Do You Hate Your Business Website?
Initially, a business website is seemingly a fun thing to think about and put together. It is really great to see it take shape and start to build a ‘digital’ representation of the character and nature of your business online. Whether you do this website build yourself, have a friend or relative do it, or pay for a professional, once it is all complete it is fun to see it live! You just can’t help pulling it up and showing others or telling others the web address and letting them get the full affect themselves when it comes up on their computer.
This is all well and good, but once the initial luster wears off. Your business website starts to become just a digital pamphlet that you have to push people to for engagement. Don’t get me wrong. Your website is still as good aesthetically as it ever was, and it is very useful for transmitting information to clients and customers. It is a great place to store numerous resources that anyone can access at any time, if and when they need to do so.
What you start to realize over time is that it seems that no one new is seeing your website first and then coming to engage with your company for a product or service. The only people who seem to use your website are the people who already know that it is there and exactly how to get to it.
Now you begin to ask the question of “How do I get people to see my website when they have no idea that my business exists?” After a while you may even start to feel “bad” about your website and almost like you probably don’t even need one at all! If no one sees it unless I tell them exactly where to go, why do I have it and what good is it? Now you think that you probably wasted a lot of time and money on something that was not really helpful at all to your business.
It seems sort of like having a fresh popcorn machine inside your store for your customers to get free popcorn. Only the customers who come through the door can get the free popcorn and only the customers who have been to your store even know that you ‘have’ free popcorn in your store. Having the free popcorn machine cost you money and some customers may come back because of it, but it is not bringing you any new customers. Everyone that has never been to your store has no idea that they could get free popcorn if they would just drop by.
Why keep spending money to keep up with making popcorn then? Why keep wasting time on that ‘dumb’ website that I had built for my business 2 years ago? This is a good question (about the website), and I have an answer that I hope you will think about.
What if there was a way for you to slowly and methodically start adding additional content to your website in such a way that Google started to move your site up in the rankings and as people searched for a product and service that you offer, they would start seeing “your” website more?
Yes, it will take a little bit of time each week or two, but if you plan it out in advance, both what type of content, what form it will take and who will be responsible for posting it, you can work this into the weekly routine of things you do for your business all of the time.
Here is a fact to know. Google loves websites. They love to know exactly what each website is about. They hate it when they are not able to clearly determine what a website is about. When I say “Google” I am not referring to a human. No human (or groups of them) could ever look at the whole world wide web and know, let alone keep track of, every website out there. It is a computer program that does this task. So, due to this fact, the computer program is not able to understand things quite as easily as a human can. It needs to see and diagnose the “content” on a website to be able to determine as best it can what that website is about. This way, when someone types in a search term, Google has built a list of sites to offer up to the searcher that it thinks will answer the query. Google lists these sites in an order it has determined based upon its own “trust” that what it is offering first, is the most relevant websites.
If Google is unsure or doesn’t even know what you website is about, it will put it way down on the list. So, putting more and more content on your website, steadily over time not only helps Google understand what your website is about, it also starts to build up trust with them. They like this and start ranking you higher for the terms you want to be found for. You have put those terms inside of all of this content you are creating and placing on your website. At some point you have so much content that Google starts seeing you more like an ‘authority’ related to those keywords you want a searcher to find you for. This is natural and it helps Google do its job well, and when you do this Google rewards you for it. More people find your site and you get more traffic.
Here are a few ways to quickly and routinely add content to your website.
- Routinely Blog. Try to routinely add a new blog post to your website every couple of weeks. Once a week would be optimum. The more often you do this the more attention you get from Google. You can get this done by having your employees each submit a 300 – 500 word article about your business and or a service you provide. How they helped solve a problem for a customer. Anything related will do. This will give you a few to start adding over time and you can hand this off to someone who likes to write, or delegate it to a department head. You can also hire a paid service to create relevant keyword rich content for you, if money is not a factor.
- Become active in Social networks. Find an employee who is social media savvy and have them set up all of your social profiles for your company. This should include Google My Business, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Vine and Instagram. Having more than this is great and helps, but the ones I have listed will be very helpful to start. Have a social button that is a clickable link put on your website that goes out to each of these social properties. On these social properties, have a link back to your website such as http://www.<yoursitename>.com. This will give you a positive boost as you have people also post any new content to the website onto these other properties, and also if you have someone routinely post on the social properties (tweet once in a while, send pictures via Instagram, pin a few things to Pinterest, make a comment or two about what is happening at your business on Facebook) this will have a very huge effect on the trust Google builds for your site. These services can also be automated via software or by hiring others to manage the creation and posting of relevant content.
- Run a “reviews” campaign. Routinely run a review campaign with all of your existing customers. Give them something and encourage them to go to one of your social properties and leave a review or comment, if they feel that they were pleased with the service they received. Tell them straight up front that you are (as a business) just working on bolstering your social network and would appreciate having some quality reviews on these sites. (Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, Google Plus) Have a giveaway, or promote a drawing for a larger item. People understand now days that reviews for a business are very important. We all read them now before we choose to engage in anything. You not being afraid to ask a customer for a review will go a long way to build trust with them and strengthen the relationship. Give away $10 Starbucks cards for the request of a review. (Extra Tip: If you do run some sort of “drawing” make sure to capture everyone’s email address. Building an email list is huge and pays big dividends later. It should ALWAYS be a part of what ever types of promotion you do for your business)
- Start a YouTube channel for your business. The setup of a YouTube channel is very easy and I am sure you can find an employee or a teenager to do it for you. Here is the thing, IF you were to routinely make short little videos about your company, its services, its products and post them on your YouTube channel and then embed them on a new page of your website, you will receive a huge amount of juice towards ranking your website. You can post videos featuring employees, department, special occasions, customer testimonials anything will do. These videos do not need to be more than 60 – 120 seconds if you wish. You do not need any new or expensive video equipment. Your iPhone or Android phone works just fine now days. Run a contest among your employees for the most creative short video about the business. You will end up with several that you can post over time. You can embed them onto any page of your website and also push out a “share” link into your social network. Google owns YouTube. They really like videos. They love seeing videos tied to a website.
These 4 quick things can bring your business website back to life and in the end bring you more business via new customer engagement. Pretty soon you will not only be very pleased about your website, but you will find yourself wondering, “Man, how in the world did I ever get along without a website?”