When starting out online, businesses face two big questions: Where does my business need to be online and how will I know what my customers want without their direct feedback? This post is dedicated to getting started online and providing short, basic launching off points to help you build your online web presence.
I get a lot of questions from brick and mortar companies asking where they should get started online. This post provides the basic building blocks for your technical SEO strategy. Also subscribe to our YouTube channel for more bite-sized tips for growing your business online.
Use professional site design and analytics
To start, web sites demand that your web presence has a professional content design that is driven by where your customers are. You need the data analytics like Google Analytics to first know where your customers are and then a content strategy designed to engage them there. Once you have the analytics established, an intuitive web site layout makes your company appear more inviting and open to customer interaction.
And it’s not as easy as it may seem — web design and analytics requires experts in web design and analytical fields. But if your sites not user-friendly or your not providing the right content to be found on the web, your site visitors could turn away before they even read a word about your company. Bridge and Switch has both the design and analytics expertise to help you establish your professional web presence.
Create original content
Business websites should offer potential customers more than just your product information. Whether you use graphical interfaces, graphics or videos, this kind of content provides valuable details to your site visitors while showing them that you’re an expert in your industry.
Informational content comes in a number of different forms, including blogs, FAQ pages, newsletter signups, product pages, and other. By using the search friendly keywords — that is, the same search terms your audience is using online — you build your online reputation as a quality, trustworthy business.
Check out our YouTube video SEO Fundamentals for more quick tips on growing your rankings in search. For more bite-sized web development tips on growing your business online, subscribe to our YouTube channel Bridge the Web here.
Organize your website
Similar to architects who are planning a city, you need to plan your web site to make it accessible and easy to navigate. One option to organize your web site is to create a sitemap, which provides an outline of links to all of your webpages. Not only are sitemaps helpful to site visitors, they also important for search engines to crawl and index your site so they can rank your web site more easily.
Let’s chat about your web site structure. Call us at (330) 552-8308.
Lastly, you can organize your web site by linking similar pages together. This allows site visitors to click on pages that contain relevant information to their interests, and it also increases the amount of time they spend on your web site in general. The more helpful information you can provide, the more likely a site visitor will be to convert into a customer, whether you want them to buy a product, sign up for a newsletter, or make a donation.
Include contact information
It may sound like a small thing, but adding contact information to your web site can make the difference between a potential site visitor calling you or your competitor. Contact information should include your company name, address, and phone number at least. If you have a global email address or a contact form, you should also include that to make it easy for people to reach out to you during off hours as well.
Besides making it easy for your customers to reach you, your contact information is also one of the most important factors in local SEO. Adding it to your contact pages and all social media accounts for your business can help Google determine when it’s important to show your business to customers searching for services in your area.
Build relationships online
Most customers prefer doing business with companies that they feel personally connected to. A content strategy with targeted content is a great way of building more personal, casual relationships with potential customers.
Start by showing your customers what’s “behind the curtain” of your company. Customers will be able to put a real face to your business, and this can do wonders in strengthening brand trust and loyalty. Here are a few ideas you can do be more personal online:
- Record a video tour of your office
- Create video interviews with the company leadership, or with client-facing employees
- Set up a page detailing the history of your company
- Highlight any community-building work your company may do/has done
Projects like these are fun to make, and show customers that they’re important and your committed to them. Reach out to our partner Thespis Media for professional video production that you can showcase online.
Add to your web site often
Adding new pages and quality content to your web site is a cornerstone to building your rankings in search engines. Whether you’re blogging or creating pages built around frequent questions or high-traffic keywords, you’re growing your potential audience with every addition you make. Plus, search engines like Google perceive site updates as an indication of freshness — in other words, they see that your site is active online and of high quality.
Frequently updating your web site fits invites search engines to index your site more often. The more you update your website, the more a search engine wants to know what you’re adding so they can show your results to users. Your brand-new content may not rank well right off the bat, but over time — and with more views — it can become a staple of your online presence.
Hire a professional
Web site development takes a lot of time and technical work. But your time is more valuable running your business — not working online.
But don’t take our word for it, get advice from Google themselves. Listen here to Google’s Maile Ohye talk about hiring a professional.
Lastly, we’re here to help. At Bridge and Switch, our professional, experienced team knows all the ins and outs of building high quality web sites because we worked for Google search, the world’s largest search engine. We know how to do everything from creating the bare-bone infrastructure of web site to adding optimized content that will attract site visitors and encourage them to convert.
We deliver top-ranking results to startups, B2B agencies and Fortune 500 companies. If you’re looking for a partner in web development and technical SEO, call 330.552.8308 or contact us online today to get started on your web site project.
Written by Rachel Wilkins Patel
Rachel Wilkins Patel is the CEO at Bridge and Switch, LLC. Bridge helps their customers’ business through data-driven insights and technical expertise. Rachel is an ex-Google search manager and founder of multiple start-ups. Bridge and Switch, LLC. was founded in 2010 and is located in Cleveland, Ohio