You’ve poured your heart and soul into building a new website for your pet business, you love how it looks but no-one is visiting. So, what’s happened? While I’d love to tell you that your amazing new look website will be enough to bring in hundreds of potential clients it sadly takes a
bit (lots) more work to get the visitor traffic flooding in.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a subject that is constantly evolving and adapting to the needs of internet users. If you are just starting out with a website for your business, it can be a minefield to navigate through the vast amount of information on the subject. Then there is the issue of actually getting your website listed on Google, which is no easy task. Generally, it involves investing time and lots of work to build your presence properly – a healthy dose of patience (and lots of coffee) helps too.
1 // Make sure your website is ‘mobile-friendly’
Everyone has heard the term ‘mobile-friendly’ but many are still confused about what it is and if they actually need to have a website optimised for mobiles. The answer is ‘yes’. You definitely need to have a mobile-friendly website, especially if you want to keep Google happy and every website owner wants that.
Let’s get back to basics – what does mobile-friendly actually mean?
When a website is classed as friendly for mobile phones, it is because it adapts to fit the screen size without having to zoom in and out of the page trying to make the information readable. That is a frustrating experience for visitors and the last thing you want is for a potential client to be annoyed by your website.
If you think about how you view websites on your phone; like most people you automatically scroll up and down but scrolling left and right is awkward and annoying. A mobile-friendly website is clear and easy to read with the content arranged vertically, making the whole experience more positive for your visitor.
The bottom line is that people visit your website to find information – quickly and easily. If that information isn’t accessible within a few short clicks, they are likely to leave and take their business elsewhere.
Why is it important to have a mobile-friendly site?
It isn’t just the visitors to your website that value a mobile-friendly experience, Google does as well and they will reward you for providing it. Back in April 2015, Google announced that the new update to the search algorithm planned on boosting the rankings of mobile-friendly websites. Subsequently, websites designed only for large screens (i.e laptops and desktop computers) would possibly see a significant drop in their search rankings on mobile devices.
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” – Read more.
The update only affects searches on mobile devices and not searches on tablets or desktops. However, when you consider that 61% of UK adults use their mobile phone to access the internet that is potentially a lot of visitors you are missing out on.
Want to check if your website is mobile-friendly? – Visit this mini site from Google and enter your URL to do the quick test.
How do you make your website mobile-friendly?
If after running the test tool above you find that your site isn’t mobile friendly – don’t panic. There are steps you can take to convert your website. You can either opt for a separate mobile website or go for a responsive design. I’d recommend choosing the responsive web design option, which I’ll explain below.
A website that is responsive will adjust the content depending on the visitor’s screen size. Whereas a mobile only website uses a completely different URL specially designed for viewing on a phone (e.g. mobile.myurl.com). A major bonus of responsive web design is that you only have one website to update and manage, instead of having two.
Using a platform like WordPress makes the process easy as many of the themes are already designed to be responsive. So with a few clicks and limited technical knowledge you can easily convert your website to be mobile-friendly.
If you need advice on making your website mobile-friendly, please feel free to leave me a comment or drop me a line and I can help.
2 // Create high-quality content
Writing content is usually the part of creating or managing a website that many small business owners hate. It’s often due to not having the time to dedicate to regularly writing content, being unsure of what to actually write about or not realising its importance. Plus if the written word isn’t your strong point, then selling yourself or your business can be an anxiety-inducing task, so you end up putting it off.
So why am I telling you to write more content?
Well, the truth is Google (and your visitors) LOVE content. High-quality original content is a sure-fire way to give your site value and increase your credibility. Creating useful content gives your visitors a better overall experience so they are more likely to revisit your website regularly and trust that you are well-versed in your field. Visitors are also more likely to share your content on social media if they find it interesting, which in turn increases your reach.
If you think of it this way – Google is a business whose clients are people looking for something; whether that’s products, services or information. The reason Google is so successful is because they work very hard to make sure that users find what they’re looking for quickly. One of the ways they do this is by looking at your website to see how relevant and useful it is to users. If your site has had the same content for the past six years whereas your competitor has a website that is constantly being refreshed with new articles, which one do you think more is useful? Hint: It’s not yours.
How do you keep your website updated with new and exciting content?
The best way to keep your website updated with new content is to have a blog. I’d recommend every website have one regardless of the type of business it is.
If you already have a WordPress website then you have a blog capabilities already – phew! However, if you don’t yet have the option to blog, then it’s super easy to get one and you could be set up in a matter of hours with WordPress.
Once you have a blog, it is crucial that you keep it updated regularly. Not only will it encourage visitors to come back to your website – it will also help with your ‘content marketing’ which goes hand in hand with SEO these days.
But what if you hate writing content? Well, that could be a stumbling block but one that can be overcome with a bit of work. Most of the time it is just getting started that is the hardest part. Once you sit down and get down to it, the words start to flow and you find your voice then there will be no stopping you.