Countless small business owners struggle with the task of website marketing while trying to run a business at the same time. Some website owners can be overwhelmed by the amount of work required for a website to attract traffic and conversions. Here are ten website marketing tips that highlight the key aspects of successful website management.
Although nothing can guarantee website marketing success, high search rankings or heavy traffic, there are certain factors that need to be in place for your site to have a good shot at getting good rankings. Here are the factors that influence the performance of your website:
- No tricks
- Quality code
Content is the key to website marketing success. No matter how much SEO you learn, the quality of your content is what Google and other search engines care about the most. All of their search rank algorithm changes have pointed to the same consistent goal: to speed up search for all users and make results more relevant and accurate. Search engines are learning more about context of words rather than just keywords.
Search engines look mainly for content that serves the needs of its many users. At one time meta tags were important but not as much anymore following a series of algorithm changes. The more content you have on your site the more the search engines can scan – but there is more to it than that: it needs to be valuable content that people are searching for.
Relevant content that links to deeper content is essential. It’s important to interlink your content to get readers to spend more time with your information. Presenting content with a consistent narrative is a way to build a foundation for original material that people will want to share with others.
Here are some ways to create original content:
- interview industry experts
- offer product demonstrations with video
- provide video transcripts
- talk about company history
- tell stories about how the product changed someone’s life
- share industry secrets and suggestions for improvements
- find customers to offer testimonials
Spending an hour a day adding new content to your website is a good policy. The more web pages you create, the more chances your site will show up in search rankings for keywords in your niche. Every web page should be focused on specific keywords that provide a sharp focus on deeper information. The more you can craft web pages that answer the questions your followers may ask, the more valuable your site will be.
Keep your information current unless you are creating evergreen content, such as history and how to articles. Many times articles about history that haven’t been written in books before can attract a following. Offering your own expert commentary is a creative way of gaining an edge over competitors.
Creating hundreds of blogs and articles is helpful when it comes to website marketing, but if the site ceases to expand and most of the information is three years old, the search engines may not think the site is very authoritative. It’s a good idea to keep a steady flow of content that lets search engines know you live in the present.
You may want to add new updated content to old articles, which is another way of letting search engines know your site is expanding. You can also add select reader reviews at the bottom of the page. Mixing positive and negative feedback provides diversity and shows that you’re not afraid to present balanced reviews.
One of the best ways to establish authority with search engines is to create a regular blog that shares vast information that cannot be found elsewhere. A blog, unlike a newspaper article, has a more personal appeal and provides interactivity with the reader. Like a TV series, a blog should have the feel of an host who keeps an audience coming back for more entertaining useful information.
There are no tricks to website marketing
Don´t try to outsmart the search engines – eventually you´ll lose. Many web development firms promise success through the use of tricks, backdoors and special tactics supposedly designed to sneak a web site into a top position rapidly. But search engines catch on to schemes fairly quickly and usually punish content marketers who use “black hat” deception. These tricks are outdated ways of attempting to spam content or deceive robots.
Trying to fool search engines has not only proven to be a waste of time, it can cost you valuable search ranking. It’s much wiser to follow “white hat” search engine guidelines. By following these sensible rules designed to reward the most content-rich site, you have a much better chance of website success – and survival. Keep in mind that there are no short cuts to high search rankings.
Both inbound and outbound links must be relevant. In other words, it’s not a good idea to link with hundreds of random sites. Many of those sites can be dead within a year, leading to your site being full of bad links. If your site has too many useless links it will likely be downgraded by search engines. Links into your site need to be from credible sources as well.
At one time many sites tried to build hundreds of links through link exchanges, thinking it would lead to higher search rankings. Now it is pretty common knowledge that it’s better not to link to any irrelevant sites. To make sure your links are proper, you should first get permission from a site owner before creating a link.
Search engines no longer favor long pages full of links to other websites, especially if there is no pattern of relevance. It’s best to make sure links are related to deeper content and not just used to create the impression of a business relationship.
Although you cannot control how other sites link to yours, you should get an idea of who links to your site and make sure it is done in a relevant way. If the link seems out of place you should request that the owner remove the link.
