The world’s a changing. Gone are the days of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) being all about keywords and technical management of the back end of your website.
In this age of machine learning and artificial intelligence, the world has changed. We’ve gone from focusing on replicating keywords on a page to trying to understand how people consume information and how our information can add the most value to them. In other words, we’re trying to improve the quality of the experience for our users.
Google don’t really care about your business. Instead, they’re 100% focused on providing the best possible experience to their users. That means delivering content relevant to their queries, adding lots of value, and building authority your users respect.
The other major change we’ve experienced is the shift to mobile consumption of content. While this has been going on for years, it’s taken businesses a while to adapt. The move to mobile has meant long, single scroll home pages - but we’ve been slower to make sure that our home pages add lots of value and convince users to spend significant amounts of time on the page.
So, what can you do about it?
The answer, as always, begins with putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. This is challenging, but oh-so-worthwhile if you can do it well.
Look at your site through the lens of your customer. How does it perform answering the questions that are going to drive them to your site? Does the story it tells feel engaging and authentic? Is there easily accessible, in-depth content that generates real value (and drives leads)? Is it clean, easy to navigate, and all-in-all, a nice place to be?
If you’ve looked at your site and the answer is yes, nice job!
If you’ve looked at your site and the answer is no, there are a few things you might want to take care of. Here are the ones you’ll get the most bang for your buck on:
Nail your first screen
The place where someone lands is really important.
First impressions last, and the first screen of your website is where all your prospects draw their first impressions from.
Here are a few tips that you can implement immediately:
- Only make promises you can keep - if your offers and statements are out of whack with what you actually do, visitors will feel duped and put off
- Make clear and concise statements - too much information is a common problem, so focus on being short and sweet
- Use imagery that makes sense - all too often, I see stock imagery that doesn’t relate to the target market or the message - you can use stock, but use it well!
- Focus on your why - people who are connected with your purpose are way more likely to spend time getting to know your business
- Demand action - the number one reason visitors don’t engage with content is that calls to actions aren’t there - you need to tell people what you want them to do
Once you’ve nailed your home screen, it’s time to turn your attention to the rest of your website.
Tell a compelling story
One thing we’re massive on at Proposition is storytelling. We love a cracking yarn, and you should too.
It’s way too easy to write your content from your perspective, and spout off about what you do, without thinking about what is interesting and engaging to the reader.
Reviewing your website content from your customer’s perspective will help you pick out the places where you’re rambling and where the story doesn’t really stack up.
Another good idea is to ask some valued customers what they think - does my website stack up with the value you feel you get from me? Their feedback will be invaluable to redeveloping your story.
Also, don’t be afraid to use real life examples. Most businesses shy away from sharing real stories, but they’re actually the most powerful things there are. They give potential customers a real feel for what you do, and allow you to showcase some of the best work you’ve done.
If you’re keen to find out more about how to engage your customers with more stories, check out this blog. http://blog.proposition.co.nz/engage-your-customers-with-great-stories
What is authority?
It’s the practice of building trust and respect by continuously providing useful information to your audience.
It allows you to get your prospects to know, like, and trust you - all essential parts of the buying process.
The know part of authority comes from you - your personality. Make sure your personality shines through in all of the content you write. After all, you’re your best asset!
Liking you isn’t an old schoolground popularity contest. Liking you comes from consistently committing to adding value - think, how can I give my prospects information that they are going to be able to use to solve the problems we’re talking about? Always put this ahead of your own end - your sales.
Once you’ve got people to know and like you, trust becomes really important. If you’re constantly adding value, trust will come over time. There are also a few shortcuts to trust that you can easily add to your website:
- Sharing content that you’ve shared with other people - conference speeches, blog posts, podcasts you’ve guested on, even videos of you meeting people at your networking group
- Client logos - a panel of client logos is a really effective way to show your authority by demonstrating the wide range of people who rely on your expertise
- Testimonials - get some client testimonials on your site. They’re easy to get - just ask!
- Case studies & portfolios - these really show you know your stuff, and understand the work you’re doing and its impact
Reviews crush it
85% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. That's a pretty incredible stat.
So why haven’t you got your online reviews on your website? They’re a great way to build trust and convince prospects that you’re the right fit for them.
The best thing about online reviews - they’re really easy to add to your site. Check out this post which shows you how to add Google Reviews to your website pages.
Great Google reviews are an awesome asset for any business - so make sure you’re sharing them!
Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews either - add a link to Google Reviews in your signature, and add it to your post-sales follow up process.
What to do next
If you know your way around your CMS, these tips can all be actioned without needing a developer and can be taken care of in less than a day.
If you don’t, or just want to ask any questions - reach out to us. We’re happy to have a chat and give you some free advice on how you can make your website work better for you!