In today’s world of online marketing, most local businesses are starting to realize the importance of using Search Engine Optimization (SEO). With many different companies competing for the same top spots on Google, it can be hard to develop successful SEO techniques that stand out from a crowd. Fortunately, there are still a few reliable […]
Before you embark on a digital marketing campaign to boost your rankings and your organic traffic, you need a solid site that will actually convert that traffic to viable leads. Why? Because more real leads will result in more sales. You can have an incredible marketing campaign with lots of traffic, but without the right design, the traffic simply won’t convert to sales. We’ve scraped the web to find various small business sites with designs that convert traffic well, in order to bring you this list of tips for your own web design. These sites employ principles that we always implement when doing design work for our customers:
Make it Mobile Optimized
Last year, Google announced that more people in the U.S. are now searching from their mobile devices than they are from computers. That means, when people are looking for local businesses, they’re opening Safari or another browser on their smartphone and tablets to do their research. With the uptick in mobile usage, in 2015, Google added mobile optimization as a ranking factor in search results, which means that mobile optimization is a must not only for conversions, but for your SEO strategy too.
What exactly does it mean to be mobile-friendly? It means that your site needs to be optimized to fit a range of screen sizes, which includes more compact iPhones and tablets. A well-optimized site, like this one from Apple Moving San Antonio, has coding that adjusts the site to fit on any size screen. Try opening the site on both desktop and mobile to see the difference for yourself or look at the screen shots below.
So how do you achieve mobile optimization? Here’s a helpful resource.
Test the Speed
Based on statistics published by Hosting Facts, the U.S. ecommerce market loses more than $500 billion to slow loading sites annually. That’s because, according to Kissmetrics, a 1 second delay can result in a 7% loss in conversions. In today’s fast paced world, people need information as soon as possible; they don’t have time to sit around waiting for a site to load.
To test your site’s speed, visit tools.pingdom.com, which offers a free website speed test. It will show you the average load time, how your site compares with other sites, and give you insights for performance improvements.
Establish Your Purpose Quickly
It takes a user a matter of seconds to determine whether or not they think your site has what they are looking for. To maximize your chances of conversion, you need to quickly and prominently describe to users what unique service you provide. For example, San Francisco’s Alt School, makes it pretty clear what it is they do with their eye-catching intro “School, reimagined”. These two words sum up what they are all about, which is uprooting the traditional education system. Users can immediately know if this is the site they are looking for.
Make Contact Easy
If you’re offering the product or service that users are looking for, the next thing they’ll want to do is contact you so they can ask more questions or purchase what you’re selling. A local business site should have:
- Phone Number: This should be prominently displayed near the top of your landing page, making it especially easy for mobile users to see it, click, and call.
- Contact Form: Make it easy for users to contact you with questions by adding a simple contact form to your homepage. This is especially important if your phone lines are busy or people are trying to contact you after hours.
- Address: Add your address where it can easily be seen and consider adding a Google map to make it easier for people to get directions to your storefront.
- Chat Widget: Adding a chat widget enables your sales representatives to address questions from multiple customers at the same time, plus it may entice customers who wouldn’t otherwise pick up the phone.
Here’s a great example of a site that makes customer contact easy:
Give Users a “Call to Action”
Giving the user a clear “Call to Action” helps users to overcome any questions or obstacles that are hindering them from making a purchase. In a study performed by HubSpot, one company was able to boost its conversions by 106% by making a few simple tweaks. One of these was adding a clear and prominent call to action button that simply said “DOWNLOAD WHITEPAPER” in all caps, with a red background. This button made it easy for users to know exactly where to click and what the result would be. Here’s a list of other popular call to action taglines:
- Instant Free Quote
- Download Now – Free
- Order Today – FREE SHIPPING
- Get Quote
You’ve spent hours crafting and perfecting the ideal website – a site that engages consumers and explains the passion you put into your company. But how do you ensure that you’ll actually get traffic to your site? What are the critical numbers to know to determine the SEO “health” of your website? We’ve put together a list of metrics that can be used as a “health check” for your website that can help you decide where to invest your digital marketing budget.
Organic Traffic & Organic Keywords
To get a baseline for your digital marketing campaign, you first need to assess where you are. This can be done by looking at the organic traffic you are currently driving to your site and what organic keywords you are ranking for. These metrics typically go hand-in-hand, the more organic keywords that you rank well for, the more organic traffic you’ll likely drive to your site. While there are a number of software offerings that allow you to see this information, ahrefs.com has an intuitive and user-friendly dashboard for looking up these statistics, along with graphs that give visual representations of the data. You can use this data to see:
- How your estimated organic traffic compares to that of your competitors
- What keywords you’re ranking for and which ones you aren’t
- If your online presence is growing or shrinking
By analyzing your current keyword trends, you can see where to tweak your on-page or off-page optimization strategy.
Which Keywords Are Important?
The most relevant keywords are the ones that your customers would most frequently search to find your product or service. For example, people looking for a dry cleaning business in Cincinnati would most likely Google something like “dry cleaners Cincinnati”. To get a better feel for what actual users are searching, Austin search engine optimization experts recommend using Google’s free adwords tool. Simply create an account at adwords.google.com, navigate to the “Tools” section and click on “Keyword Planner”. Start with the phrase you think is most commonly searched and hit go. Once Google populates the results, you can look under the “Keyword ideas” tab to see related keyword ideas along with Google’s estimate for the number of times each phrase is searched every month. Using this tool will help you determine which keywords are most highly searched, and therefore most likely to help you drive traffic to your site.
Track Your Keywords
As you develop your digital marketing strategy, you’ll want to keep track of these keywords. One of the best tools for achieving this is using software such as Pro Rank Tracker, which allows you to track your rankings for free. You simply add your site URL and keywords and start tracking.
In addition to a solid on-page strategy, off-page is equally important to a successful SEO campaign. Off-page refers to the network of backlinks pointing to your site. Different software programs have different names for the health of your backlink profile. For example, ahrefs.com, which we mentioned earlier has helpful graphs that show the number of referring pages to your site. These should be on the upward trend over time, because as a site ages, it will naturally get more links for external sites. Additionally, Ahrefs allows you to view a list of the links to your site. It also indicates the health of your site’s back link profile through what it refers to as the site’s URL and Domain Ratings. The higher these are the better. As you get more quality links, these scores will go up.
Majestic SEO, another popular link tracking software, refers to its backlink rating scores as Trust Flow and Citation Flow. In short, trust flow indicates how credible your internet presence is, while citation flow indicates the power of your backlinks. While a lot of spammy backlink tactics will focus solely on citation flow, this cannot come at the expense of trust flow. Links need to be from credible sources! Over time, a successful campaign will result in an increase to both the trust and citation flow.
This is a list of critical metrics to get you started on measuring the health of your website. Like getting going to your annual medical check-up, it’s important to check in on the health of your site regularly to make sure your local SEO strategy is on-track.
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