finding us but how do we keep getting our EXISTING customers to KEEP visiting our site? (this will help with constant traffic. Good flow of traffic = better ranking over time). Here are some ideas to get you started...
Online forms i.e., consultation forms, medical forms, waiver forms, questionnaires, surveys, 'how was your experience' form etc.. Direct your customers via your website with a link to these forms
After care information / Customer service information / Terms and Conditions / Return policies etc. If a customer contacts you, send them a link to your website which will show them this information.
Offers / Discounts and Events you advertise on your socials. Why not put out a post that says FANTASTIC OFFERS on my Website quoting your www name ? Or if you want to still advertise the full details on your socials then maybe say - see website for more information and discount code? That way they have to click on your site to get the code. Either way PLEASE TYPE IN YOUR WWW. NAME ha ha 😝
Blogs are a great way to draw people to your website. But make your content count. On your blog area you can also add SEO and tags (which we will discuss further down). This is a really effective way to bring traffic in.
Newsletters and Email Campaigns with links to your website. You can add in your website offers as discussed above! Add a subscription to the 'my newsletter' box on your website too.
Forums - a place for likeminded people to come together in a community on your website. Don't forget to advise this on your socials too and yes you've got it, add your www. name ha ha !!
Exclusive Members Areas - if you have a business you can be inventive enough to have a members area. This would include subscriptions and paid memberships to areas only they can access, this will bring people back regularly. Everyone likes to feel special. Add in offers and discounts that are changed regularly and let them know it changes weekly / monthly so they check in.
Reviews - you can add a review or comments on your website from customers about their experience with you.
Notice board - advise this on your socials too 'see my website for event's and information coming soon' blah blah blah - anything you like that is relevant!
Payment feature - this can be deposits for services or the full amount
Do you use external selling sites such as eBay and Etsy etc..? Always add your www. name on the description on these sites. Sometimes it is cheaper to purchase direct from you and people are getting wise to that.
Do you use an external booking / payment system l.e. fresha for example? Add the link on your site under BOOK / PAY and always direct your clients through your website to this link.
'We are hiring' - apply here.
So much more!
Do not let this daunt you! Remember I'm always at hand to set all of these features up if you struggle yourself!
There is so much to SEO but are the basics explained!
Right, lets talk about SEO! The dreaded initials that no one wants to hear!!!! It's even worse when you say the full name... SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION!
I literally see my clients recoil, their toes curl into balls as they widen their eyes and give me THAT look as their brain has already stopped listening and has now moved on to what they are going to have for their lunch!!! And to be honest I don't blame them but when it is broken down it's really not too scary!
SEO is essentially the keywords you as a customer would type in google (or any search engine) to find a business i.e., 'florist in harlow essex' would count as one keyword. We just need to tell Google to put our business in there.
Your website has space for keywords to be added so customers can find you. It's important to add your locations too.
Each website page and image needs to have SEO. Google doesn't recognise an image, we have to tell Google what it is i.e., a photo of your product, let's say you're selling some shampoo, we need to tag it with something like 'strawberry shampoo for dogs' and your business name.
Each page and each service you provide on your website you need a title tag and meta description that includes your SEO keywords. It's also important to add SEO keywords within the body of your website too. I normally add some of mine in the footer of the website. So make sure your content counts and make it compelling.
Many websites receive more organic traffic to pages other than the homepage, which is why it's so important to diversify your website's pages by optimising each for uniquely valuable keywords.
Research your keywords and see what works for others, competitors and any trends
Know your audience. Really think like a true customer.. what would they type in google to find you?
Make sure your pages are named correctly (url)
Get indexed on Google which allows crawling
Open a Google Business Account and connect website to it. Also add website in your Google account bio.
Put yourself on the Google Map
Ask your customers to google review you.
Once you've got everything in place, it's time to expand your influence by earning attention and links from other sites and influencers.
You can have Googles ads (paid for service) to help bump you up but if you get your keywords right then generally you shouldn't need to.
It can take SEO ages sometimes months to work effectively. It can take Google a while to catch up on any changes. So be patient! And follow all the above tips.
ARE YOU STILL ALIVE?!
I hope I've not completely baffled you and made your brain explode!
Remember I do all the basic SEO on any website I design and add any features my client wants. However unless you have someone running your socials and managing your business, you will need to do a few of the above tips! Take one small tip at a time in manageable chunk sizes pieces.
Good Luck :) Claire Louise FreeSpiritArt