Focus On The Fundamentals To Expand Your Online Reach
Search Engines have an agenda. Their customer is the person entering words into the search bar. They want their customer to find the information that best fits their search. When this happens, that customer will use that search engine again, and again. And when that happens, advertising revenue for that search engine increases. When you understand their strategy, it’s now up to you to leverage that to expand your online reach.
There are “fundamentals” the search engines want websites to use because it helps the search engines find those great results. Over the next month, I’ll share more than 15 different “fundamentals” you should seriously consider if you want to expand your online reach and bring more future clients to your website. Let’s eat this elephant one bite at a time. So, let’s begin with these eight.
1. Update Your Website
Search engines are looking for websites that create new information – new content. They want activity and engagement. This activity implies your business is actively engaged in new ideas, opinions, concepts, services, products, relationships, controversy. Your business must regularly share new and improved information.
Keywords are the 3-5 word phrases your future client enters in the search bar. Keywords must be all throughout your website so the search engine finds a match. Not sure what your keywords are? Here are a couple of resources to help you get started: Hubspot is an amazing provider of great information to help increase your online reach. In my business, we use a lot of tools. These vendors also produce great content. One of the best is SEMRUSH and this article on Keywords.
Each month your business is focused on an event, a presentation, the launch of a new product or service, something to create revenue. Your objective is to update your website content around this business goal.
For example, 1492 is presenting to the Texas Association of CPA’s this month. We prepared this infographic. We’re also sharing this information on our blog. Our May and June business focus is to grow our client base by helping entrepreneurs understand the value of having strong website fundamentals.
2. Phone Number and Address Above The Fold And The Same Everywhere
Search engines want to easily find and then store your business information. The easier it is to find, the better. They want to ensure they are representing the right information for the right business. That’s why it’s important to use the exact same spelling of your business throughout your website. If you have multiple business phone numbers or email addresses, pick one and use it everywhere on your website.
3. Use Real and Interesting Images
Leverage how we connect to images to your advantage. Communicate your message more effectively with photographs and infographics that align and enhance your words. How many times have you seen the same stock photo used on multiple websites? Been there – done that.
Instead, take a picture of something you believe exemplifies your point and use it. Or, choose a photograph from over 40 different websites all offering royalty-free photographs. We
use many of these sites. One of my favorites is pixabay.com. Take the time to find the right image. It’s worth it.
4. Mobile Ready and Have a Sitemap
If you haven’t updated your website design in years (and years), it is probably not what we call mobile-ready. That means the website and its content cannot be effectively presented on a tablet or smartphone. Since mobile use has exceeded desktop use this year, your website must be readable on a desktop and mobile device. One of the features of the website grader tool is to tell you if your website is mobile ready. Check it out for an answer.
A sitemap is basically a roadmap for search engines. A sitemap helps search engines find information. Use the website grader tool to find out if you have a sitemap. Go to the SEO Section and look for Sitemap. If you don’t have one, reach out to your webmaster. Let them know you want one. It’s not hard to make that happen.
5. A Personal LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn and search engines are a mutual admiration society. When someone types a person’s name in the search bar, it’s likely they have a LinkedIn profile. The search engine displays this link to the customer. The search engine is happy because they have a happy search engine customer.
You need a 100% completely filled in LinkedIn Profile to help the search engines. If you need help getting started, check out this resource.
Make it easy for your future clients to learn about you by adding a LinkedIn button to your LinkedIn Profile on your website.
6. Call To Action – What Do You Want
Websites are used for a variety of reasons. We believe one of the strongest reasons is because it’s a way for your future client to call or email your business – to generate new business. When you ask for an email address or place a contact form on a page, this is a call to action.
A future client may not provide their email, complete a contact form, attend your webinar or call you the first time they go to your website. However, continue to provide interesting and valuable content so they remain engaged with you. Keep your future client moving along the Know, Like, Trust continuum. Continue to ask for what you want them to do – use a call to action.
7. Traffic Analysis and Do Something Different
Google captures enormous amounts of data. The data about your website and your competitors is likely where your interest lies.
- You want to know how many people visited your website – it’s there.
- Do you want to know where they went on your website – it’s there.
- How long they stayed on your website (this is a reflection if they found what they were looking for) – it’s there.
- And so much more.
This is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short. Start with the basic information and see how it’s trending month over month. This is an indicator if the changes your website is attracting more of your future clients.
We suggest engaging an SEO specialist to help gather the data, analyze it and chart out the so-what. What happens next is important. Discuss the SEO findings each and every month and do something to improve the statistics. Review what’s working and not working. Look for input on what should be different on your website to improve the statistics.
You and your business are unique. Every website is different. Learn what your future client is looking for, and guess what…. that’s an ever-evolving event.
SEO is getting into the weeds – a lot of detail using a lot of technical words. Here’s a resource in case you want to play in the SEO weeds.
8. Write Unique Content
What are your future clients looking for on your website? They want:
- Your Viewpoint
- Your Perspective On An Issue
- Your Knowledge and Guidance
- Your Services
- Your Background and Who You Do Business With
This is what makes you … you.
It’s vitally important to take time each week to reach out and share new information (content) with your existing and future clients. They will remain engaged with you. And the search engines will love it too.
Wrap It Up
There are specific things you are in control which increases the likelihood your business will be found by future clients. These are 8 “fundamentals” to expand your online reach. We suggest:
- Print off a checklist of these fundamentals
- Set weekly goals and bite this off in pieces
- Call your webmaster (or 1492 Digital) for help
- Send us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and share which of these steps made the biggest difference to your business