Speed of a website – how fast does it load, does it matter?

It matters of course as slow websites aren’t from a site visitors perspective but also Google and the other search engines rank lower for slow sites.

To keep the speed up make sure images are not too big, make them a sensible size, about 800 pals, and compress them – they don’t need to be high resolution for the Internet.

Keep navigation links simple – plain text links are preferred or small compressed images and use a video platform like YouTube to show videos rather than host them yourself.

There are tools to test your site speed that will produce a report like above and guide you how to improve website speed.

Check for ‘Broken Links’ in your website

Broken Link

Housekeeping Tip

I embarrassingly stumbled on a broken link on a customers site today.  It was a text link that allowed site visitors to contact the business to find out more on special offers.  A simple fix that took less than a minute.

Don’t let it happen.  We don’t know how many visitors got to the same link and went to a dead end page – not a good impression and the visitors, more than likely, went away or on to the next thing.

A very simple tip to maximise your website – Do this:

Take some time per week to navigate through your website as if you were a visitor.  Make notes of any broken links (links that don’t go to the correct page or a dead end page as in this example).  Also, note any changes you think that will explain your product and service better and ask your web person to fix it.

Another advantage of having a peaceful hour navigating your website is you know how it navigates, how it works and what content it contains.  Refer to the website in your daily conversations with customers.

Adding search keywords to your website

SEO

Still important to attract your preferred target customers.

Today we populated 100’s of keywords on a clients site – it took a long time but it’s worth it and can be done easily.

Having good descriptive words inside your website tells the search engine what you are all about,  so its a way to say what you do and where you do it.

WordPress offers six ways to talk to search engines, using correctly optimised sections of your website, you can explain ‘what you do and where you do it’.  And you can write the text content once then cut and paste to the following areas: – so it doesn’t take too long.

Here are some tips on how to attract your preferred target customers.

1 – The content of each page. Write really descriptive easy to read content text about each product or service and include keywords.  Example; you sell motorbike helmets, therefore, mention the specific brands you stock along with how long you have been established.

2 – SEO Title. A strong to the point title to say what the page is about.

3 – SEO Tags for each page. Tags can be anything you feel will be useful and helpful to assist your customers to find you.   Using my motorbike shop as an example you could Tag each page with just one or multiple tags.  For example, this would be the brands you carry.

4 – SEO Keywords for each page. This is important – just one word that is key to the content of the page.

5 – SEO Description. Describe the content of the page in about ten words again using the keywords and tags, make sure it’s in a sensible sentence and easy to read.  Don’t just fill this section with keywords – it won’t work.

6 – Categories. This is a double help; its another keyword for the search engines, in addition, you can categorise your pages into – guess what – categories.  This will help visitors and search engines know what you’re all about.
Back to my motorbike shop – this would probably be along the lines of Helmets-road, Helmets – track, Helmets-Trials.  Then Winter Jackets, Gloves, Goggles etc.  The more detailed the better.

I hope this helps.

Building your reach using a website

Business street

Building a website is just the start of your marketing journey.  The best business websites are established ones.  So get your website setup and published as soon as possible.  If your website is already published but (as in many cases) dormant this can be a benefit as the search engines know you exist.

Building your reach and popularity.

Here are some tips to build your website performance, reach more customers and get more enquiries.

Update it often – I’ve been saying this since the late 1990s but most businesses don’t because they don’t have the time, inclination, they haven’t seen a return on investment and possibly don’t know how to do it.  OK – so hire someone to do it.

Add good keywords, location – often forgotten is location – not just your location but where you do business.  Tag your pages and posts with the town or city, area or region you did business in.  If you want to reach a location specifically then tag using the desired locations.  As an example; I work with a furniture restoration company who have recently started reaching customers who weren’t too far away but hey didn’t get any enquiries.  Since we started tagging the desired town a flow of fresh customers have started coming in and of course, the momentum builds along with word of mouth.

Add good keywords, services – as above you can tag posts and pages with the services you offer.  For example; you are a printer and you are known for business cards and letterheads but you also provide posters and picture framing.  Tag your posts with what you have delivered and you also provide.

I hope this helps – contact us if you have any questions or comments.

Open for business early

Darlington

I walk through Darlington town centre most Wednesday mornings at 8.30 and notice some, not many, businesses are open for business.  Observing these businesses later in the day I noticed that they are the busiest.

Traditional trading times the UK is 9-5 but this is not a rule or a law.  You should be open and be ready for customers before 9 am or earlier.  The windows should be clean, stock refreshed, lights on and the shop clean and tidy, staff ready to serve.

In a past chapter in my life, I ran a retail outlet and later a restaurant.  The retail outlet was open early, if it was warm the doors would be open, a couple of potted plants outside and my signature – the pavement brushed and swilled with water.  This activity actually attracts attention and gives a good impression of an ‘on the ball’ business, its actually free advertising and great for staff positive mentality.  Activity attracts activity.

In an office environment, the same applies, get the staff in early, let them go early or give extra time off in lieu or build it into the employment contract.  They should be ready to take calls and conduct meetings at 9 am (or before) rather than just get going after a coffee at 9.45 ish.

Back to my observed stars in Darlington, the businesses I noticed were Savers, Relish, Alfornos and Taylors.  All successful expanding businesses.

If you are stumbling through the door at 9 am, hanging around outside, the keyholder is not there and the entrance is messy it won’t take much to instigate the above and the results will be great – all for free, just a little time and effort. The early bird gets the worm.