You arrive at the site and there is a tidy home page, the about us section gives a paragraph about some generic information about the company and when it was founded. There is a contacts page. No news or a blog and no links to social media to check out the personality of the company. The services are listed as bullets with no details. There is very little to connect to or learn from this website – you feel as if you are looking through the glass window of a shop that is closed.
You arrive at the site and you find a tidy home page, there is depth of details to the content and lots of information on the company. There is more information than you could have hoped for on the subject you are researching. The navigation is good and the news and blogs interesting. You feel connected and can see the skills/products/services are of a high quality. As a visitor you feel engaged and understood and you are invited gently to pick up the phone, email or even ask questions – and you feel safe enough to do it.
I know this all looks very black and white but believe me this is not a one off scenario that I am setting here – this is an everyday occurrence in our world. Explaining to a company who has a version of Website A what they are doing wrong, and that effort is required to make their website work is a conversation that happens far too often. There is no magic bullet; people expect you to work for their trust.
So when a potential new client contacts us and says they want to improve their page ranking, their visibility in the search engines and their conversions you can imagine our starting point. We fully check the website for keyword rankings, competition, content, quality of site build, speed, the navigation and experience of visitors and how many other websites are linking from their website to this one. How good are their social link? Are people engaging with their business in any other way that will drive traffic to their site? The truth is you can spend a small fortune on AdWord campaigns to get you to number 1 if you are realistic about how much you are prepared to spend, and what keywords you are going to go to battle on, but if the site is not built well and has little content, Google has the ability to make it more expensive for you to bid for a keyword and they will do this if they rank your site as ‘poor’ against your competitor. This does happen. Their reasoning is that although you are prepared to pay for the privilege of a number one slot, they may decide that the ‘user experience’ for the searcher will not be a good one and therefore would reflect badly on them! Content is still king in this arena. Gone are the days when a site with a list of links will get anywhere – and this is why; Google blocks poor websites.
What does this mean to someone who only wants to put the effort into producing Website A?
It means that they will have little, or no chance of getting the attention they want UNLESS there is no one else doing what they do – and that is rare.
The hard truth is that you have to work for your ranking, make your website the sort of site you would find pleasure in, inform, engage and build that trust with your site content and design; It happens over time and it works!
Who is your most important customer?
The giant search engines know what they want for their consumers – a great experience so they can sell more advertising; they know that if good adverts link to bad websites people will lose faith in their ability to serve them well and use them as the preferred choice of browser. The search engines are in it for the long game and expect you to do the same and whether you have acknowledged it or now – they are your first and most important customer; the gateway to the people who need you. Their reputations are fiercely protected, your website needs to earn its place and prove its worth with them if you are to open the gateway to those you really need to reach!