In the last 6 months, doing business online has never been more important. Our customers expect to be able to buy, book or interact easily, quickly and online. The UK is the 3rd largest E-Commerce market in the world.
So after fighting fires for the last few months, now is a great time to upgrade your web presence and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Getting this right will make your business more resilient and stand out from the crowd.
None of these tips are difficult but if you’re not sure, just ask in our group on Slack or in the Facebook Group.
- Define your basics – make sure that you are absolutely clear on your brand. This should include the values, voice and words used in your business. Defining these clearly will mean your later works comes together better.
- Identify your key customers or audiences and get to know them inside out. You may think you know this already but it is still worth having another look given the changes that have happened in 2020. Identify their needs and challenges too.
- Plan out a customer journey for your audiences. This means understanding what there common challenges are, how they find out information or get recommendations. It also means understanding more about what they search for when looking for businesses like yours. Think too about where they will land on your website or social platforms and how you will guide them to sign up, buy, book or interact in some other way. Plotting this out carefully makes ALL the difference to your marketing efforts.
- Bring all this information together in a mini strategy.
- Include what your business is, who your customers are and wha tatie needs are. Make a note of key words, search terms and types of people. Then plot out your customer journey and all the different places people will get to hear about you and find information about you. This will include your website, social media channels, 3rd party listings, reviews sites etc.
- Focus on your website – remember this is a key asset in your business and deserves some attention. All these tasks can be completed using Yoast on a wordpress website and SEO features on other hosts like Wix, GoDaddy & Shopify etc. Check and update the following:
- Hover over the browser tabs of all your web pages and make a note of the meta titles that pop up. This is what Google uses as a description of that page. If it says ‘home’ or ‘shop’ then it’s telling Google nothing. Improve them by adding key words like ‘handmade furnishings’ or ‘family photography’ etc.
- Check the text on each page of your website and make sure it includes some of the words and phrases you have used in your meta title.
- Hover over all the images you use on your website and make sure that there is an ‘alt tag’ or label that pops up to describe the image. Google can’t ‘read’ images so needs to know what the black holes are on each page. For example ‘handmade silver earring’ or ‘artisan beer’
- Make sure that your customers can complete the journey you have planned out in your strategy easily. Can they get to every other page from each page? Can the book, buy or find everything from each page? Do you provide the answers they are looking for? Are your images up to date and attractive?
- Use Google Console (Free) to check the speed of your website and for any gremlins. Console will give you a report about how quick or slow your website is. Reduce image sizes or as your web developer if it’s slow.
- Use Google mobile friendly service (Free) to check if Google thinks your website is truly mobile friendly. If it isn’t, Google will downgrade your website in its results.
- Do you have data capture on your website i.e. can users subscribe to your email or newsletter (best)? Do you invite them to join a Facebook group (less good) or check out a Youtube channel?
- Content is key – once you’re happy with your words, purpose and core audiences, then make sure your content is consistent and provides regular solutions for your customers. Make them feel important always. Content tips include:
- make a plan for content across the next 6 months.
- mix up short lived content and long lasting content. For example an Instagram story may be short lived but a blog post or Youtube video may last a long time and bring in traffic way beyond the initial post or share.
- Focus on your core messages and don’t dilute or get waylaid. Your messages need to be consistent always.
- Use a variety of content possibly including images, video, audio, GIFs, slideshows, posts, quizzes, polls and more.
- Social media still counts – what ever work you do on your website, it’s important to optimise your social media channels to reflect your brand, voice and words consistently. Upgrade your bios/about sections as they form the meta title of your social platforms. Link your social media channels to your website and visa versa. REMEMBER that your audiences may differ on each channel so adapt your content to suit. For example Facebook is video friendly and a place for entertainment and fun. Instagram is about beautiful images and human connection. Twitter is about sharing information and education etc.
- Use Google products – Google is still the largest search engine in the world by some way and holds over 92% of the world market. Using their products is favourable in Googles eyes. Optimise and upgrade your Google My Business profile to include update Covid information, hours and reviews. If you’re choosing a 360 video of your place, choose Google 360 and add to this profile. Try Google Trends (free) to help you with key phrases and areas of interest.
- Upscale your reviews – find a way of improving your review quantity and quality. Google Reviews (via Google My Business) offers you a link to share with customers to right their review. Trip Advisor does the same. Facebook recommendations are very useful if you have a good fan base there and recommendation on LinkedIn are also valuable. Be brave and ask for them too!
- Make time for analysis – not everyone’s favourite activity but essential none the less. Use Google Analytics for your website and Insights on Facebook & Instagram. Twitter and Pinterest also have analysis tools. Check them regularly so that you can see the difference your efforts are making. You can also quickly resend to issues of broken links, pages that users quickly drop away from or time spent on your website.