This is blog five of a six blog sub-series on the topic of websites, part of the "All that PR & Marketing Bollox” weekly blog series.
In the penultimate blog of the website series, we’ll explore how you can build a website that is attractive and well-optimised for your prospects.Briefly covering SEO, I’ll also explain how design and content offering impact how your prospects perceive your business, after all, they will encounter your website long before they meet you, or pick up the phone to a salesperson. Once you have mastered these tools you can create an informative, well-structured website that is targeted to solving the problems that your prospects experience.
1. Target the Google machine.
Before you do anything with your website, you need to make sure that it is ready for Google. Start from a perspective of considering all of the terms that you want people to find your company for, rather than focusing on design. Create a list, group those lists together as chapters, and then make sure that your overall navigation for the website includes all of those terms. The result should be webpages where the URL includes a relevant search term for your industry (yourdomain.com/the-search-term). Then, you need to make sure that the page description matches the URL and you need to make sure that the H1 header reflects that URL as well. The ideal is to have a structured page like this for every term that you want your website to be found for. As you come across new search terms that apply to your business, write blogs about them.
2. Nice website, but what on earth do they do?
As a company building a website, you can do whatever you like in terms of your overall design, layout and creating the sexiest, funkiest looking website that anyone has ever seen. However, those things will mean nothing if you fail to explain clearly, concisely—and quickly!—what it is that you do. If you can’t find out from a website what it is that the company does and what the key product offerings are for that company within a matter of 30 seconds (and it may even be less than that) then people are going to bounce in and bounce straight out of your website.
3. Scrolling is routine.
There was a time in the early days of websites when everybody wanted to have non-scrolling, static pages on their websites. Times have changed though, and thanks to the ease with which you can scroll on a webpage or on a mobile device, people no longer mind scrolling down a page to read more. Indeed, there are numerous benefits of having very deep pages with a lot of content (remember, more content = more relevancy and expertise = Google search ranking improves) when it comes to garnering traffic. However, please make sure your “deep pages” are useful and interesting instead of just taking up space. If you are using a long-scroll format thinking you will be favoured by Google, but haven’t provided meaningful content on that page, people will lose interest and they will soon click off.
4. Get real.
Are all of the pictures on your website from Shutterstock or Getty Images, etc.? If the people on your website who are supposedly your employees also appear to work for 15 other companies, you’re not creating a website that will capture the interest of many. It seems disingenuous, soulless, and cheap—three things that your prospect doesn’t want in the company they’re about to hire. So use generic images sparingly and try wherever you can, particularly with regard to people, to keep things genuine. Take the time to photograph some of your own people. And not just standard head and shoulders, but rather capture them at work and actually doing things.
5, Strike a balance.
Keep a balance between your blog and your website, or static and dynamic content. Too much website and no blog is a bad thing. No substance and all blog is also a bad thing. The static content is background information about your organization that you’ve carefully considered and that isn’t going to change on a day by day or week by week basis. The dynamic content are your blogs which give your point of view and your personality on top of the substance. They also respond to current events, trends in the industry, and the shifting status quo. All of these elements are important to have, and it’s about finding the right level between the two ends of the scale.
6. Remember, it’s not all about you.
The first generation of websites were essentially glorified brochures, where people simply looked for a description of a product or service. But in today’s market you have to do more to demonstrate your authority and your knowledge. As a purchaser or prospect, I want to know that you have solved my problems already and that you have a knowledge of the topics I’m searching. You need to show that you get my problems, you understand my market and that you’ve solved those problems for other people in my markets. Refrain from talking about how great you are and avoid overused superlatives that mean nothing. Keep the client at the centre of what you do.
Tip #11: When creating your website, follow the rules above for a successful, engaging and search engine optimised domain.
To learn more about how you can create an attractive and informative website with relevant content for your prospects, you can download your own 'Preparing to Build a New Website Checklist' below.