Don’t just think about SEO

One of the things we often preach to our clients is the importance of keeping your website fresh.

I’m not talking about changing the design every other week – that would be ridiculous – but you have to take a step back from your website and put yourself in the place of one of your website users that you want to convert into a customer. You probably won’t be able to turn them into a customer during their first visit to the site (although that would be fantastic if you could!), so you need to try to identify how you can convince them to come back to your website on a regular basis. 

What it is about your site that people come to see?  if you can’t identify anything then you need to think about what you can offer them in order to turn them into a loyal visitor and then turn them into a loyal customer.  It might be as simple as having special weekly offers for your visitors, or you may want to share some of your experiences from the week that might be relevant to your other clients.  You might have some hints and tips that you want to share or perhaps talk about a new service or product that you’re offering and why it’s so great and it’ll change their life!

Not only will keeping your website fresh help retain customers, it’ll also help your website marketing with Google and other search engines. 

Internet Marketing isn’t just about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – it’s about making the most of your website and using it as a marketing tool.  You might think that all of your troubles will be solved if your website is #1 in Google but that’s really just the first step in a long marketing process.  Once you have people on your site then you have to keep them and eventually convert them (into customers – not into your chosen religion!).  The easiest way to do that is to give them something on your site that makes them want to come back – whether it’s information, free stuff or just a nice way to spend a few minutes.

It’s a virtuous circle – make your website attractive (yes, in the design sense but mainly in the giving them a reason to come sense) and it will rise up the search results.  But if you only focus your energies on getting to the top of Google and ultimately offer a disappointing experience then you’ll find that you’ll very quickly slide down the search results and you’ll have to start over again.

Gregor Spowart is a partner in Mass Media Design, a website design and Internet Marketing company based in Reading (Berkshire), Swindon (Wiltshire) and Cardiff.  Gregor is an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) specialist.