Websites aren’t a walk in the park. They need to look sharp, run smoothly and require undivided attention. However, if your website is a successful one, it can be the knight in shining armour for your company. The Freightwebsite.design team has put together some tips on how to ensure you’re getting the best out of your website.
- Start the race right
You wouldn’t run a race with a sprained ankle. Chances are, you’d have lost the race before it had even begun. Effort and time wasted, and you’d probably end up in a worse state than you started. Think about this principle, but with your website. Why post content and expect results when it’s not running (excuse the pun) properly in the first place? Is your website’s performance up to scratch? Is it designed with both aesthetics and practicality in mind? Does it have enough content to drive your site to Google’s top results? These are all questions you should be asking to make sure your website is at its optimum running pace.
- Consider Google Ads (AKA AdWords)
It will provide you with traffic (the website kind, not the transport kind), but you will have to be prepared to dig into your pocket. Although there is a fee, your website will reach the top tier on Google’s search results with keyword searches. Once you start receiving more traffic, you will notice a spike in sales leads and customer interaction. While this can become expensive, it might be a good idea to dip your toes in the water of Google Ads to get some traffic to your site and to hit the ground running. Something to consider before you splash your cash on advertising is to plan your budget, your goals and how long you intend to advertise for.
- Commit to content
One of the best ways to drive traffic and website interaction is by posting unique content on your site. Many websites achieve this through a blog feature, writing posts that could spark interest from web users within their industry. For example, you might want to write informative posts, which will remain timeless and relevant to users who search for the keywords that happen to be featured within your post. Alternatively, your posts could be industry news related, which will attract attention from anyone searching live trending buzzwords. It’s ideal to switch up your posts and maybe even create categories once your posts become more numerous. If you’re struggling for inspiration, just ask yourself what sort of content you would be interested in reading about.
- Don’t cheat the system – it won’t work
Once I crack Google’s code, life will be a breeze. I’m going to stop you right there. Google is much more than a bunch of rules web-users have to abide by to in order to achieve decent results. In fact, Google constantly changes its rules to stop any manipulation of the system. Did you also know that Google analyses every page and backlink from your website? This is called ‘crawling’; essentially, search engines trawl throughout your website and rank you according to what they find. Don’t get comfortable, SEO is made to keep you on your toes!
CTRL + C, CTRL + V, right? Nope. Absolutely not. Set down your coffee and take your headphones out, because what I’m going to say next is very important. You mustn’t copy and paste your content. Blog posts, ‘about’ sections, company profiles, services… this rule applies to the whole lot. A blinding mistake a lot of people make is ripping content from a random site, posting it as their own. This is not only plagiarism (and could even land you with a fine attached to a copyright lawsuit), but can also have detrimental effects on your SEO. The world of SEO is a complex one, but the simplest rule to remember is that the more unique content, the better. If you can’t avoid reposting content, such as a press release or a bulky reference, it is advisable to either credit the source with a follow-through link, or to insert a canonical link. Canonical links essentially prove that you recognise the content is copied and you are aware of the original source already existing. Google will not penalise you for this.
- Keep it simple
There are a few key tips to keep in mind when writing content to enhance your SEO. Firstly, keep your post’s URL (path) as simple as possible. If your title is above five words, then make sure you customise your URL link to something (still relevant to the article, but) shorter. A webpage with the URL as ‘www.webpage.com/blog/how-to-make-sure-your-post-URL-is-not-too-long’ is probably too long. This doesn’t mean that you have to change the title of your article – your CMS (Content Management System, e.g. WordPress) should allow you customise your post URL. Perhaps www.webpage.com/blog/keeping-URLs-simple would be better suited.
Another point to consider is paragraph size, sentence structures and repetition of words. Keep your sentences simple and brief if you can – this reads much better and increases your website’s readability for Google’s crawlers. Your opening paragraph should be fairly succinct, around four-to-five sentences. Feel free to go into more detail in the main body of your text, but remember that nobody likes a big slab of text. It’s daunting and unappealing. Break up your text with headers, images and paragraph breaks. Even use ‘pull quotes’ to reveal elements of your article.
Repetition of keywords can look bad for your SEO. Again, don’t underestimate Google. It knows if you’re trying to outsmart it by cramming too many keywords in one paragraph. Note that you gain a loyal reader by creating interesting, relatable content. As a writer, I can strongly claim that connecting with your reader should always be your number-one priority.
- Don’t neglect keywords
The clue is in the word itself: key. Keywords are imperative to your website. Anyone searching for a topic remotely relevant to your website may stumble across your website thanks to a beautiful little keyword you once wrote a few times in an article. Cargo, freight, airlines, goods, shipping: in the case of the logistics industry, these are little Easter eggs you can leave around your site for an internet browser (and potential customer) to discover. Bingo! They discover your website and are likely to take a nose around.
If you’re wondering what the world is talking about online, visit Google Trends. Google Trends displays the current, most talked-about keywords being searched online. Although don’t be surprised if the majority of keyword trends include Kardashian, Love Island, Jeff Bezos or Game of Thrones! Sometimes it’s just in the craft of making even the most contrasting topics fit. I mean, you see what I did there, right? I just bagged myself four of the most talked-about keywords in one article…
- Utilise your social media accounts (and if you don’t have social media, then get it!)
Social media is easily one of the most successful and quickest network-growing strategies. Just one retweet could reveal your brand to thousands of other Twitter followers. Internet users check their social media on their lunch breaks, waiting in queues, sat on a train, even whilst waiting for the kettle to boil. Reaching new audiences couldn’t be easier. Link to your social media from your website, and link to your website from your social media. If you’ve posted a new blog post, tweet about it. Post it on LinkedIn. Use hashtags to extend to a wider audience. Some of the biggest brands reach far more people these days thanks to their social media marketing: Apple, Nike, Spotify. Again, more traffic and a higher click-rate will boost your website’s interaction performance and Google ranking.
- Analyse your site
If you were to see a professor giving a university-level lecture to a class of toddlers, you’d think it would be pretty pointless, right? The target audience would be completely inappropriate and nothing would be achieved. Apply this mentality to your website, and ask yourself whether your website and its content is reaching the right target audience. If it’s not, then the chances are you’re not getting the optimal results. Take a look at Google Analytics and dissect your website’s activity. Using this data analysing tool, you will be able to review your audience demographic, your most popular webpages, your organic visit levels and much more. This is a great way to see what areas you’re acing, and whether there are elements of your site that need to be improved.
Are you ready to run the race?
Rachel Jefferies, Editor