How fast your website page loads in a smartphone or browser is really important. Not be paying attention to your website load time is a huge error in the world of Google today.
This is why knowing and working to improve your page speed and site load time is crucial.
Google has a new tool called “Google Test My Site”. This online tool will test your URL, compare your site to others, give you a rating, and even give you a free report and recommendations to follow to improve your speed.
Google says that your site will lose one-half of all your visitors while the page is loading. Know that 70% of visitors globally are surfing the web on 3G or slower speeds until 2020. Want more business? Speed up your website!
Your website is all about more sales! That’s the reason you’ve hung out your shingle, but are you hurting leads and sales by having a website that’s not polished enough?
Polish is not about having fashion models in your content photos, although attractive people in your pics will not hurt, it is about the details.
These details communicate visually your professionalism and instill confidence in prospects when they visit. It’s the look and feel and you’ve got 10 seconds to make a favorable impression!
Here are my top polish points to check out on your own site.
Content blocks on the home page
These just must be the same word count and line up horizontally. When you have three different sized boxes it just looks bad.
Blog post excerpts in your footer
Control the word count! There are plugins you can use to assure your excerpt stays the same word count. Make sure to use them so you do not have giant blocks of blog content making the bottom of your website page look like jagged teeth.
Photos with no smiles
Staff photos where everyone looks grim or the business owner is frowning should be updated. Look approachable, you don’t have to be a model, but a pleasant look on your face is important.
Photos where the clothing is too casual
Owner and staff photos are important. If you work in a professional arena like a dentist or doctor – wear a white coat, lawyers – wear a suit, business owners – the higher dollar figure your sale, the more dressed up you should be. Polo shirts and super casual wear is great for your photo if your customers and competitors will be wearing those types of clothes. Careful – what you wear impacts your site’s polish and communicates professionalism.
Blog posts that are off topic that don’t match what you sell
If you blog yourself for your own website, make sure that you create and stick to a content strategy that works to build keyword density and authority for your website. Keep the your website’s polish going by being on topic. Blogging is not your online journal, but rather a way to build authority with search engines and provide new fodder for search engine robots.
What is the best way to build visibility and traffic on your website as well as to place better organically (unpaid search results)? These three issues really go hand in hand. What you do to build traffic and visibility will typically benefit your site organically.
Here are my top picks as to where you should consider spending your money to get more activity on your website.
1. For immediate traffic, but at a cost, there is simply no replacement for Google AdWords. AdWords will not only drive immediate traffic, but immediate leads. When you need quick activity, this is the place to turn first.
2. To improve visibility and improve organic placement over time, blogging is still hands down the best way to build natural links and get the attention of search engines. The big caveat is however that you need to blog well, consistently, and write shareable information. If your blog posts are simply redux of your services, all about you, and do not explain or answer a question, you will not build links and provide strong value for readers. You will not build traffic, you will not build links, and you will not get shares. It used to be that most clients blogged three times a week, but now the trend appears to be blogging once a week with longer more creative content.
3. Social media helps to build buzz and helps to pass your shareable content around the web and to drive traffic to your blogsite and website. If you are just blogging and not sharing your blog posts on social media you may never tap into the true power of the web to create the traffic that you really thought you wanted or that you needed. Great content works hand in hand with social sharing. If you don’t have the time or budget to do this, go back and read number one and just stick with that approach – paid advertising.
4. E-newsletters continue to be an excellent way to build rapport with existing customers. It is three times more expensive to get new customers than it is to continue to sell or to build a sale with an existing customer. E-newsletters keep your name in front of your clients and provide for an easy avenue to share information, soft sell new services, and to position yourself as the “go-to” person for your areas of expertise. Besides that creating an e-newsletter list has strong intrinsic value. You can sell your list if you sell your business. E-newsletters appear to have strong staying power. It is not unusual for a client to read and then re-read a newsletter and touch base with you several days to a month after you’ve sent one. But here’s the caveat, just like number 2, your content has to be great, of value, interesting, not too self-serving, and be written in an interesting manner.
If 2, 3, or 4 seem like too much trouble, you are a candidate for number one – paid advertising. It may seem hard to get started on building content and earning inbound links, but it is something that every single business should invest in as one part of their marketing program.