Organize and optimize your website well and it will have a much better chance at attracting loyal traffic. Both the search engines and your web visitors prefer a website that is well structured. Search engines, due to their nature of being computer programs, must break down all websites into elements based on the structure of the pages. At the same time people read web pages quickly, scanning headlines.
A well structured site will attract better attention than a site that is thrown together in ways in which it’s hard to find or sort out content. By using correct coding for headings you help keep your content organized into sections that can be quickly accessed by readers. Bold tags and bullet points help make important content stand out.
Remember that most readers will not immediately read all your text in the order it is written. Most readers will scan headlines then read the content that interests them. They likely will not click every link you include. Try to keep links limited to important points that deserve to have deeper sections. Do not link to fluff.
While your site needs to serve a specific niche audience, it also needs to be accessible to as many people as possible so that you can recruit new followers.
The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) provides a list of guidelines for how to create websites that are accessible to as many people (and systems) as possible. Think about your website and ask: can someone with a visual disability still get information about the product or service? If not, how do you feel knowing that you have just excluded a vast segment of the population from accessing your web site?
Check the group of simple WAI tests that will ensure that your product or service is presented to the widest possible audience.
Well coded web sites perform better in general and are more secure than poorly coded websites. Many small business owners don´t have too much control over the code used to create their website – but it is still important to at least know why code matters. Standard compliant code that has been checked for errors is easier for the search engines to assimilate. At the same time, valid HTML and CSS is not a high priority in Google.
Ensure that your web designer is writing standard compliant code that is validated for errors by using free tools from W3.org. While valid code is not one of Google’s main factors, it’s clear that if the code is absolutely poorly written, the site will suffer more from the fact that it will not display well or function properly in a specific browser.
Prudent choice of URLs will impact your website´s performance. Most professional web designers are aware of URL importance, but people who use a content management system may not understand why names of web pages need to follow certain guidelines. Usually the page title within the HTML title tags is more important than the URL in terms of affecting search rankings.
Search engines look at the address of every page on your website and try to extract keywords from the content of the domain. For example, you may have a page about “widgets” on your website in which the URL ends with the filename widgets.html. Using the keyword in the URL helps the search engines understand your site.
Keeping URLs as simple as possible is a good idea, although everyone has their own way of archiving their web pages for various reasons. Sometimes web pages have long URLs by the nature of how the website is structured in sections of folders.
It’s not as important anymore to have a URL that matches the theme of your website. It’s possible to target a key phrase by purchasing a microsite for that phrase. An inexpensive secondary website can be tailored to focus on a specific key phrase or concept.
Looks do matter – but not always the way you think. In the grand scheme of things the appearance of a website in the classic sense is not really that important – honestly! Once people have looked at a website for a few minutes their first impression will quickly be overshadowed by the site’s utility. If the site looks like it makes sense, it has a better chance of becoming a favored site than if it looks cluttered and confusing.
Ensure that the style of your site allows for the text to be easily read. In other words, small font doesn’t work very well. You can also help the reader by avoiding dark backgrounds with white or dark text. Using all caps is often regarded as annoying online because it forces people to read every letter and comes off like screaming.
Overall, the substance should be more noticeable than the style and the style should be shaped by the substance. In other words, the main themes of the site should be obvious. If the site looks super fancy but it’s still not clear what the site is about, there’s a big problem.
If you are selling a product make a good visual presentation. Professional looking high resolution photography is key. Even a multi-million dollar resort will not look good if the photographs are amateurish. If you care about what you have to sell, then it´s worth investing in some professional photographic equipment to showcase your work.
Color schemes and angles are two factors to keep in mind when experimenting with images. Different times of the day will affect the lighting and shadows. Learning how to enhance photos with a photo editing program is essential to create appealing photos of your products.
Remember that you don’t need big images on your web pages since the bigger the file size, the slower the elements will load. Using small images that look nice on a small screen is helpful for both desktop and mobile websites.
Use these 11 website marketing tips and you’ll see better results almost immediately.
By Aaron Enright