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Don’t bolt out of the gate too quickly – build a foundation.
All too often businesses rush out to get themselves a logo, thinking that they have ticked the ‘brand’ box. Before you engage with a graphic designer, make sure you take a look at their portfolio (to see if their style matches yours) and take the time to establish where your business fits within your industry and therefore competition.
Once you understand your competitors and who your target market is you can develop your USP or unique selling point/proposition. This is what will make you stand out from the crowd and help you to create your branding, and messaging for advertising.
How will you reach your target market?
Create a matrix of your target market and the channels they use. This is useful if you have different types of target markets – for example, your business may have a product more suited to an older more affluent market which is predominantly women – the channels for them may be print magazines and Facebook; another product is aimed at the younger demographic and their main channel may be Instagram.
The purpose of a matrix is to separate out your target markets and how to reach them – be tactical as opposed to having a scatter-gun approach.
Get all your ducks in a row before building a website.
Once you have created your brand identity and understand how your business will stand out and get noticed from your competitors, it’s time to develop your website.
Best advice we can give, don’t get a ‘friend’ to create your website for you – unless they are a web designer/developer of course!
There are a lot of moving parts to a website that need to be brought together to make it successful. From brand consistency, SEO and keyword research to linking all of the social media and Google products (see ‘what makes a good website’ article).
In short – it’s a website that’s getting you leads and sales. A website that isn’t getting you that is simply not doing its job.
If you feel like your website might not be pulling its weight, you’ll first have to ask yourself ‘what’s the point of my website?’ What do I want people to do when they are there?’ Usually, the answers to these questions are something like ‘make an enquiry’ or ‘buy something’. Now, keeping those answers in mind, look at your navigation, the pages and their content and ask yourself if all of them are working together well to make that thing happen?
Good copy that draws people in and leads them to the conclusion you want is really important. If you know your customers well, you’ll know what the main reason is for people coming to your site, so put that information front and centre and make it easy to access.
Make sure customer benefits are constantly highlighted. If you know your prospects have some particular worries that would stop them from getting in touch, answer those questions before they contact you. Make it as easy as possible for people to contact you so they aren’t put off by having to jump through lots of hoops to get to the end result.
If your website’s been running for a while and you’ve got enough data on it to start seeing reliable patterns and behaviours, it would be hugely beneficial for you to have a look at this as well.
If you’ve been doing any online marketing, you should be able to see what’s worked and what hasn’t. Which pages people are entering your site at and which pages people are leaving at. What’s the general route they take before they make contact with you? Plus, you’ll find loads more valuable information that’ll enable you to optimise your site to get more enquiries and sales.
The more you use Google the more it likes you.
As well as having good SEO (see our SEO article) so that Google can find you, they also have a suite of services and it is recommended you use as many as you can. The bare minimum we recommend is Google My Business and Google Analytics.
Following on from that is Google Ads, which is the most effective way to progress to the top of a Google search page.
There is a misconception that once you have your website built, it will instantly appear on Google. Sadly this is not the case. Make sure you have all of your SEO and Google service ducks in a row and then begin a Google Ads campaign to create brand awareness. It will be money well spent, but remember Google Ads is a specialty and it is always best to use an expert so you are getting the best results and therefore a good return on investment.
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the process used to get your website content to rank highly on search engines like Google.
Let’s break this statement down.
When you type a query into a search engine, that search engine then combs through billions of pieces of website content to find the best answer. It’s not just website text either, it’s also images or videos etc. Search engines manage to do this incredibly quickly.
How do they comb through this content and decide which is best?
Search engines use robots called crawlers or spiders to comb through every bit of content on every url. These amazing robots then process/organise that content and stores it in an ‘index’.
An index is a massive database of every single piece of content that has been found – which they rank in order of what they deem is the best and relevant to answer a query. You want to rank as highly as possible so you appear in searches above your competition.
How do I get my website to rank higher?
Getting your website to rank higher involves a number of moving parts. Start by making sure your website is ‘optimised’. If your website isn’t visible to search engines, you will never appear in any searches.
Each website programme should provide the opportunity for you (or marketing agency) to write your SEO and often it will let you know if it is good quality SEO or not (such as Yoast for a WordPress website). It is all written ‘behind the scenes’ of your website. This is what you will see on the results page of a search engine, such as a headline and a snippet of information.
The crawlers or spiders will ascertain if the SEO matches any of your content, for example, your SEO matches the web page you are referring too. If it does, it will help to push you up the rankings in the index as it is deemed as trustworthy.
It’s a very complicated thing:
“These ranking systems are made up of not one, but a whole series of algorithms. To give you the most useful information, Search algorithms look at many factors, including the words of your query, relevance and usability of pages, expertise of sources, and your location and settings. The weight applied to each factor varies depending on the nature of your query—for example, the freshness of the content plays a bigger role in answering queries about current news topics than it does about dictionary definitions.” Google.com
Yes we sure do.
We have a fantastic crew of marketing and web specialists who collaborate together to bring you an end-to-end solution. This way you don’t need to juggle different suppliers, or have one supplier offering ‘add-ons’ in which they aren’t specialists in.