A brief commercial message: 101 Ways to Market Your Website is a new guide published in March 2015 by Rachel Cunliffe and Dianna Huff, a very talented and smart designer-marketer duo. We took many of the tips listed in the post below and expanded them plus added 44 new ones.
101 Ways is easy-to-read and well-formatted for mobile devices with illustrations included throughout. Zero hype or fluff. $12.99 U.S. Be sure to check it out.
And now to the post . . .
Is your company website not doing its job — i.e. generating leads and sales? I asked some of the best minds in the business for their tips on what you can do RIGHT NOW to improve your website. Below you’ll find their tips and as well as mine.
1. Check to see if your site is easy to see via the iPhone or iPad. If it’s designed in Flash, your customers can’t view it using these devices.
2. If you’re using social media, add social media icons to each page of your site to make it easy for people to follow you.
3. If you’ve been quoted in the media, add media logos to your home page to boost your brand and image.
4. Check your site speed. Enter your URL here and on the results page, scroll down to the “Download times” section. Check that the time to load your site isn’t too big! If it is, the rest of the page gives tips as to why. A common problem is that images haven’t been optimized properly.
5. Add your phone number on all of your web pages, in text, not an image. This way people can click it using a smartphone and can easily call you. Images aren’t clickable.
6. Add your phone number to the top of your home page so that people don’t have to search for it when using a smart phone or e-tablet device.
7. Add an email link to the top of each of your pages so that people can easily email you.
8. Get rid of stock images and use photos of real people — preferably from your company.
9. Include “breadcrumbs” in your navigation so visitors can easily determine where they are on your site.
10. Too few pages and too much information crammed on those pages — but your budget won’t allow for a complete redesign? Consider having your web designer create new navigation for you that includes drop down menus — making it easier to find information.
11. Ensure your site has a “main” or universal navigation structure and use it on all pages of your site to make it easier to navigate your site.
12. Make your logo a clickable link to your home page.
13. If your site has drop down menus, ensure people can use them via smart phone or e-tablet.
14. Register and verify your site with Google Webmaster Central.
15. Get your local listing(s) verified in Google Places (Maps) — do this even if you do business nationally.
16. Use ONE URL and drive all traffic to it. Directing people to more than one URL lowers your link juice, plus it’s just plain confusing.
17. Go open your website. Look at the top of the browser bar. If it says, “Welcome to ‘company name,'” your site probably isn’t optimized (what you’re seeing is your Title tag). Ditto for internal pages that have Title tags that read, “Products” or “Services.” Fix this, pronto.
18. Know who your target audience is and figure out the keyword phrases they might be using to find the types of products or services you offer on your website, through keyword research tools.
19. Take a pad of paper and create a list of keywords, as well as two and three and four-word keyword phrases, that you believe are related to your business, products and services. Don’t forget geographic keywords!
20. Rank each keyword/phase in order of importance: A, B, or C (A being keywords you absolutely MUST show up for on a Google search engine results page, B are keywords/phrases you should show up for, C would be nice to show up for and generally less competitive and have fewer searches (sometimes called the “long tail”).
21. After you create your list, go to the Google Keyword Tool to find anything you might have missed or other search phrases you probably didn’t even think of. Do this after your initial brainstorming!
22. Optimize your site for keywords people actually use in their searches — meaning, those keywords that have traffic volume according to the keyword tool.
23. Target the content and tags of each product/service page of your site to a specific set of related keyword phrases–pay special attention to Title tags as Google and Bing/Yahoo display the Title tags in the search engine results pages.
24. Use Google Adwords combined with Google Analytics to see which keyword phrases convert into leads or sales and feature them and other related ones more prominently within the content of your website.
25. Don’t put your company name first in the Title tag of the home page — put your number one keyword phrase here instead. This tells the search engines it’s important.
26. Use your list of search phrases as a guide when creating new web pages, blog posts, and even social media posts.
27. Instead of grouping all of your Services or Products on one page, create a page for each of your services or products — and then optimize each page.
