Start with your website
This may seem obvious, but many small businesses still don’t have a website that is fit-for-purpose in the online age in which we live and some business set up a website for the sake of having one and with the best of intentions and proceed not to use it ever again. Maintaining and creating a good website needn’t be difficult. Keep it modern, clean, clutter-free and integrate simple and effective navigation. If you’re incorporating an online shop, make sure the checkout process is hassle-free.
Remember to test
Avoid being complacent about the functionality of your website. Even a single bad experience with your site is enough to put off a user, who will have plenty of other places to go should this happen. Get your calendar out and schedule test periods and make sure you keep an eye out for any customer feedback that draws attention to this so you can nip it in the bud before it earns you a bad reputation as an ecommerce player. Running heatmaps will also determine how a user interacts with your website, and this is an area HookedOnMedia can help you on!
Make sure your website is well optimised for mobile
One of the most important things you can do to improve your SEO is focus as much attention on mobile as Google do. If you have not yet switched to responsive web design, make this a priority (Google certainly are) and ensure that you are regularly testing it to check it is working well – a bug-ridden website is one of the biggest turn-off out there.
Check your site speed on every device including mobile devices
In the fast-paced world of today, people are becoming more and more exigent where page speed is concerned. The average page load time is 3 seconds and once you start surpassing this, you may lose visitors. You can test how quickly your website loads in various browsers and on different devices – if it’s too slow, take steps to speed it up.
Write for humans whilst also being tactical
Many algorithm updates have been in answer to attempts to play the system by putting algorithms before organic content creation. In order to avoid getting bedazzled by future algorithms, focus on human content – organic content. This said, it’s still a good idea to keep your ear to the ground where SEO trends are concerned – a couple of popular trends for the remainder of this year will remain optimising for voice search and featured snippets.
Use content marketing
Content marketing is essential is maintaining a strong online presence and there is no one thing that achieves this – it’s all about equilibrium. Add regular blogs (Google rewards your website for fresh and regular content) and play around with your keywords to optimise for ever-changing SEO. Try reaching out to influencers who can share this content with their client base and offer to return the favour if they agree – relationships are key.
Use social media correctly
Many small businesses misuse social media platforms, bombarding (and alienating) their followers with promotion posts. Social media posts should be 1/3 promotional, 1/3 content secondary content and 1/3 content based on personal interactions and content to build your brand.
Here are some statistics to put what we are outlining into context:
According to a Google study, 74% of mobile consumers used a search engine as part of the research process.
93% of people who used mobile research go on to make a purchase.
With this in mind, mobile PPC is an ever-growing factor to pay attention to.
PPC Mobile Ad copy
When you come to creating your ads in AdWords, make sure you opt into mobile. Note that you do not need to have mobile preferred ads to display on mobile devices. Opting into mobile will ensure you are optimised for different screens, giving each user a better mobile experience. When it comes to creating your ads, use mobile-specific wording, highlighting ‘mobile’ in the ad copy or URL name. This will give your business credibility and communication to your users that you’ve thought about their mobile experience on your site.
PPC Mobile landing pages
Not many businesses currently put a lot of time into optimising their mobile PPC landing pages, so this is a good area to put some time into to set you apart from your competition. Mobile landing pages ought to:
Be clear and easy to read – avoid large chunks of text and make sure the font size is big enough to read without needing to zoom in.
Quick load speed – load speeds should aim to be 3 seconds, as anymore than this will drive people away from your website.
Make sure you’re click-friendly – keep in mind that a mobile is a small device – make sure buttons are easy to use.
Clear call-to-action – call to actions can be a phone number, link to an email address or invitation to like social media pages.
Knowing when to post is important when it comes to mobile. According to Citi Investment, mobile searches are more popular than desktops in the morning and after work (after 8pm). People also have a tendency to purchase at the end of the day (when they’re home and relaxing after work). Make sure you don’t spend your whole budget at the start of the day and make a conscious effort to schedule your budget to allow for good CPA (Cost Per Action) clicks after work time ends.