Oh, to be a business that commands global attention at the drop of a hat. How come a brand like Coca-Cola can command instant attention while smaller businesses often see little results from all their hard work?
The answer to that may seem obvious… Coca-Cola is a billion-dollar enterprise that has worked incredibly hard over the years to build ties with the press – both public and trade – alongside building word of mouth with its customers to help get word out about its movements.
And here’s the point; so many small businesses feel that adding more is the best way to get noticed. Some marketers even go as far as convincing them that’s the case: create more content, add more pages to your site, add more images, add more products, target more keywords and people will naturally come.
Only, that’s not the case. Not only can an overload of content and pages on your site alienate and confuse potential customers, but it could also go a long way to damaging your overall search visibility, allowing your competitors to leapfrog you on Google and Bing.
Keeping it simple
We mention this because John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google has recently reiterated a point on Twitter that the search specialist has been saying for years now. “Often few strong pages [are better than] many weak ones” he tweeted earlier this month.
There are so many reasons why his tweet caught our eye, and why it’s a message so many smaller businesses operating online need to have at the forefront of their minds when they’re looking to grow.
It’s also better known as ‘getting to the point’, and is especially important if you have ambitions more in line with Coca-Cola when you want to get noticed and convert more sales through your website.
Take contacting trade journalists with a story you think would be perfect for their site. Journos and editors have an extremely small window of time for you to get noticed, so it’s essential to create emails that give as much information as possible as quickly as possible, as well as including assets to make their lives and jobs easier.
That goes for link building, too, when reaching out to bloggers and other online entities to boost your overall authority. The same goes for social media – think of how annoying it is to see more than 10 tweets or posts an hour, and how tempting it is to press the mute button or simply unfollow.
Strength in (smaller) numbers
The stronger and more succinct your message, the more likely you are to get noticed. That’s not only true for your outreach efforts, but for your overall online sales efforts, too.
Take the success of six-second video ads, designed to combat what is perceived as decreasing attention spans. That’s why it’s so important to be as to the point as possible with whatever you do, to clearly convey your message and make shoppers’ lives as easy as possible.
It’s easy to see why that message gets skewed, though. A lot of people take the mantra that ‘Google loves fresh content’ as literally as they can, committing themselves to creating brand new pages on their website as frequently as possible and overloading it with irrelevant content.
For many, all it will take is a shift in mindset to reduce their overall workload and have a site that ranks better, attracts more targeted visitors and converts interest into sales.
Optimisation is the name of the game. Remember: strong pages are more beneficial than weak ones, and you can get them by following these simple tips:
1: Be concise and consistent with content
Google does indeed like fresh content, but that doesn’t mean creating pages and blogs every day stuffed to the brim with keywords that say very little at all. Creating content is essential for search performance, yes, but there’s nobody more important than your customers.
You should always write with real people in mind. Keep in touch with your core customers on social media and cultivate content that speaks to them, answers their problems and draws them in instead of hammering out blogs with the intent of possibly climbing a place or two in the search rankings.
2: Be creative with your product pages
Similarly, people like to create content-laden pages believing the more information there is to sway people, the more likely they’ll make a purchase. The opposite can be true however; having product pages packed with images and info that’s cluttered and confusing will just as likely turn buyers away.
Instead, optimise your pages for mobile and categorise them properly so they’re easy to find and navigate. Instead of several pictures, use only a couple of high-resolution ones and include only the most important information such as delivery and returns policies. Slimming down can also improve load times; a contributing factor to better rankings.
3: Make your sales process much easier
People also like to clutter up their websites in the quest to collect more consumer data during the checkout process. Not a bad idea, but there’s a way to do it; prepare to see your checkout abandonment rates explode upward if you build a fiddly checkout designed without shoppers in mind.
Powerful checkout experiences are ones that save consumer information so they don’t have to fill out forms again, securely process payments quickly and easily, offer one-click payment options (such as PayPal integration), are easy to do on smartphones and mobile devices, and more.
4: Optimise behind the scenes
Don’t look to target as many keywords as possible, it’s so detrimental to the SEO process. Instead, focus on keywords – both short- and long-tail – that are most important to your audience by assessing user trends and keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing.
Also look to optimise behind the scenes by using Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools to create actionable sales funnels for your business and keep track of how visitors interact with your site, perfecting it as you go. The tighter things are run behind the scenes and the more concise your message is on-site and to the wider world, the more likely people will sit up and take notice of you.
Optimise your site for better results and plan ahead with a bespoke long-term growth strategy that works for you by contacting Web Presence’s digital marketing specialists today.
Working as a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2004, Lee helps SMEs win more business through developing effective digital marketing strategies. He is a dedicated Liverpool FC fan, dog lover and loves long country walks (and a cheeky pint) with his dog, Banjo.