28. Start commenting productively on industry related blogs and make sure to include the hyperlink to your website in the comment fields.
29. Start using a web reporting tool (i.e. Google Analytics).
30. Review your Web analytics each month. Go beyond the “top 10” keywords or pages viewed and really dig deep into what people are doing when they get to your site.
31. Tweak your site content or add new content based on what types of information people are looking for (hint: view the long-tail keywords on your Google Analytics keyword report).
32. See how search engines see your website by looking at it in text format. Does the order of the content reflect the importance you intended things to have? What text content is missing that you should have? You can use Yellowpipe or Google’s “Cached” tool: Enter your business name in the Google search box, and when your listing appears, click “Cached” and then “Text only version.”
33. Make it a habit to check the number of links back to your site each month. One good tool is Yahoo’s Site Explorer. Note how many sites are linking to yours and make it a goal to increase this number each month.
34. If you have a blog, use a plugin, such as the All in One SEO Pack, to optimize your blog posts and the blog home page.
35. Fire your SEO firm if you have no clue what they’re doing for you or if your website isn’t generating leads via search.
36. Fire your web design firm if they have no clue what SEO is or they’re trying to sell you a Flash website.
37. Don’t hire any SEO firm that promises you “#1 rankings for hundreds of keywords.” You get what you pay for — if an SEO promise sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
38. Focus your site copy on how you can help your prospects and customers — not on how wonderful you are (no one cares).
39. Highlight informative content, such as eBooks, guides, and tip sheets, on your home page and throughout your site where relevant.
40. Include calls to action on all pages.
41. Make a list of three pieces of content you can create in the next 90 days — then get them done.
42. When you create a piece of content, write a press release about it and submit to one of the online wire services, such as PRWeb.
43. Do a search for all the content, articles, blog mentions, etc. about your company. Create a Press Room page and add this information to it. Keep it updated.
44. Create a Client List page if you don’t already have one. If you do have one, make sure it’s up-to-date.
45. Create a Testimonials page if you don’t already have one. if you do have one, update it with Testimonials from current happy customers.
46. Ask three customers if they’re willing to be the subject of case studies. Hire an outside writer to conduct interviews and write the case studies; add them to your site.
47. Publicize your content via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook (and YouTube, if video). Ask your friends to help publicize it, too.
48. If you have a professionally done video about your company, add it to your home page.
49. Create a landing page for each of your white papers. Create content that *sells* each white paper rather than leaving people to wonder why they should hand over their contact info.
50. Add webinar transcripts, downloadable slides, and Q&A from your webinars on the page where you offer your on-demand webinars.
51. Consider adding a blog to spur discussions and give site visitors a reason to frequent your site.
52. If you have a blog on a separate URL, consider moving it to your domain — i.e. www.companyname.com/blog. This way you have all that nice blog traffic coming to one domain versus two.
53. Include a link to your blog in your main navigation.
54. Add your newsletter subscription form to every page of your site — not just the home page or buried deep on some other page.
55. Add an end user sitemap page.
56. Use contact forms for tracking lead information.
57. Add FAQ pages to help answer people’s questions.
Thank you to the following Web design, SEO and content marketing experts for sharing their expertise.
Rachel Cunliffe, President, Cre8d Designs — Rachel and her team provide WordPress and Drupal sites to companies around the world. Follow her on Twitter at @Cre8d.
Derek Edmond, KoMarketing Associates — The managing partner, Derek and his team provide B2B companies with SEO, PPC and social media services. Follow him on Twitter at @derekedmond.
Chris Jaeger, Chris Jaeger Consulting — Chris helps his clients generate more leads through Website design and SEO. Follow him on Twitter at @imchrisjaeger.
Stephanie Tilton, TenTon Marketing — Stephanie helps B2B companies advance prospects through the buying cycle with white papers, case studies, and e-books. Follow her on Twitter at @StephanieTilton.
Jill Whalen, High Rankings — The founder of High Rankings and SEMNE, Jill is one of top SEO experts in the world and is a frequent speaker at SEO conferences. Follow her on Twitter at @jillwhalen.