Maybe you just found your website in the list above, and it wasn't ranked nearly as high as you hoped it would be. Or maybe your business wasn't listed at all and you want to make sure that when it does get listed it will be in good standing vs your competitors.
We're going to briefly describe a few things that you can and should focus on to improve your website.
But, before diving in, it's important to keep in mind that your ultimate goal should not be to rank first on our New Hampshire company list above, but rather to turn your website into a traffic-acquiring, revenue growing machine for your business.
By focusing on optimizing your website, the high rankings (and bragging rights) will follow!
Before diving head-first into investing time and money into your website, it's important that you have realistic expectations. These are not bad expectations. Bad expectations would lead you to believe that no matter how hard you worked, building and managing a website that grows your business will not be possible.
Realistic expectations are having the mindset that to get to a certain level, a certain amount of work will be required. And, with the work put in consistently, that level will be achieved.
Websites require constant investment. Unfortunately, just paying a website developer $5,000, $10,000 or $20,000 will not be enough. It might look nice, but it will eventually fade away without constant nurturing and analysis.
So, understand that this will take some work, and it will require some time, but the positive results will happen to those who are consistent and don't give up too soon.
From our experience of working with many companies, small to large, the best long-term impact of website performance and attaining new, organic customers is by having a consistent content creation strategy. This might require a basic understanding of how search engines work.
Search engines like Google and Bing exist to help users, billions and billions of users a day, to find things on the internet that they're looking for. A user doesn't know where to start other than by entering a few relevant keywords in a search input field. But they'll know and be frustrated if they are then returned a list of irrelevant and low-quality webpages.
So, search engines deploy automated webcrawlers to simply navigate the internet all day every day looking for and indexing as much content as possible. Once they have this content, they will try to understand it and then return it to users who might be searching for it - in order of the deemed quality of the content.
Quality might be determined by the length of the content, its originality, how well it performs at keeping website visitors on its page, and more.
Your job, as a website owner or content creator, is to create as much original, high quality content as possible that will be indexed by search engines and increase your website's chances of being listed in as many search engine result pages as possible.
Sure, a business can have a 1-page website, but for each additional page you create, you create new opportunities for those pages to be found as well which will capture free, organic traffic and bring it back to your site.
Ready to take the next step? You can do so by taking the content that you've created, and optimize it for search engines.
A minute ago, we mentioned search engine webcrawlers - the enormous pieces of code that exist on servers all over the world and constantly scan, crawl and index the internet.
Well, as smart of computers have become these days, they're still machines, so we can and should actually optimize our page's content (and even some back-end source code) to better "speak" with these web crawlers.
This means doing things like:
- Editing our content to contain important, relevant keywords and phrases that users might type into a search query
- Compressing images so that our webpages load faster
- Making sure that we're correctly using header tags, and adding accessible, alternate text to media elements
- Adding context to your pages via metadata tags
Search engine optimization is a logical next-step to growing your website after initiating a consistent content marketing plan. SEO performed on a thin website, or a site without much content, will not yield worthwhile results. But SEO performed on a content-heavy site can be the difference between your content ranking on the second or first page of search engines.
Don't forget what the purpose of your website is. It's not to look nice or share information. No, the goal of your website is to grow your business or organization by way of increasing sales and prospects.
This means that your website and pages should act as sort of "sales funnels" that accept all site visitors at the top and then funnels them through a journey of product or service exploration and, at the bottom, converts them into customers.
So, your content should be geared towards helping the user get from point A to point B.
- Point A is maybe your home page
- Point B is a page that lists all of your services
- C is a specific service
- D is why that service is worth it
- E is why other people paid for it
- F is where the user can purchase it for themselves
Too often, websites are filled with mostly information about the company. We just performed a live website case study on a local Milford, New Hampshire business whose homepage and navigation menu were 90% about the company, and only 10% about the user.
Declutter your website and make it easy for the user to know what to do and where to go next.
Finally, for everything you do, you should know how to review your progress and make modifications that will improve your performance.
Without having a plan to consistently review, analyze and update your website, you'll never know if your efforts are paying off, or which ones are paying off the most.
For example, let's say that you have a webpage that contains content highlighting one of your products and what sets it apart from your competition. After about a month, you take a look at your site metrics or analytics account and see that that page gets a lot of traffic. Great! However, not a great percentage of the visitors to this page are then proceeding to the next page where they can purchase that product.
Well, that sort of makes it worthless, right? After all, you're trying to sell your products, not be a blogger!
Now that you know this information, you can react to it in a few ways:
- Make the link or button to the next page more obvious
- Maybe move the payment form over to this same page so that the user doesn't even have to leave to pay
- Modify the content a bit by adding more sales-focused copy to convice the user to take the next step
Without review, you might think that things are working well, or you just have no idea. But by seeing and analyzing your site's metrics, you can take action based on real, live data which makes it easier to work into the budget.