Part 2 – How to get a well performing Website
Hi, there! Welcome to part 2 of “How to get found online”. Admittedly it took longer than planned, but at least it gave you enough time to complete the work from Part 1. Haven’t checked out Part 1 – Defining your ideal customer yet? Then head over here as you will need the information collected for the next part.
Today I want to focus on setting up a well performing website.
So, what makes a website perform well?
Obviously, it needs to look professional and engaging. It needs to speak to your target audience and makes them want to buy your products or use your services. It needs to create a need.
Tell them what you do and what problems you solve right away.
It only takes 50 milliseconds for a user to form an opinion about your website. That’s why you need to make sure that your site is easy to read, clear and delightful. Having a great hero section – the top of the website – is a good way to ensure that when potential clients open your website they can see at one glance what you are about, what you do and how you can help them. This section needs to make them want to learn more, wanting to get to know you, your services or products.
Using a large oversized image that represents your buyers persona that you created in part 1 is a great way for the customer to relate and identify themselves.
Here an example: A woman getting pampered in a serene environment creates a desire to feel just as relaxed and makes your target customer want to get a massage as well.
Tailor the content of your website to your target audience.
To appeal to your ideal customer, you must produce the language and imagery to suit them.
Look at the content you have written and the images you have used, image your buyers personal and ask yourself – would this appeal to my target customer? If not, change it!
Use language in your website copy hat is appropriate. If you have a conversational tone, your content is quirky and fun, it might not appeal to the professional businessman looking for an anti-aging cream, while a very formal tone might not appeal to the solo female entrepreneur looking for a Virtual Assistant – so the tone of your website copy should suit your ideal customer.
Select images and media that your ideal customer can relate to, that are a representation of themselves.
Ensure that while speaking to your target audience, your website copy also includes you key words. This doesn’t mean that every second sentence is a list of your key word phrases, but if you want to rank for “bike repair Auckland” and you don’t once mention any of the key words, then chances are pretty low that Google will show your page to someone searching for a bike repair shop in Auckland.
Have professional images.
Speaking of images…..Ok, I might be slightly biased here as I also run a Brand Photography Business, but I cannot stress this point enough: professional photos can make or break a website. I have previously created a website for a client, used professional stock images and the client wanted them replaced with pixelated iphone photos. I cringe every time I open the page as it just doesn’t look professional and amateur – but ultimately – customers are king 😉
So, if you can afford it, hire a Brand Photographer. They can take photos of you and your products and ensure that they reflect your Brand and what you stand for. Make sure you find the right one that listens to you, that takes the time to understand what you and your brand stand for and who your target customers are.
How to upload images
When using your images on your website, make sure they are properly resized. Consider using Tiny PNG to resize your images before uploading them. If the images are too big, they will slow down your website.
The image description and Alt Text is very important to your key word research, so spend the time to add a title and alt text.
Find some more information on how to optimize images for SEO on SEMRush
Structure your headings
Using headings on your website copy creates texts of higher quality that are also easier to read. A better text is better for users, which benefits your SEO.
Structure your headings well, and use your keyphrase in them.
When you are writing an post or create a page in WordPress, you will have the ability to set different levels of headings – from ‘Heading 1’ to ‘Heading 6’. We call Heading 1 or H1 the main heading and the other headings sub subheadings. These are ordered by size, and by importance – a ‘Heading 2’ is more important than a ‘Heading 4’.
H1 should be the title of your text and tells google that this is the most important text. Make sure that your H1 text includes your most critical key words. If you have a WordPress Website and use the Elementor Page Builder, you can select the HTML tag on the left.
Caution: H1 should only be used once on every page!
Make your website mobile responsive
I think it is a given nowadays, that all websites need to look great on a mobile phone. At least 50-60% of all websites are viewed from a phone, so if your website is not optimized yet, get onto it asap!
Elementor is a great website builder that allows you to preview what your page looks like on a tablet or a phone as well as a desktop. You can adjust the font size, image size, section space etc separately for each device and ensure it looks great everywhere.
While it is important for the user that they can easily navigate your website on their phones, mobile responsiveness is also important for SEO as Google penalizes your site ranking if not mobile friendly.
Have meaningful page names
When you create a page for your website, ensure that the name of your page – your page slug – is meaningful. Don’t have a page saying something like www.yourbusiness.co.nz/page-1245. Instead, name it www.yourbusiness.co.nz/about-me.
Where possible, include keywords in your page slug ie for my branding photography website I chose https://www.aucklandbrandphotographer.co.nz/auckland-personal-brand-photography/ as a page slug for my Personal Branding Photography Services. This tells google already what this page is about and increases my chances for showing up if a potential clients searches for “Auckland Personal Brand Photography”
Check your page speed
Perform a website speed test. Ideally your website should load in under 5 seconds, otherwise you might loose the potential customers as they don’t have time to wait for your website to load. A great too is Pingdom, just enter your website domain and they will tell you how quickly your page is loading.
Have a Meta Description of each Page
Google needs an idea of what each page is about to determine if that page addresses what a user is searching for. An important part of that is the Meta Description of your page.
To add a Meta Description, Yoast SEO is a fantastic tool to optimize each page for SEO. Install the plugin on your WordPress Page and go into each page to add a meta description and a featured image. Yoast SEO shows you how your page will show up in the Google Results.
Super useful: by clicking on the Social Tab you can also determine how your page shows up on Facebook when you link your page in a post, then select an image and a description.
Monitor Performance of your Website
Phew, you have done all the hard work. Now it is time to monitor and track your website performance.
I love using Ubersuggest as this is a great tool that gives me an overview about any SEO issues I need to fix and also tracks how I am ranking for my key words.
There is a limited free version, but unless you are investing in an SEO company to help you, it is money well spent.
Set up your list of key words and start tracking them. If you have followed all of the above tips, then within 2 to 3 months, your website will start ranking for those key words. Keep in mind that how high you are ranking for each key word will depend on how competitive the market is. If you have a large number of websites trying to rank for the same key words, it will require more effort in ranking on page 1 or 2 while keywords with less competition will make you rank higher faster.
That’s all I have for today. In my next Blog Post I will focus on driving traffic to your website. Stay tuned for Part 3 of “How to show up online” which will focus on getting more traffic to your website which ultimately leads to higher ranking in Google.