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Do You Want to Increase your Website’s Traffic?

Who doesn’t want to drive more traffic to their website?

I’ve helped many website owners to achieve their higher traffic goals. But I also know it can be challenging for a layman. Read more

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7 Home Page Mistakes You Must Avoid

Your website is the cornerstone of your marketing collateral.

 

No one is going to do business with you until they’ve checked you out online.

 

Read more

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What is Evergreen Content – And Why Should You Care?

Evergreen content is a term that you may have heard before.

Many people talk about it and the benefits it can offer. But what exactly is evergreen content? And why should you invest in it? Read more

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The Pages Must You Have On Your Website

Your website is the absolute foundation stone of your marketing efforts. Prospects will always check you out online before they do business with you, even if that’s just to endorse their existing impressions.

Read more

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The Elements You Need For a Successful Home Page

Question: If Usain Bolt can run the 100 metres in just over 9.5 seconds, what’s faster than that?

 

And the answer is a visitor deciding to leave your website.

 

I’m sure you’ve heard the statistic that you’ve got 8 seconds to persuade a website visitor that they’re in the right place before they hit the back button and leave your site forever.

Read more

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5 Common Website Mistakes

Today your website is the cornerstone of your marketing collateral – selling your business 24 hours a day.

When I come across a business that doesn’t have a website or who has a really basic website, I’m amazed.

Having a good website, in my opinion, is no longer an option but an absolute necessity.

When I start working with a new client, virtually the first thing I do is to review the website and almost invariably they’re not doing the job they should.

There are often lots to things wrong with them but the following are probably the five most common website mistakes and they’re guaranteed to ruin your website’s success.

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Too Salesy

Now of course the purpose of your website is to sell. But with most of us, if we’re going to buy something we need enough information so that we can make sensible decisions.

Your website must educate and inform your visitors and provide powerful reasons why prospects should choose you, instead of screaming “buy me, buy me” continuously.

The other point you need to consider is how realistic is it to expect visitors to buy from you the first time that they come into contact with your business.

Statistics say that 99% of website visitors leave a website without taking any action.

This is an appalling wasted opportunity.

These people have sought out your business so at the very least you need to get their contact details. This will allow you to communicate with them over time and build a relationship so that they can buy when they’re ready.

You need therefore to have a data collection facility where you offer a free report or video in exchange for their contact details.

Lack of social proof

If you want visitors to engage with you in any meaningful way, you’re going to have to build trust. The best way to build trust is by including social proof and by that I mean testimonials from happy customers.

Prospects are far more likely to be persuaded by your customers singing your praises than by you doing it yourself. The more specific they are – saying exactly what benefit you’ve delivered, the more effective they will be.

As well as having a dedicated testimonials page, you should consider putting some on the home page as this is the number 1 landing page.

Too much design

The most successful websites are the ones where visitors are very clear exactly what they’re being offered, what they have to do and how to navigate to the pages they need to get to. The other point which is almost a bit counter intuitive is that the most successful websites are seldom the prettiest.

Make sure that your key information is clearly displayed and that the visitor pathway is equally apparent. Only when this is clear should you start worrying about the aesthetics.

What would you prefer – a pretty website or an effective one.

Rubbish content

A very common fault of a lot of small business websites is the quality of the content.  The words on your website have got to persuade visitors to do business with you. Poorly written content will not persuade anyone.

Remember your website is a reflection of your business. If your website text is badly  written with spelling or grammatical mistakes, this will send a message that your business is equally slipshod.

Investing in well written, persuasive copy is a wise investment.

Lack of traffic

Even if you’ve managed to get all the points above right and have a top quality site, if you don’t have any traffic going to the site or traffic that’s not interested in what you’re selling, you’re still not going to generate any business.

To drive traffic to your site, you need to have an effective traffic strategy. This can focus on either SEO(search engine optimisation) or Google Adwords or preferably both.

SEO will ensure that your website ranks well on the organic listings within Google and Adwords is Google’s online advertising platform.

To make both of these work and to ensure that your traffic is well targeted and looking for what you sell, you must ensure that you select the right keywords. These are the words searchers type into Google in the process of your search so you must ensure that these are contained in your website text and your Adwords ads.

These are five common website mistakes but there are lots more. If your website isn’t delivering the leads and enquiries that you need, get in touch with me today.

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How To Increase Your Website Conversions

No one is going to do business with you until they have checked you out online so it is vital that you maximise your website conversions.

Websites have to work really hard.

Looking pretty is no good to anyone. Website conversion is all about turning browsers into responders and ultimately customers.

So what are the key issues that you’ve got to get right?

Don’t waste your most valuable space

We’ve probably all heard the stat that you’ve only got 8 seconds to grab your visitors’ attention before they go elsewhere. Allied to that is the fact that 50% of visitors never actually scroll down the page.

This just emphasises the mistake I see all the time where people fill the top section of their home page with a scrolling selection of pretty pictures, which are somehow related to the business.

This is a waste of the most valuable real estate on the site.

