Selling Online? Websites Are Vital To Your Success
Your customers expect it. Yes, in 2019, your customers expect you to have a website. People’s lives are now digitised and they want the convenience to go online to check out your brand/company. If you’re not online they won’t find you; you are obsolete.
Think about the results that come up on Google when you do a search. If your business is not online you will not appear in their search results. Websites are a cost effective solution that allow your consumers to stay updated and have accessibility around the clock. And you can control your narrative.
Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Just because you create a website doesn’t mean you’ll appear anywhere in the top results of Google. I get it. Google has confused us all with their daily game of chess resulting in a new company retrieving the top spot day in and day out. With so many changes in Google rankings and algorithms in 2018 and paid ad packs taking over more and more space, it’s hard to keep up with whether you’ll even appear in the search results.
Google has certainly taken over what we consider the new “home page”. Customers can search for “Friday’s Jetski Perth” and get all of the info they are searching for without ever clicking on the actual website for the company Friday’s Jetski. Google has the click to call, driving directions, photos, reviews, hours, and even events magically appear. Yep, that’s confusing, right. Yes, I know what you are thinking, “If Google can do all of that and a customer is not even going to go to click on my webpage then why do I need a website?” That’s certainly a fair question.
Local SERPS have dwindled and Google is maximizing their revenue. But what you need to know is that if your business ranks high organically you are very likely to have associated local pack rankings. Let’s look at an example. If we search “Perth Jewellery”. You see that Linney’s appears in the 3 pack and the brand’s website is also listed in the results.
With Google’s overabundant zero-click SERPs and lead generation tactics, it’s still clear that if you appear in the no-cost 3 packs you’ll get a substantial source of clicks. The only way to do this is to have the strongest website possible. Among the shortage of opportunities available, your website is the foundation for maintaining free local SERP exposure.
Finding Common Ground
According to the Smaller Business Intelligence Report, nearly 50% of businesses do not have a website. That is mind boggling to think about. In addition, 62% of consumers won’t consider a business if they aren’t online. Are you bought in yet? You could be losing nearly 40% of sales due to your lack of a website. Your website is your livelihood and in today’s world is your direct link to competitive local rankings.
Now are you ready to get that website up and running? Let’s go. Check out a helpful guide here; this provides you some great detailed information on what makes a website successful. Or you can read any of our helpful blogs, such as this one on website design. Want to skip the reading? Let me sum it up:
In summary, you want to focus on
- Technical aspects
- Usability (think mobile friendly and easy to get around)
- On-site Optimisation
- Appropriate and timely content (Content is King. Check out the latest trends here.)
Optimisation and Content Go Hand in Hand
Your website needs to achieve what your consumer is after. If you run a flower company and you are known for offering in-store specials every Friday customers need to be able to find that information quickly. What hours do you run the special? Are there any specific parameters regarding the purchase (limited quantity, etc)?
Content needs to encompass keywords, tags, and descriptions on every page. Google rewards those who have an authority in their industry. If you think you can slap together a website in a few hours and achieve top rank, guess again. Content needs to be updated and consistent resources (think blogs, videos, etc) need to be shared. Your customer is ever evolving.
Take a moment to think about your business for a moment. What are the top 5 questions your customers ask (You want to think thru the entire sales cycle….What do they ask before they purchase, during the purchasing process and after?) ? These questions should definitely be addressed on your website.
Link-building and Promotion
It’s unfortunate but today many relate link-building with spam but that’s certainly not the case. Link-building has gained a bad rep and that came primarily from black-hat tactics in which keyword stuffing was used, in addition to paid links, link farms and link anchor text. Google even penalizes those who use these techniques now.
When used correctly, building links using white hat techniques is very effective. You’ll gain better authority, referral traffic and increased visibility. Link-building is a slow process and further cements your brand online. Link-building and promotion are a marriage. The better the link-building, the better the marriage. Don’t miss the opportunity for your company/brand to be mentioned online. Google uses these “mentions” to place your rank. And your day-to-day relationships will help certainly help in this arena. Think about the people you interact with. These are all opportunities for your business to create links.
Some examples might be:
- Chamber of Commerce
- Western Suburbs Business Association
- Businesses with a non-competing brand (For example, if you own a flower shop and you take your employees to a local pizzeria for lunch every week you may have the opportunity to cross promote).
There are several link tools available, such as Link Intersect and Linkspy.These will reveal available opportunities your competitors have already achieved so that you can earn a spot on the page as well. This is a process you’ll need to consistently perform. As Octavia Butler says, “First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not.”
Your organic rankings depend upon your ability to execute time, money and energy into a successful content rich website, followed by the marathon tactics of link-building. Don’t see this as a unconquerable problem. You now know the reasons to take the first step.
“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.” Robert H. Schuller
Every customer you can gain from a free local pack listing is highly beneficial for your company. Each customer is an opportunity for future sales. Yes, it may account for sales today but it can turn into a repeat customer over the next year, 3 years, 10 years. That one free customer can turn into an advocate for your business. When you look at your website not only as a current investment but a future security, providing livelihood for your business, it’s a no-brainer.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain