October 12, 2016
Is Your Website Homepage Turning Your Prospects Away?
Your website homepage is like your virtual online shop window. If your business has a website you have the opportunity to get more customers on a global or local basis, get seen by more people and get found by people who actually need your services as well as adding that essential credibility that you’re a serious business owner.
If you’re not getting the amount of customers you’d like through your website then there could be many reasons for this. One being that the design of the homepage could be turning people away. If your website homepage isn’t appealing at the first glance, chances are users will shift and move to other websites. You see people unintentionally form an impression of everything and everyone within the first 4 seconds. So if your website is looking dated, looks amateur, doesn’t work on the users mobile or tablet device then all these factors increase the likelihood of the user forming a negative impression of your business.
If you’re concerned then i’d like to invite you to take me up on my free website review.
Here are some other reasons why your homepage could be pushing prospects away:
- You talk more about “you”, and not about your customers. Your readers care more about themselves and their problems which they need to solve
- Claims about your ‘fantastic’ customer service. Yet, all other businesses claims that they have the best customer service too. So, what makes you different from them?
- Sometimes the first homepage statement can be an emotional blackmail to customers, and you don’t want it to happen. Sarcastic and offensive statements can push your prospects away. Make your headline informative that can really help customers find what they need. Make sure it’s also respectful.
- Telling a story on your homepage can be a bit unattractive, it can work however it would be more useful on the About Us page.
These are just some reasons why your homepage doesn’t work and keeps pushing prospects away.
So, what does really work?
Focus more on your site’s visitor. Priority should always be given to them. Make it more about them and less about you. Also, feature your key marketing message. On your homepage your headline should describe what your business actually does and the problems that you solve. Give the visitors an assurance that your site is indeed informative and helps them with their needs.
To get a lot of new customers, you need to clarify and understand the objectives of your site and gear it to that objective. Test different kinds of lay-out and headlines as well. With this, you will be able to identify what works best with your business.
January 6, 2016
Running a spa is a fantastic business to be in; you help your customers feel relaxed, pampered and de-stressed. However, on the side of the business owner, you can feel a little stressed in how to get more clients to visit your spa.
This is where spa marketing comes in handy, but where do you start?
I thought I’d put together some handy hints and tips on how to get started on marketing your spa, with the experience I have had helping my clients get more customers through their doors, with web design and SEO.
Make sure people can find you!
Local SEO is a growing part of search, and I cover what this is in a previous blog, which you can find here. In it, I suggest creating a Google Business location so that when people search in your area for spa services (and the other categories you will select), they can find your business, and easily call, visit your website or know your location. I also share how important it is that you have keywords in your website that share the local areas around you, so that if people are searching for a spa near them, you will pop up in the search.
Check your branding and personality.
You want to attract the right people to your website, so if you are a spa that offers the highest end of treatments, you do not want to be found by customers who want a cheap and quick experience. This not only means the right keywords, it also means the right branding is required. Your website needs to reflect what you offer. Take a look at how the website is laid out, the colours you have on it, and the images you have used – do they convey the right message for the prices, treatments and services you offer?
Use the power of social media.
More and more people are using social media to engage with potential businesses. You should make sure that your Facebook page and Twitter profiles (and any others, like Instagram) are added to your website, so people who visit your website can easily follow you. Then they will be able to see when you offer new products, treatments and special offers – enticing them to come and visit you!
Share the services and treatments in your website!
So many spas don’t make the most of their website, and make it hard for a potential customer to find the treatment they really want to book. Take a look at your competition, places like Bannatyne’s health spas etc, and see what they do to entice the customer to buy / book a treatment with them, how can you replicate these in your own way?
Web design and SEO are the areas I love to help with most. So if you are noticing your website isn’t getting found through local search I’d love to help. Ask any questions below in the comments, or give me a call, I’d be happy to give any advice or help you with your website and SEO to make sure your spa gets found!
PS I have an excellent FREE guide that has 27 promotional tips for your health and beauty business, you can download it here.
January 5, 2016
Owning your own salon must be a truly rewarding experience. An industry where you’re making customers feel good about themselves on a daily basis- get that right and you’ll get repeat customers. However like any business, you have other local competition and you need to keep attracting new clients if you want your business to grow and expand. Gone are the days where people go to their Yellow Pages book and flick through it. 80% of people are turning to Google as their first point of search for a service. I have a client who recently told me that after redoing her salon website and salon SEO, on average she gets 3 new phone calls daily and is completely fully booked, a year on from doing her website. She no longer does special offers, because she doesn’t want to offer treatments at a low cost.
Ensure your website is optimised for local search from Google
You may have heard your web designer or someone else mention the term SEO or search engine optimisation. However you may not fully understand what it is or how it can impact the success of your salon. If you’re unsure, then you should read this post here.
Encourage your customers to write reviews about you online
Online review sites such as Google, Trip Advisor, Yell and Facebook (on the Facebook business page) have become a key part of any online marketing plan for salons. People often use these sites to compare local salons. Online reviews have become the online word of mouth, so by offering your loyal customers a small discount or free gift for writing a review about their experience will attract more new customers. If there is anything particularly unique about your salon, ask them to point it out in the reviews, whether it’s a special payment plan or after-hours treatments, these things could encourage customers who have consistent problems with other salons not catering for their needs. It will also help with your SEO if they use Google reviews.
