All right you admit it. Your company’s website is a bit outdated. The kids in your pictures are married with children. Plus, the look of your site is clearly retro (and not in a good way), and users leave the site almost immediately because of the lack of functionality.
You need a new website. Bad.
If your pictures aren’t outdated, you think your business is in the clear, don’t you? However, with studies showing that people now spend more time online than watching TV, your business’ digital presence is more crucial than ever. While having an updated website used to be a luxury, now it’s more important than ever to watch for the signs of an aging website—and for good reasons:
- Mobile users are on your site, but can they use it? With statistics putting American ownership of smartphones between one-half and two-thirds of the population, you need to be a fortune teller and look ahead. This upward trend of smartphone usage is not going to going away, and chances are it won’t decrease. You need a mobile user friendly-website.
- You’re not listed on the first page of any search engine, or even in the top 100. Even if you can’t sell your product online, more than 90% of people start their search for a product or service using search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Having an attractive and functional website with search engine optimization technology not only allows customers to find and contact your business, but also brings them in the door. (If you don’t know how important search engine optimization is for your business, find out in our recent blog post.)
- You need a blog. Today customers want to get to know your company through a blog, not advertising, statistics show. Show that your business is customercentric: give them the resources they need, when they need it. Each blog post also becomes an indexed page, which gives your site a better chance of higher rankings on top search engines.
- Even if your users find you, they can’t do anything. Today’s customers receive the latest information quickly, and expect the same of your business. Make sure they can contact you, ask for a quote and send you questions with clear calls to action throughout your website. Since you’ve given them that instant gratification, remembers it works both ways—you need to respond, and respond quickly.
- Your website does not represent your current products or services any more. Don’t brush off outdated information. Potential customers won’t call you, or do their research on your site if they know it’s outdated.
If your website is showing these signs of age, get rid of your business’ digital grey hairs. Update the look and feel for superior aesthetics, and add the functional aspects that keep customers on your site—and coming to you time and time again.
They’re the latest trend, and everyone seems to have one, but why?
If you have more questions than answers about blogs as a marketing tool, and you’re hesitant about adding another ‘to do’ to your long list, consider the benefits behind setting up a blog for your business.
- For your customers. Think of your blog as another service that you offer to your customers. By posting relevant information and tips, you can answer their questions 24/7 when they need it. Posting informational blog posts also shows that your business has the industry expertise to take care of prospective customers’ problems and provide products and services with knowledgeable, customer friendly assistance.
- Increase web traffic. Top search engines gauge your website’s validity and the strength of your pages based on the content of your website pages. By posting regular blog posts, you are showing search engines that your content is updated, valid and relevant—three criteria they use to rank websites for search engine users. It’s search engine optimization (if you don’t know why that’s a good thing, check out the statistics in our previous blog post).
But before you jump in to blogging, make sure you understand what a good blog post that achieves the above results is. A good blog post should be:
- Relevant to your customers’ lives. It should not be your musings about the universe, or ramblings that pertain only to you. If you need topics that are relevant to your customers, use their feedback from your interactions with them. What are their frequently asked questions? What do they want to know about your products and services? Are there misunderstandings or “I didn’t know that!” bits of facts that you can address?
- Professional. You can use humor in your posts, but don’t cross the line. Your business blog post is for your business. Even if you push it out to your friends, remember that along the line someone outside your circle is going to read the post and judge your business by it.
- Regular. You can’t go into your blog with an “I’ll get around to that” attitude. Having an outdated blog is almost worse than no blog. It’s a black eye to your business. If you know you won’t have time for posting, outsource your blog to a knowledgeable marketing company. Ask other business owners for marketing companies they would recommend. Once you’ve selected a company that achieves results through blogging, feed their professional writer topics and update them about changes in your business strategy. Your company image looks professional and relevant, and that’s good for your business.
- Industry specific. Many a business owner has posted information NOT specific to their business without giving any thought to the people visiting their website. It’s okay to link your product or service to current events or a hot topic that everyone’s talking about. But make sure it’s relevant to your industry. If someone is visiting your website, they are interested in your industry, product or service. They want information, not ramblings.
