One of the most common requests we get from new clients is “can you help us with SEO ?”. The first thing we do is have a look at their website and Analytics, and it is not uncommon for our reply to be “the problem is not getting people to find your website, it is getting them to stay on your website”.
Statistics tell us that site visitors will decide within 10 seconds whether to stay on a site or return to a search listing for another choice. Losing them within those few seconds is commonly attributable to a few basic issues.
State Your Business
Well, of course! This seems painfully obvious, but many websites fail the elevator pitch test. The reasons vary: landing page clutter (more on this in a minute), obtuse messaging, or ambiguous visuals (yes, your dog is really cute, but that is only meaningful if you are catering to pet owners).
This is another case of simple is best. Succinct is more important than clever - if you can manage both within a few words, then do so!
A word on landing pages: a landing page is the one that a site visitor arrives at after doing a search or clicking on an ad. In many cases it might not be your home page, so be sure that all potential landing pages clearly identify your business or product.
Pitch Your Value Proposition
Assuming you have made it past the magic ten second mark and have become a contender, the next important thing is delivering your value proposition. Unless you are a one-of-a-kind business, you need to make a very clear statement that captures the essence of your values.
The web has change the nature of marketing, so be advised that saying “we are the (insert your superlative here)” is definitely not the way to go about it. People want to know what you can do for them, not what you think of yourself, so frame your value proposition in terms of how the consumer will benefit.
Include a Call to Action
Now that you have come this far in the competition for clients, make sure there is a clear way for them to connect with you. This will vary according to your product or service, but the principle is the same: make it simple and obvious.
First, list a set of goals for your web presence. These might include getting a phone call, building your brand, or selling something online. For each goal, ensure that there is an easy and obvious way for the client to help you achieve that goal - these are known as “calls to action” or CTA’s for short.
If getting a phone call is your goal, your telephone number, with area code, should be prominently displayed in the upper right corner of every web page. Looking to collect email addresses? Offer something free, and make sure the form is obvious and simple to use.
Search engine optimization is obviously an important part of your overall marketing strategy, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. Getting people to your site is the first step; converting those visitors into clients is the ultimate goal. Make sure your website is up to the task!comments powered by Disqus