We already wrote about why we think a website should be at the heart of your marketing channels, and you can read that article right here. Your website should be a good website, no argument about it. Investing in a slick and professional looking website will pay back dividends even if you have no visual sensibilities whatsoever and see no point. Because the point is that your customers *do* value good design.
When we talk about ‘good design’, we of course do mean the visual look and feel of a website. This is a really important element, but just like the old adage of beauty only being skin deep, so it goes with a shiny website that is all glitz and glitter, but no substance. You need to give your website some depth too through good architectural structure, easy navigability through good user interface design and relevant content for your audience.
We already wrote about the importance of brand consistency and what elements go into building a brand persona for your business. Building a brand for your business goes beyond just ‘getting a logo done’. What you write into the website helps position your brand and brings out your brand ‘voice’.
The information you publish on your website should be useful and delivered to the prospective customer at just the right time. They ought to be able to answer the question they have that your product or service can fulfil. They ought to be able to make an enquiry or sale when they are ready – and not before they are ready – enough with the aggressive pop-ups already! They ought to feel that their visit to your website was a worthwhile experience and this will be borne out in repeat visits, or a ready sale right there and then.
And of course, the information you write on your website also needs to be found in the first place. Enter stage left, a good set of search engine optimisation techniques!
Search Engine Optimisation seems a little like a dark art to many who haven’t dabbled in it already. It would be fair to say that anything you build in SEO is built on shifting sands due to Google’s propensity for changing the rules of play frequently. However there are some unshifting basic techniques that have endured since the early days of SEO that we will outline for you right here.
SEO plays a key role in the discoverabilty of your website, before your website visitor has ever even heard about you. SEO is responsible for creating your calling card on google.co.uk and how you craft certain elements of your website’s pages will dictate whether or not a prospective customer will want to click through and find out more.
To attract that first click from someone who has never visited your website before, you need to pay close attention to two invisible parts of your page. If you have a CMS driven website you no doubt will have seen an ‘SEO’ tab or have spotted fields labelled ‘Title’ and ‘meta description’ alongside where you normally write your content. When we take on new Search Engine Optimisation projects for clients we quite often find these fields left empty, or even worse, they are filled with typos, annotations that mean something only to the author, or they contain poorly written sentences. Because these fields are apparently not published to the website, people quite often wonder why they need to bother filling these parts of their website in at all, so we often come across websites where these fields have been neglected.
Far from being invisible, they are the first thing a Google searcher sees before they have even visited your website.
The ‘Title’ usually populates the <title> tag, which in turn becomes the blue text link on Google search pages. The meta description in meantime is what places the small black abstract sentence underneath the blue link.
You also need to pay close attention to the keywords you use in your web page’s web address. These send very strong signals to Google about the topic of a particular web page. And so the first rule of search engine optimisation is to focus on these three parts of every single page of your website, and every single blog post you put out. Every single time.
The first impression your brand makes is the one the potential customer sees of your brand on Google.co.uk *before* they have even clicked through to your website, so make every character count.
When you are in a creative marketing mode whilst writing about your product or service, you might get seduced by creating an emotive feeling with the words you put together and the resulting copy can be pure poetry. And that’s great!
It is really important to get creative with your writing when building a persona for your brand. Copy that invokes an emotional response will help convince the human being reading the copy that they really want to buy into what you are selling. However… there’s always a however.
When writing copy for SEO, you have to be more mercenary about it. So we advise that you go for it with the creativity when you create your first pass copy, but that you then sleep on it overnight and come back the next day with your SEO hat on. Marketing copywriters and SEOs often clash in the middle on how copy should read, but it’s a healthy clash that needs to happen.
The key problem we come across with un-SEO’d copy is that quite often the words will say a lot of things, but they often don’t actually say what ‘the thing’ is. The copy will often talk around how ‘it’ will improve your life, make things easier for you, taste great, make you look great, make you feel great, help you bring in more money, save money, etc. etc. All these superlatives are good for invoking an emotional response in the human reader, but if they never get to see that copy at all, you won’t be convincing as many people as you would hope to.
So, the second rule of SEO is ‘say what it is’. Is it a hairdryer? Then state somewhere in the copy that it is a hairdryer. Is it a new car washing device? Then say that. Is it a delicious cake? Then say it’s a delicious cake and don’t dance about saying instead that it’s an ‘exquisite confection made by artisanal chefs’. If it’s a cake, say it’s a cake, because everyone looking to buy cake online will search for… you’ve got it… ‘cake’!
If you’d like help with search engine optimisation, content marketing or copywriting, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01629 810199. We’re a friendly bunch of digital marketing people based in beautiful Bakewell in the Derbyshire Peak District, so if you come visit us at our offices you’ll get a beautiful trip out into the countryside too.
If you’d like help with digital marketing, ads management, SEO, copywriting, websites, branding or social media management… or anything else related to the internet and digital, then get in touch with us. We’re a friendly bunch.