This is the area where you should be hitting your visitors with a headline that communicates the biggest benefit you deliver or the greatest problem your visitors suffer from plus where you should be using a lead magnet to get your visitors’ contact details.

Have a look at my website and you’ll see what I mean www.bda.me.uk

The importance of video

Video is an absolute must these days on your website.

Google has always loved video and rewards you in its rankings.

But video can do some much more.

Video gives you the chance to introduce your personality into your website so in effect visitors are no longer interacting just with a website but also with you, the video presenter.

In a business such as mine communicating my personality and expertise are key objectives for me. Additionally you can use your video to tell people exactly what you want them to do and give them an immediate call to action.

The other thing is don’t hide your video away. Put it in prime position on the home page so encouraging people to play it and interact with you and the site.

If you’re not keen on actually featuring in the video you can always get someone else to be the spokesman for the business or you can do a Powerpoint presentation with a voice over.

Authority

If visitors are going to take action, they are going to need to be convinced by your site. To do this your site needs to be authoritative.

Authority can be created by showing your qualifications, any awards you’ve won, by including glowing customer testimonials and case histories which demonstrate the effectiveness of your solution.

Only when I have confidence in you will I take action and get in touch.

Mobile

Mobile has now officially overtaken desk tops for searching the web. As a result earlier this year Google amended their search algorithms and now heavily penalises sites which aren’t both mobile responsive and mobile friendly

So you absolutely must make sure your site works on all devices otherwise not only will you miss out on over 50% of potential traffic but Google will give you a major ranking slapping.

Free website review worth £300

Having given you all this great advice, I’ll now back it up by offering you a free review of your current website to see how it is performing. I normally charge £300 for a review so not only will you learn how you can increase your website conversions but I’ll even do it for free.

So for your free review or for help with any other aspect of your marketing, contact me on mikejennings@bda.me.uk or call on 01483 200387.

 

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The Processes Involved In Creating A New Website

I had a meeting with a client last week to start the process of creating a new website for one of their businesses.

It quickly became  apparent that they hadn’t actually thought about what they really wanted from the website.

Instead they had exactly copied the layout of another site we’d done for another business in the group and then tried to put some words around it.

As you might imagine the meeting was slightly awkward.

I have since supplied them with a crib sheet covering the steps involved and the areas to consider to create a website.

First things first

The starting point is to remember that in most cases the purpose of a website is to generate business either from new prospects or existing customers and that visitors visit a website because they have a problem that they want to solve.

With that in mind, the question to be asked is what messages should prospects be exposed to and what experience do you want them to have on the site., always remembering that visitors want to find the information they’re looking for as quickly and with the minimum number of clicks as possible.

Another key point to remember that your website isn’t about you, but what you can do for your visitors.

The questions you must answer

Before any design or build work is undertaken or even before the main body of copy is written, you need to have answered the following questions and to have done the relevant pieces of work:

  1. Identify the target audiences who will be visiting the site.
    Are they B – B or B – C or both. Are they all the same sort of people or do they need information tailored to their specific requirements or even or even completely different information?
  2. What are the objectives of the site – what do you want it to achieve? Is the website’s purpose to educate, to establish credibility,  to collect contact details, to make a sale immediately off the page etc.
    This is absolutely fundamental. If you don’t know what the site is trying to achieve, there’s no chance of it deliverying.
  3. What action do you want visitors to take? Do you want them to make a purchase, to leave their details, to phone you, to fill out the contact form etc.
    Whatever action you want this should be your call to action on every page.
  4. What devices will your audience be accessing your site from? If you have a predominantly mobile audience accessing your site on their phones, this will influence the content and quantity of information on your site.
  5. Research your competitors’ and other relevant sites. What can you learn both in terms of content, design and functionality?
  6. Decide the basic structure and what pages you will need to achieve the site’s objectives. Remember the simpler your site is to navigate, the more chance you have of success.
  7. Identify the keywords for each landing page. These are the words that visitors type into Google in order to find the services that you provide.
  8. What functionality do you want:
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Downloads
  • Data collection
  • Enquiry form
  • Blog
  • Social media links

9. Define what your company does so that visitors can quickly decide whether they’re on the right site. You have approximately 8 seconds when a visitor lands on your site. They must be able to decide immediately whether they are in the right place or not.

10. Articulate the benefits you deliver to your customers and the problems in your clients’ lives that you solve.

11. Do you have a USP – something which genuinely makes you stand out from your competitors? If so make sure that this is communicated clearly and prominently.

12. Get testimonials from clients. Testimonials provide social proof which is vital to create trust and credibility. Video testimonials are the ultimate but failing that include the name, company and job title and if possible a job title.

13. Develop case histories and get agreement from clients’ to use them. Case histories provide proof of the kind of work you do, the way you operate and the kind of results you achieve.

14. Source logos of client companies if you intend to show them. If your clients are well known names, this provides massive credibility and trust.

Only after completing all these steps are you are ready to start to write the text for the pages and to brief your designer.

