Converting your website visitors into sales is what we all want if we sell products or services. From experience we know that it’s a numbers game and if you are not getting the visitors you are not getting the sales. It is very likely that there are simple improvements you can make to your website that will result in an influx of relevant visitors that you will in turn have the opportunity to convert into sales. Do you want Google to send you more relevant traffic to your website? Of course you do!
We have 8 tips that are neither difficult nor expensive to implement and will help you attract more potential buyers to your website. These tips take you right back to the basics, quite often that’s where we slip up so it’s very useful to go back to your foundations and get them right. So go through the list, ensure that you have them all covered and you’ll be very pleased with the results.
1. Do Your Keyword Research
Before you begin any optimisation you need to research keywords that potential customers are using to find your website. You also need to consider how competitive these keywords are. For example, if I am a car dealer selling second hand cars in London I could try to optimise my website based on the word ‘cars’. The problem here is that it would be extremely difficult to get traffic based on this keyword as so many really high profile websites would do better than me. Even if I did get the traffic a lot of it may not be relevant as they may be looking for new cars rather than second hand ones. Also, because I am selling second hand cars in London then it’s very unlikely that somebody in the US is going to buy from me so I’m not interested in getting traffic from the US or other countries.
Google provides a very useful and free tool called Google Keyword Tool. This shows you what people are searching on and how many searches there are. It’s not 100% accurate but it’s a good guideline. For example, when I did a search using this tool for “cars in London” this is what was returned:
This shows me that over 14,800 people search for ‘second hand cars in london’ on a monthly basis globally. It also shows that the local monthly searches (i.e people in England) is over 8,100. So this is the type of keyword combination that I would consider using on my website. In the image above you will also see a column for ‘competition’. This is how competitive this search term is to advertise with Google. ’High’ means it would be expensive to advertise when you target based on these keywords.
So you need to do your keyword research to make sure you are going to optimise your website based on the correct terms.
2. Create Your Page Titles and Descriptions
Imagine if you went to a library or bookshop and there were no titles on the books. Do you think this would make it difficult to find what you are looking for? Or what if it had a title but there was no summary at the back, it would take you a long time to figure out if the book was interesting enough for you to buy. The same applies to pages on your website. Google looks at each page on your website for a page title and a page description. The title helps Google understand what the page is about before it scans the content. The description helps people who find your page through a Google search to get a more detailed summary of what is on the page.
Unfortunately it’s not unusual for companies to have duplicate titles or titles that are not relevant for many of their web pages. This will seriously impact your ability to rank well within Google searches. Also, a lot of times no descriptions are configured making Google guess what the page is about by taking a snippet of text from the page. The problem with this is that it may not promote the true content of the page causing less people to click on it.
So first of all you need to find out what your titles and descriptions are for every page on your website. To do this go to www.google.com and type in site:<name of your website> into the Google search box, as shown here.
Google will now show you a list of your titles and descriptions for all the pages on your website. The titles can be up to 65 characters in length and the description can be up to 155 characters. The title is extremely important for helping Google index your content correctly. The descriptions are not important for indexing your content but are still very important because when you do a Google search you will see the titles and descriptions for all relevant pages and the description is what entices people to click on the link and come to your website.
The following shows an example of titles and descriptions when you do a normal search within Google.
Have a look to see what your titles and descriptions are. If they are not configured correctly you may be able to update them within your content management system. Otherwise you will need to talk to your developers.
3. Optimise Your Content on Your Web Pages
If you are writing a document you will generally break it up into sections and important sections will have their own headings. Google also looks at your web page to find out what the important content is, so having ‘headings’ on your page that are related to the keywords you want to optimise is also useful. Your heading is generally larger in font size and is defined as a heading style (e.g. Heading 1, Heading 2, etc.). So consider what you want to stand out on the page. Readers should be able to scan your page including all headings and get a strong sense for your content.
As well as optimising your headings you need to make sure that your content also contains relevant keywords. This doesn’t mean creating content simply to add more keywords to your page. It simply means that you should pay more attention to how you weave your keywords into your content in a meaningful way. This is ensures that you accurately reflect your product or services in such a way that you give Google the best chance of optimising your content. Use the Google Keyword tool to search for the main keywords you want to optimise. Google will also display keywords that are similar to this and these are some alternative combinations you should consider including in your content.
4. Name Your Images Correctly
Google is not able to interpret what an image is about so you need to give it a name that helps Google. Google refers to this as an ‘Alt Tag’ which means it’s alternative text for the image. If you don’t have ‘Alt Tags’ configured for all your images you need to set these up.
For example, WordPress is a very popular content management system. When you are uploading images to WordPress it allows you to specify the ‘Alt Tag’ (listed as Alternative text). It’s very important to always configure this, so if you have a content management system check with your website developer that you can also upload the alternative text for images.
5. Create a Blog
A blog is a collection of articles (also known as posts) that are written on a regular basis on topics related to your business. The blog can be displayed on your website and is a great way for you to provide fresh and valuable information to your website visitors to make them want to come back for more. However, having a blog on your website has another very useful advantage. By writing blog posts you are creating additional articles that Google will index and this will give you a chance of attracting more relevant traffic.
The best tip I got recently from Marcus Sheridan – The Sales Lion is to think about all the questions your potential buyers have and write blog posts to answer these questions. This means you will be helping your customers but you will also be creating articles using questions that potential buyers are typing into Google. Generally you will have a content management system that allows you to easily create and publish blog posts, so check with your website developer and get typing today.
6. Establish Links from External Websites
Getting other websites to link back to your website is beneficial in a number of ways. First of all Google likes to see that other websites are linking to you and the higher priority and more relevant the website is the better you are ranked by association. For example, if I run a hotel then getting a link from a national tourism board that deals with holidays in your location is going to be a very beneficial link. Also, if you get a link from an external website then people may click on this link and go directly to your website. This is known as ‘referral traffic’. You are getting visitors to your website by other websites referring traffic to you.
7. Install Google Webmaster tools
Google provides you with a free tool called ‘Google Webmaster tools‘. When you set this up Google will tell you of any problems you have with your website. If Google finds problems with your website it’s advisable that you fix them. Earlier we talked about having good descriptions and titles. The following image is taken from Google Webmaster Tools, and clearly shows some issues related to both the titles and descriptions that would need to be rectified.
8. Become more social
Social Media is becoming more important and increasingly we will move to more social search engines, this means that when we search for something, our search results will become more personal to us. For example, if we search for a holiday in France then we will start seeing in the search results where our friends went on holidays and what they did. Using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + and other tools helps build up relationships with people. When we build relationships we grow our influence and influential companies and people do better online. You will get more traffic, more mentions and appear higher in searches.
So if you want more potential buyers to your website, go through each step above and ensure they are all completed. By doing this you will increase your chances of attracting more potential buyers to your website and start converting them into sales. . What other techniques have worked for you? We’d love if you could share your own tips or let us know how you go with implementing the above!