(please accept my apologies for any duplicates of this email)
7 Ways to Improve Your Website
copyright 2015 Joan Holman
Today, every business and every professional needs to have a presence on the web. A good website can be the hub for all your online marketing, but many companies and professionals have very weak or outdated websites that do not attract, engage, or convert prospects.
You Have Three Seconds to Get The Interest of Someone Visiting Your Website. Keep in mind that you only have about 3 seconds to engage a prospect so your website must have the right kind of design and content and copywriting and imagery to keep a visitor on your site.
If you check your Google Analytics (which should be installed on your website), you will see if you have a high BOUNCE RATE. That means someone came to your website but left it almost immediately.
If your analytics show that visitors stay a minute or two or more, that shows some good engagement. The usual stay on a website for someone who does not find what they are seeking is only about two to three seconds.
Is Your Website Getting You Business or Opportunities or Doing A Good Job of Building Your Brand? Is your website getting any good results for you? Do you get leads? Clients? Traffic? Does your website show up in the search engines for your name, your company name, for keywords related to what you do? Is it conveying the right brand image that you want? Is it building your visibility online, your credibility?
This is how you can evaluate your website and decide whether or not it needs some improvement.
OPTIMIZING YOUR WEBSITE FOR SEARCH ENGINE VISIBILITY. SEO (search engine optimization) for ranking high in the search engines is a very complex and very competitive activity and some companies spend thousands and tens of thousands of dollars every month to try to rank high in organic (free) search on the top search engines Google and Bing. Websites can be designed with SEO in mind, but it is not easy to compete with others for desirable keywords.
But you still do need to have these keywords and have them placed properly on your site, and incorporate them also in your site structure with your urls (these are the page titles such as http://www.holman.com/oprah-tour.html, which has the keyword "Oprah" in it.
When I developed my first website in 1995, I posted an article about my encounter with Oprah Winfrey. For several years I ranked at the top of the search engines of the day for the keyword "Oprah." This was before she even had a website. I wasn't trying to rank at the top but my article and its headline and url were optimized over and over for her name, and there was no competition at the time because there were very few other websites.
MY WEBSITES BRING ME BUSINESS AND OPPORTUNITIES. My websites do bring me clients and also many unexpected opportunities. I have gotten speaking engagements, been interviewed by the media, and even had offers to buy my domain names.
IF SOMEONE GET REFERRED TO YOU BY SOMEONE ELSE, THEY WILL PROBABLY LOOK AT YOUR WEBSITE TO CHECK YOU OUT. Your website is very important and can make a difference in whether someone who is referred to you will decide to do business with you.
I HAVE BEEN DEVELOPING WEBSITES SINCE 1995. I was one of the first people in the world to start developing websites and do online marketing in 1995. Since that time I have designed and developed many websites, have consulted about websites, content development for websites, domain names, search engine optimization of websites and website usability.
Website design has changed over the years and today people are viewing websites on tablets and smartphones as well as desktop and laptop computers, so your website should be visible on all these platforms.
There are some very basic things that you must address in order to have a website that is an asset to your business, and that will attract and engage your target audience.
1. MAKE IT CLEAR WHO YOU ARE TARGETING WITH YOUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. What are your targeting? In my case, for my website at www.holman.com I am targeting entrepreneurs, business leaders, small business owners and authors and so you will see right at the top of my home page, I have a bolded section that announces those target prospects. Keep in mind that you only have a few seconds to attract your target audience and keep them on your website, so you should have this information towards the top of your page.
2. TESTIMONIALS ARE POWERFUL FOR MARKETING. INCLUDE THEM ON YOUR HOME PAGE AND THROUGHOUT YOUR WEBSITE. Don't just put your testimonials on a separate page for testimonials. Put at least one testimonial on your home page, and you could also put a testimonial on your header for all your web pages. Make sure you have the person's full name and their permission to use the testimonial.
3. MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDE A PERSONAL PHOTO AND THAT IT PROJECTS A POSITIVE IMAGE. What really can make a difference on a website is the inclusion of a personal photo, not just on the "About" page, but on a home page, in the header, and other highly visible locations. People do business with other people and it is important to establish a personal connection. Research has indicated that the human face is still the most compelling image for marketing, so put a human face on your business and website. Candid photos are fine and sometimes even better than staged studio photos, but it all depends upon the photographer and also the profession. Using photos of people who give you a testimonial or endorsement also adds a lot of marketing power.
4. HAVE A CALL TO ACTION. In the upper right hand corner of my www.holman.com website, I announce a FREE CONSULTATION with a phone number. You want to try to make it easy for people to do business with you. You also want to make sure that your call to action is high up on the page and very visible. People oftentimes will only spend a few seconds on a website or webpage so you need to put the important stuff at the top of the page.
5. FOCUS ON THE BENEFITS YOU GIVE YOUR CLIENTS OR CUSTOMERS. Do not just tell people what you do, tell them the benefits of working with you. You can do this through testimonials, or in headlines, or bullet points.
6. HAVE SOCIAL MEDIA SHARING BUTTONS ON EVERY PAGE OF YOUR WEBSITE. Social media has become increasingly important for online marketing. You should make it easy for people to share your web pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and other social media sites.
7. IF SOMEONE IS INTERESTED IN YOUR SERVICES, YOU CANNOT PROVIDE TOO MUCH INFORMATION. Be sure to include lots of content that will help prospective clients or customers make a purchase decision. This can include frequently asked questions (FAQs); case studies; lots and lots of testimonials; examples of projects; articles; white papers; videos; podcasts; and so on. I have been amazed at how often I will get a new client who will meet with me for the first time and bring with them dozens of pages they have printed out from my website. One person had printed my entire website and went through some of the articles I had written and showed me they had highlighted sections from these articles.
FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION: You can call me at 952-595-8888 or email me at joan[at]holman.com for a free initial consultation about your website. I can take a look at it and give you a few recommendations. Although I am a website developer and can develop a new website for you, I can also consult to you and advise you on making improvements that can be implemented on your end with your own website designer.
Joan Holman Websites:
ABOUT JOAN HOLMAN
Joan Holman Is A Nationally-Acclaimed Online Marketing Expert, A Consultant, Author & Producer
Nationally recognized as one of America's top Internet marketing experts, Joan Holman is Chief Enlightenment Officer of Joan Holman Productions, a Minneapolis-based company that helps businesses, organizations, authors and professionals with online marketing, business development, branding, public relations, book development and book marketing and the development and improvement of web sites.
A broad-based consultant, Joan provides leadership, vision, creativity and insight to a nationale clientele. An author, ghostwriter, speaker and television producer, Joan's knowledge, experience and extensive network of contacts put her at the forefront of progressive developments in all areas of modern life.
Joan is featured in the book Online Marketing Heroes: Interviews with 25 Successful Online Marketing Gurus (published by John Wiley & Sons) with VPs of Google and Yahoo! and other industry leaders and she is also featured in the book Dear Success Seeker: Wisdom from Outstanding Women by Michele Wright, PhD, along with a number of noteworthy women including Gayle King, the Editor at Large for O, the Oprah Magazine; tennis champion Billie Jean King; actress Phylicia Rashad; actress Della Reese; Joan Ganz Cooney, the founder of Sesame Street; and others. (published by Atria Books, a division of Simon and Schuster)
- See more at: http://www.holman.com/joanbio.html