The purpose of your website is either to provide information to visitors, to entertain or inspire, or to convince them to purchase from you or visit your store. Is it doing what you want it to do?
My main focus is to help website owners increase traffic to their site, but what happens next? I make sure that the next steps they need to take are part of our conversation. Generally there are a few things I point out to people before I start working with them so there is more chance of success. Keep these things in mind before you hire an SEO:
1) Site layout – This should be your first consideration when building the site, but have a critical look now and pretend you are a first time visitor. Is it easy to get around? Can you find the information you’re looking for? Is the flow logical? Do you come across pages that aren’t in the navigation but clearly should be? Be honest with yourself!
2) Content – Nothing more disappointing than landing on a website and having the copy be dull (or worse, misspelled!). Watch out for things like too much or too little text, huge blocks of text with no white space, no images or bad quality images, too many things that make it distracting, loud noise or background music (this makes me jump out of my chair) etc. You get the idea – if it’s something that would annoy you, it is something that increases your bounce rate. A great rule of thumb is to just keep it simple.
3) Call to Action – It may be obvious to you what the visitor needs to do, but it’s always a good idea to lay it out for them. If you want them to sign up for your newsletter or download your free report, make that request clear and obvious. Position the call to action in a prominent spot on the page and make sure that it appears on every page.
4) Measurement – Most of us are not statisticians, but we can read a Google Analytics report. It’s a good idea to ensure that you have some method of tracking website visitors as soon as you build the site. This way you can monitor how activity changes over time. The more experienced you get, the easier it will be for you to tie in your latest blog post (and the subsequent viral tweets about it) with a spike in visits. You will also be able to make changes when something doesn’t work.
Bear in mind that the Internet is alive and your website is one of the cells that make up the beast. With the proper attention, your site (and business) can grow and thrive.
MarnieHughes is an SEO copywriter, author and online marketer. She works with small and medium-sized businesses to develop their marketing and communications and expand their customer base.
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