So if you’re planning a new website or just an overhaul of your existing site, but think you need a bit of help give me a call on 01483 200387, email me on mikejennings@bda.me.uk or contact me via the website www.bda.me.uk

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How To Avoid These Classic Website Mistakes

Do you want to avoid these classic website mistakes?

The web has been around for about 20 years now.

But amazingly many small businesses are still making glaring errors with their websites.

When you consider that the web has become the default resource we all use when looking for just about any information, you realise just how much SMEs are limiting their own success.

Let’s go through some of these classic website mistakes that small businesses are commonly making. Get these right and at least you’re giving your website a fighting chance of being successful.

No Clear Objective

Too many businesses put up a website without too much thought of what they expect from it.  The point is that you must be absolutely clear what your objectives for the website are.

Are you looking to make sales off the page?

Do you want visitors to contact you?

Are you looking to collect email addresses?

Or are you happy for your site to be a brochure site which re-enforces  your other sales activity?

Whatever it is you want your website to achieve, you must be clear in advance so that you write and design it with that role in mind.

What action do you want your visitors to take?

The purpose of your website is to make visitors take some kind of action.

You need to be very clear exactly what action you want visitors to take and tell them very precisely what to do.

So whether that is to phone you, to email you, to make a purchase or to leave their contact details, make sure you give them that instruction and that instruction only.

Not built for mobile devices

This is becoming increasing important every year.

If you’re in an industry where people are searching for your services when they’re out and about such as cab companies or restaurants or your target audience is predominantly young people then having a smart phone and tablet compatible website is vital.

In April Google are doing another of their regular algorithm updates. This latest update is focusing on websites being mobile friendly.

Up til now the concern has been that websites should be mobile responsive ie they resize themselves to fit the screen they’re being viewed on.

This new emphasis on being mobile friendly will be looking at the user experience so things like the size of text will become increasingly important.

No email address on the home page

Different people like to use different communication methods.

Email doesn’t seem such a big step as picking up the phone.

Not having an email address on your home page could lead to you missing out on contact from visitors who aren’t ready to have a conversation.

So make sure you’re making it as easy and comfortable as possible for visitors to contact you by putting your email address on your home page.

Lack of social proof

Social proof in the form of testimonials and case histories is vital for establishing your credentials.

A quality testimonial, stating how the customer has benefited from your services, along with a convincing name, company name(if appropriate) and a photograph will give visitors confidence in the quality of your products and services.

While you’ll probably have a dedicated page for testimonials, having a couple on your home page is important as many visitors may not get past the home page.

Lack of keywords

You can have the best website in the world but if no one can find it, it’s unlikely it will deliver your objectives.

You must ensure that your primary keywords are built appropriately into your copy. Your text must be written for the reader or Google will penalise you if you repeat keywords too often or your text is obviously written for the search engines.

But the fact is that if the search engines can’t relate your text to the search terms people are using, you won’t show up in the search results.

Of course these points only cover the very basics.

So how does your website measure up?

 

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How To Get More Traffic To Your Website Without Spending Lots Of Money

Probably the most frequently asked question I hear is “How can I get more traffic to my website without it costing an arm and a leg”.

As the number of websites continues to increase exponentially, getting your website found, and getting it found by the right people, is becoming ever harder.

But the good news is that it can be done if you’re willing to put in the work.

So how are you going to go about it?

The first point is you must identify a niche audience. Now you may have a business that is relevant to a wide range of people but for this strategy to work, you’re going to need to identify and focus on one particular niche. That will probably be the group who has the greatest requirement for your services.

The second requirement is to have a blog which is an integral part of your website. This probably means using WordPress as your website platform.

The website and blog have to be one and the same thing. The whole strategy is dependent on the blog. It’s the blog which will drive traffic.

For this reason, you will need to blog a lot. Really the more the better. Once a week should be the minimum you aim for.

What do you blog about?

So the next question is what do you blog about to make the strategy work?

The answer is to identify the subjects that people will be looking on Google for answers to within your field of expertise.

The objective of course is when someone puts their search query into Google, that your blog article pops up.

By clicking on your blog article, your traffic will now be driven to your website. If on your blog page you have your lead magnet and other products that you sell, you now have a real chance of getting people onto your list and also of selling them stuff.

Of course within any industry, the range of search subjects will be huge. What this means is for this strategy to be successful, you will need to put up a lot of blog posts and to ensure that the titles match as closely as possible to the phrases people are likely to put into Google.

The success of this approach will be heavily influenced by how closely you’ve defined your niche. The more closely defined the niche, the more you can tailor your titles to this audience.

The other point to note about all this is that the benefits will increase over time. As the number of relevant posts increase so the number of times your posts will show up will increase and so the number of visitors to your website will also increase.
While advertising is immediate, it has a finite lifespan – a day, a week, a month depending on where you’ve advertised, your blog posts have an almost infinite life span.

Infinite life span and virtually free(except your time) what’s not to like?