Here’s how you can see if it’s time to dig in and do something about your online presence in 2017
Portable is loveable
Is that a website in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Your customers and staff want to be able to access your website on the go.
For a sales force, it might mean being able to update crucial information in real time through a Kentico CMS. It might be that commuting marketing team are popping on a few things to the website as the train rolls into the station.
Maybe you have workers that are always on the go or working in all kinds of remote places where a tablet is much easier to carry than a desktop or laptop.
Or you have customers who want to be able to get to information quickly and make that snap purchase, sign up or donation.
With 11 million tablets and 15 million smart phones in the Australian market since 2015, now is the time to ensure your website is responsive and offering the best experience it can via hand held devices.
Good SEO is super important
When was the last time you looked at your page titles, meta descriptions and on page SEO? Are your backlinks healthy or could they do with a review? Do you know if your products are properly optimised? How are your images looking in terms of size and attribute? How is your website speed and overall performance?
Google has made it pretty clear that the websites that take it seriously are the ones that will succeed with SEO. And while many places focus on the natural nature of content, you have to make sure you have the basic right.
Many websites, especially those who haven’t had work done since 2012 or earlier, lack proper SEO. There is still a lot of keyword stuffing, improper setups and problems with websites on the whole.
So how can you tell?
A couple of tell tale signs that your website is not optimised properly are:
If every title page and meta description is the same
If you have links that say “click here” for content instead of contextual links
If you find that the site speed is slow when you check it in the Google Speed tools
If you find that the Google mobile responsive tool cannot detect your site or if it does, it comes up looking funny
If you don’t have a blog (more on that in a minute) or if your blog is treated as a separate entity by Google. This is usually the case if you have a website that them uses Tumblr or a separate Wordpress blog
If you aren’t using social media
If you don’t have any backlinks or the ones you do aren’t reputable
These are very small parts of what could be missing from your overall web experience. You can also check your website out in the Google tools section and via the Hubspot marketing grader. You can also check your domain authority via Moz, which will display your backlinks and internal link strategy performance.
Or you could ask us to take a look at Webcoda. We’re usually pretty cluey in this area!
A blog that is useful
Blogs and content marketing in general are a slow burn. But there are a couple of ways you can inspect your blog and see if it’s healthy.
Have you got a blog that collects mostly tumbleweeds or comments? This is your first litmus test.
Next, is the content that is being added to the blog being optimised? Are you writing to include keywords? While Google says that the decent is what you need to aim for, you still have to let Google know what your blogs are about by including the keywords. After all, it won’t know we work in Kentico web development if we don’t mention it. And Google won’t know you research cancer, rehome puppies or sell the most amazing experiences in the world if you don’t mention it.
Another way a blog loses its sheen is it doesn’t have a plan. Have you thought about your customer’s common pain points?
Have you stuck your head into the call centre or had a chat with your social media manager to find out what the commonly asked questions are? Have you written up help that could reduce the workload for your frontline customer service staff so they can focus on the business of consumer education and selling?
Is your content a mix of evergreen blogs and supporting material you can use again and again or has it aged beyond usefulness?
When you don’t have a plan, things get a bit lost in translation. Before you know it, your content marketing efforts may only be servicing SEO- or not even satiating Google’s tastes for fresh content.
You can measure how effective your content marketing is by:
Asking if the publication of content has reduced impact on your frontline customer service
Tracking whether it is used as a reference material to onboard customers effectively
Looking at the shares it receives on social media
Checking to see the performance of the blog in relation to hits, links to it, whether the abandon rate reflects it being read or simply closed down and overall SEO rank
Reading it with a critical eye and seeing if it appeals to you with your customer hat on
Accessible to your customers
That dark background with white text is burning holes in your intended customer’s eyes. That super small text is making your website incredibly hard to read. And if your website doesn’t play nicely with disability compliance, you may be in even bigger trouble.
If you have lots of scripts running, flash dominates how things work, you haven’t thought about visually impaired users or how your website might sound when translated for someone else, you are probably up for a review.
Not using multi lingual website features are another way where you could be missing out. Chances are, if you have a large customer segment that can’t use your website, those customers and their word of mouth is going elsewhere. No one can afford to make that rookie error!
Accessible to your staff
Nothing screams “bottleneck in the marketing department!” like a website the team hates to update the website or blog. Information moves so quickly these days, it truly is the quick or the dead in modern marketing.
A good content management system or CMS can fix that. Thankfully, Kentico CMS (which is the puppy we use) is a magic system. You can post all kinds of text, visuals, plans, video, audio and downloadable content with ease through the WYSWYG content editor.
It also makes the ability to keep up to date with SEO fairly easy by providing things such as headers, page titles, meta descriptions and focus keyword sections in a simple format.
Your marketing team also need to be able to:
Share press releases, blogs and other relevant material quickly and easily to social media
Give your customers the ability to sign up to newsletters
Promote specials and activate them easily in the website backend with a few simple clicks
Add memberships, team logins and other velvet rope experiences within the website by managing users effectively
If your marketing team are dreading performing these sorts of small tasks or spending much more time than needs be completing them, help them out! Get them a new website before they lose enthusiasm for marketing the website or the job entirely.
Any barrier to an online experience is a bad barrier to have.
Whether you are a customer on the go with a mobile in hand or a staff member ready to throw their computer from the fourth floor window, what stops people from enjoying your website is making your business less productive. You are losing money by allowing your website to become unappealing.
Thankfully, Webcoda love a good new year review. If you think your website is missing that extra bit of spit and polish to make it shine in 2017, get in touch.