Commons signs you’re having a nightmare with your website.
- You’re just getting enough clients
- When you ask people how they found you, they didn’t realise you had a website
- You’re getting no clients via your website contact form, and you’re not even sure if the contact form works anymore
- You haven’t touched it in years, and it looks like it
- Your not even sure if it’s secure, let alone what you need to do for GDPR
- Your website is an absolute mystery to you
- You’ve got grand plans for it but don’t know where to turn to get help
- You contact the person who created the website for you, but your emails and calls go unanswered
- Your website looks awful and is barely usable on a mobile phone
- You repeatedly try Google searches to see where your website is and either can’t find it, or it’s buried 20+ pages down
- You attempt amendments, and it goes horribly wrong, the lovely image you had now looks awful.
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Chances are if you answered yes to any of these questions then you’re having a website nightmare!
Ok, how do you wake yourself up and stop the nightmare?
Tip 1 – The Quiet Website
If your business is just not busy enough and you suspect your website is just not performing. Then the first step would be to understand of the clients you are getting how many came via your website? Many website owners don’t measure this at all. You can ask clients when they first approach you and make a note of it on a spreadsheet comparing it to other referral sources. Creating a baseline.
You can also ensure that you have on your website a way to get simple metrics on how busy the website is, via something like Google Analytics. Your website support person will be able to tell you if it’s already running on your site or if they can install it for you. It will allow you to measure performance to see firstly, if you do have a problem and secondly if you do then ensure you can measure the impact of any fixes you make. Otherwise, you’re stumbling in the dark a little. See Tip 4 as well.
Tip 2 | The Skinny Website
Of all the websites I look at I would say the number one reason they usually aren’t getting business via them is lack of content. The website lacks any real substance. It’s a one-page site that hasn’t been updated in years. Google will mark these sites down as lacking value to the site visitor. Start to update your site and add blog post content and over time you’ll see things improve.
Tip 3 | The Baby Website
There was a report recently published by one of the big digital marketing companies and it looked at Google search results for a set of popular search terms. The experiment identified that the first top ten positions returned by Google for a particular search term were dominated by websites that had been up and running for 18 months or more. You can read from this that Google likes websites that have been around a bit. Many companies will make grandiose claims about getting you to No.1 in Google instantly. The simple truth of the matter is that it takes time, especially for popular search terms that your customers might use. If you don’t see results instantly be patient and keep building content on your site.
Tip 4 | Make Sure Google Knows About Your Website
You can register your website with Google – it’s a way to say hey Google I’m here, please start to show me in search results. It will also ensure your website is searchable by Google and doesn’t have any errors. Plus you get basic performance statistics as well. Check it out here Google Search Console. It’s also worth checking with your website support person to see if your site has been previously registered and request access.
Tip 5 | What Customer’s Do I Want?
It’s always important to understand who your ideal customer is and what they would type in Google that you would ideally like your business to be found for – know as ‘search terms’. Whatever the ‘search terms’ are for your business make sure you’re using them on your website – in the content, photograph names, image names, the page title, the URL, meta title and meta description.
Google needs to know what your website is all about and to do this it looks both at the content and metadata. Remember Google can’t read text on an image – this is why the name of the image/photograph is so important. Google can read this and understands what the image is about.
Tip 6 | In Need Of A Revamp
No doubt about it websites age badly, in 2 ways – the visual style of the website will not age well, and technology changes. Your website needs to be kept in tip-top shape to compete. This is where how much you researched your website solution at the start pays dividends. A good website provider will have ensured the website is future proofed. So updating to keep in line with security and technology standards may not be a costly issue.
Before deciding to ditch your website and move on too another solution do a little checking to see if you can rescue your website. You may find that giving your website a facelift is more straightforward than you thought. If you’re using WordPress, then more than likely purchasing a new theme (the bit that provides the website with its style) will fix the issue. Always look for a theme that is well supported and has been around a while and maintained. Or use WordPress’s own themes that will be maintained and secure. WordPress 2017 Theme
Try using your website on a tablet or mobile:
- Does the menu work OK?
- Is the webpage easy to move around?
- Are the contact details clearly visible and still work OK?
- A mobile responsive website should collapse content into narrow columns of content.
- Google will penalise websites not mobile responsive.
Tip 7 | Is My Website Safe and Secure?
Getting the basics right here is important. You want your website to run the latest software always. We all understand the annoying software updates messages that we eventually succumb to. Your website is no different it needs to be updated. It will always be under attack from robot hackers attempting repeated login attempts – daily. Clients are always shocked when I show the repeated brute force login attempts being made on their sites. This is part of internet life and a secure site is paramount.
Immediately contact your website provider and ask if it’s been kept up to date monthly with software updates. It’s worth paying for this to be done if it isn’t already. Ensure your passwords are all strong and not obvious. Arrange for a security certificate to be installed. This means your website will show a padlock in the address bar rather than showing as insecure when the page is accessed, which will put customers off. Again Google penalises insecure websites. Just ask for an SSL Certificate to be installed. The certificates are usually free, and most good web hosting companies will install one as standard practice. Once installed communication between your website and a client is encrypted.
Tip 8 | Where Do I Turn?
There are a lot of working parts these days with creating and managing a website – it links to so many different areas of our business – branding, marketing, social media, emails, events, sales, business listings, the list goes on. These all connect back to your website – almost like a hub and spoke arrangement. Very often you do need help – it can vary from a simple pointing in the right direction to consultancy. You need someone to turn to – trusted. If you’re looking for a website today, then look for a provider who will support you not just on using the website but more broadly in your marketing efforts. They may not have the solution, but you want there help to be signposted elsewhere. Above all, you need to able to contact them in a reasonable timescale and not feel like your wandering around the Gobi desert! Remember a website is at the end of the day a marketing tool. Don’t think of it technically think of it as your marketing department.
If you have no support today for your website, then look to locate a supplier who will take on your existing site and support your business. If you want to look after your website yourself that’s OK just keep track of the hours it takes you away from doing what you do best – helping your clients and ensure it’s a wise investment. I know clients that do look after websites themselves very successfully. I always encourage them to reach out if they are struggling. Time is precious and you don’t want to waste it.
A word of warning…..
After all your efforts there may be a point where you have to recognise that the time has come to start from scratch again. Now don’t run off screaming for the hills! Let me explain it’s a little like a pair of expensive running shoes you’ve been using for years – they were cherished on the first few runs then over time you forgot about them and just expected to use them year in and year out. Until one day you notice the ends have curled up and where once you had a bouncy feel in your step you now feel like your running in flip-flops. You think I’m not buying a new pair they were expensive; I’ll carry on a bit longer, perhaps a new insole. Then you notice your knees hurt and before long your not running anywhere – the damage is done. Don’t wait that long. You need to accept time has run out for your trainers, and you need to take the cost hit, they have served you well and move on. It may be the way you need to go with your website too. Don’t wait too long otherwise the damage to your business will be done.
PS. I do actually have a pair of trainers just like this – except I don’t run in them anymore, but I kept them and now call them my ‘vintage’ trainers!
If you’re a business looking for a new website and you want to avoid having a website nightmare then try our new Pocket Site service for therapists. Create Your Own Website, With Step by Step Support – Pocket Site- Build Your Own Beautiful Website
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Stop wasting time on the Internet!
Like most business owners, you are probably distracted and overwhelmed by the possibilities of doing business online.
It is also true that most of us fail dismally in our online ventures. So here are five things you can do in the next week to get the needle moving in the right direction.