One last note of caution: blogging for your business is not for the faint of heart. If you can’t commit to creating GOOD posts for your business, you’re wasting your time. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t host a blog, it means you should contact the professionals and let them make your business look good. There’s no shame or blame in outsourcing, just a great deal of satisfaction as they make your business look good—and increase your website traffic.
Ask not what you can do for search engine optimization (SEO), but what SEO has done for one Wisconsin business.
Take ABC Flooring, one of our clients in southeastern Wisconsin, and what search engine optimization has done for their business. ABC Flooring came to us in March with a problem: they had a website, but was not getting enough traffic to their site.
Fast forward four months later, and their website traffic has doubled thanks to search engine optimization. In just 30 days, their unique visits increased 122%, 166% in May, and recently have hit an impressive increase of 200%.
Website traffic is just a number unless you can convert those visits to customer interest. Today, ABC Flooring receives form submissions every week, with 60% of those visits stemming from their search engine optimization package.
Their case may seem like a tale out of a story book, but the truth is that search engine optimization is necessary for anyone looking to grow their business, as you can see from the statistics behind search engine optimization. And if those statistics don’t convince you, just look at ABC Flooring’s web traffic statistics, proving that search engine optimization is effective. It’s also easy, if you start with a (free!) seo health report. Because what good is an attractive and functional website if your customers (and potential customers) don’t see it? Or don’t see it at the top of their search page?
An updated Facebook page with satisfied customer reviews is well, fantastic. Constant tweets with links to excellent content is beyond awesome. But a solid social media presence is just a presence if you don’t use word of mouth to promote it.
Even with all our technology, with all our smart phones, laptops, tablets, instant messages and email, word of mouth is still king. It’s still the BEST way to let people know you have a social media presence. It’s even easy:
- Mention it to your customers during meetings. If you’re a real estate agent, a simple “and you can check out our Facebook page for listings and articles that will help you as you search,” is a way to give your clients more service, more resources—and to stay in touch with them even after their search is over.
- Tell your customers to watch your page or profile for specials. Of course, if you tell them they can find specials on your social media sites you have to back it up with specials that make it worth their while.
- Give your customers a card with a list or URL of your social media sites. Think about it, you’re ringing them up after they’ve experienced your quality services. A simple, “don’t forget to check us out on Facebook and Twitter for specials and updates” and a quick pass of the card gets their attention—and their like or follow later.
Your customers want to know about your specials. They want to know about the latest products. They wouldn’t be coming into your store or calling your business if they didn’t, so why wouldn’t you want that connection to them when they are going about their daily lives?
But if you don’t promote your social media sites to your customers, or don’t link to it on your website, it’s just a page. It’s a presence with no link to the rest of your marketing tools. We see it all the time: clients who want the social media presence, but they don’t mention it to their customers, and don’t integrate it into their marketing toolbox. They assume that their social media presence will live on, with no input or link to the rest of their tools. The result is there is no connection with the people buying their products. And that’s what social media is all about—people, connections and word of mouth.
You’ve invested a lot of time and effort into your website. It’s user friendly and welcoming. But how can you ensure potential customers find it?
You can add your URL to all your marketing pieces. You can spread the word about the website to your customers. But at the end of the day, potential customers join the 91% of adult users who turn to search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo to find information.
So why do you want to be at the top of those search engine pages? Consider the statistics:
Search engine optimization is the process that makes your brand appear at the top of those pages (remember, 75% of users never go past the first page of results!). There are several marketing agencies that offer search engine optimization, but the best bet is to go with the business that achieves results.
Not sure where to get started? Talk to fellow business owners who have achieved results through SEO. Get a free SEO health check report to find out where your website is ranked with keywords you provide. The path to search engine optimization is an easy one—and very worthwhile for your bottom line.
Your business has a website, now how do you make it stand out? With millions of websites on the internet, how can you make sure that your business is found? And how can you do so without blowing your budget?
We have the answer: KD Interactive’s affordable search engine optimization (SEO) searches. It’s a similar concept to search engine marketing services, when you purchase pay-per-click advertisement space on top search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Unlike search engine marketing services, search engine optimization offers better value, as you don’t have to pay for every consumer click.
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