What’s your website missing? Probably more than you’re willing to admit. These are five of the most common omissions and oversights that afflict web publishers: independent bloggers, corporate webmasters, and everyone in between.The good news: with some effort and advance planning, these issues are all relatively simple to fix.
- Professional Photography (That You Commission Yourself)
Everyone likes a good stock photo. Just kidding, that’s not true at all. Stock photography is cheap and readily available. But it’s also easy to see through. When the same few dozen photogenic actors keep cropping up in “candid” action shots, observant folks take notice.
Keep those actors out of your digital marketing materials — including your website pages — and hire a friend or contractor to snap actual photographs of you and your crew. If you need landscape or equipment shots, they can probably handle that too. Just don’t fly them to China for an otherworldly karst shot or Tahiti for a once-in-a-lifetime lagoon sunset pic, obviously.
- An Effective, Up-to-Date SEO Strategy
According to data from Bright Oak, combining PCC ads and organic SEO boosts conversions by 200% and increases website profits by 27% relative to a “siloed” baseline. In other words, integrating your organic SEO content strategy with other pillars of your inbound marketing effort creates a traffic-generating force that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
Integration isn’t the only SEO best practice your website needs, of course — there are too many to name here. Your best bet is to follow SEO experts who do this stuff for a living, plus behind-the-scenes gurus like Google’s Matt Cutts, and take their pronouncements seriously.
- Social Traffic
According to PwC and IAB, Facebook’s Q3 2016 advertising revenues topped $3 billion, accounting for more than 15% of the total digital advertising market during that period. The social giant took responsibility for 45% of total digital ad spend growth over the year-previous quarter, with Google hogging the rest.
In other words, Facebook ads are hot. And while Facebook is the unchallenged behemoth in the social ad space, its success is a clear indicator that paid social promotion works.
If you’re not driving eyeballs to your website through a combination of paid social ads and organic posts, you’re missing a huge share of the traffic pie. You don’t need a corporate budget to get started. Paid social promotion is still comparatively cheap, and it’s easy to supplement with organic plugs. You have the accounts already; why wait any longer?
- Better Content
Content and SEO strategy are inextricably linked: better content almost always leads to better optimization. It’s really important.
But let’s assume for argument’s sake that content quality has no bearing on optimization. High-quality website content would still matter for a host of other reasons that you’d be foolish to ignore.
For instance: Would you pay money for a typo-ridden book filled with run-on sentences and non-sequiturs? A bootleg DVD shot out of some guy’s trenchcoat? An audiobook shot through with mumbles and coughs?
No? Then why would you expect your website’s visitors to put up with shoddy content? Give them professional quality, and they’ll reward you with their attention — and their dollars.
- An Unmistakable Message
Boats move faster and farther when everyone rows in the same direction.
Websites are the same way. Every page, image, button, word on your website needs to work in the same direction, toward whatever your site’s overarching purpose happens to be: generating sales leads, building an unbiased information receptacle, supporting a user community.
The specific purpose is less important than the efficiency with which your website’s content and structure drive toward it. With an unmistakable message and a clear sense of purpose, your digital domain will go far.
What’s the one thing you’d like to change about your website today?