You may well receive a negative review at some point, however don’t panic about it! It happens to most businesses! The best way to deal with it is to read through the comments, take the criticism on board, rectify the problems and respond to the complaints if you can. By responding in a polite and apologetic manner shows others that you’re considerate and serious about the happiness of your customers, and encourage potential customers to give you a try.
Get a social media presence
When thinking about your average customers, ask yourself where do they hang out online? Social media is all the rage now. The majority of people have a social media account and are active on there. Whether you decide to just have a simple Facebook page or a presence on every network going, you can use social media to communicate directly with both current and potential customers.
Here are a few ideas to help gain followers and increase engagement on your accounts:
Ask questions on Facebook, such as: What is your favourite beauty/hair treatment?
On Twitter, tweet out links to pages on your site that explain unexpected benefits of your treatments. E.g The reduction in stress through the use of regular massage. Ask people to retweet it for you too.
Pin photos of exotic locales that offer massage therapy on Pinterest
Join in or start discussions on Facebook & LinkedIn groups. It could be something like : What is your favourite thing to do to destress?
Post photos of after hours group bookings in your salon on Instagram
Put a video on YouTube with quick tips on getting the perfect shiny hair this summer
The key to successful posting on social media is portraying your business’s personality and convey the passion you have for hair cuts, massage therapy, nail design etc. This will help bring in new customers who appreciate your dedication.
Social media is also a great way to let your customers know what special offers you have and drive them to sign up for them on your website and grow your email list. Learn why building your email list is so important here.
If you’re looking for more ways to grow your salon business, be sure to download my free guide.
January 4, 2016
The wonders of SEO can amaze and confuse many – don’t worry! I am here to help you understand and learn how to utilise your website to get local traffic (and customers) to your business.
What is Local SEO?
Business2Community.com explains local SEO as:
“Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that you can gain higher local search rankings. Over a third of all searches in 2014 will be local and when you include nongeo-targeted keywords that trigger local results, the number nears 50%!”
Ok, so, that wasn’t desperately helpful, but the numbers are not to be missed. Basically, local SEO is when someone searches for a business, product, or service in their local area. For example: “Makeup artist Reading” or “facials in Caversham”. More and more people, especially those of us who want to buy local and not have to travel too far to have a beauty treatment, are utilising the search feature on Google to find businesses local to them.
One way to make sure you turn up in these results, which are probably now over the 50% in 2014, is to make sure you have created a Google Location page. Google explains how to do it, a lot better than I do, so once you’ve read through this blog, I highly suggest going here, to set up your location pages (you can make over 10, so if you own several businesses in different locations, you can make sure they all pop up!).
Another way to make sure you are found when a local search is made, is through keywords and meta tags in your website. These are the words you use in your titles, your pages and in your blogs, to make sure Google knows what your website is about. In your website, you should be including your location and where people can find you. However, you can also add metatags into the background of your website so that “crawlers” (Google’s word for the robots that search the internet for new websites, content and where to put your website when a person searches specific words / phrases) know what your website is all about.
When I work with a new client for their website or SEO review, I use a great tool to help us figure out the most searched for terms in their industry and location. Then we add these to their website so that they are found for keywords people actually search for. Many people think their customers use certain keywords, so are surprised when they find out that those terms may not be searched for as much as others.
SEO is a fantastic tool, when used well. Local SEO is even better for converting visitors to your website into customers who visit your business, so make sure you mention your location and areas that are close-by, so that when people use Google and other search engines, they will find and book with you!
If you have any questions about local SEO or how to use it on your website, please ask any questions below. I also have a FREE report which you can download here, which shares 27 promotional tips to help you get more customers.
September 5, 2015
SEO is a confusing subject for many. So confusing that many people have adopted a warped view of what SEO is, what it does and what is doesn’t do. So today i’m here busting the top 5 SEO myths which I keep coming across when speaking to prospecting clients.
1. SEO is a scam
Sadly many business owners have fallen into the trap of scammers who claim to do their online marketing at the bargain price of £50 a month, with a service promising you top rankings on Google, and yet nothing happens to their page ranking or page views. SEO isn’t a scam, it’s the online marketers who have scammed you which is the scam.
Unfortunately you have to pay for quality and service. £50 per month SEO isn’t going to pay off that much. I’d say £50 per month fixes onsite technical amends which need doing, and doesn’t address any kind of white hat link building or social activity.
2. I did some SEO ONCE
And why did you stop there?
When no effort is applied, your organic search drops. Maintaining your SEO efforts is essential because of:
- Link degradation (a.k.a. link rot)
- Publishing new pages
- Evolving search engine algorithms
- The competition moving ahead of you
- Outdated content
- …and more
For the small minority of sites, SEO doesn’t need continual investment. This usually relates to local SEO sites, you just type in the name of the car garage, or the bakery and it comes up top. Or you just have too much business as it is. If you’re in that situation then just reviewing your SEO 2-3 times a year is sufficient enough so you don’t let yourself drop.
3. Link building is dead
No it’s really not- if you do it properly!
Many believe, after recent Google penalisations, that link building is now bad and against Googles rules.
In fact, white-hat link building is a completely legitimate way to get higher rankings. Google still use anchor text and page rank authority to appropriately rank your website.
4. I want to rank #1 for a single keyword
No you don’t- you want to rank for the long tail keywords.
Long tail keywords being keywords which consist of 2-4 words together which are actually more natural to search for.
E.g Photography to wedding photography or wedding photography Hampshire
By using long tail keywords, it’s actually a lot more specialised which leads to a better conversion rate of visitors to paying customers.
5. Social activity doesn’t affect SEO
This myth is so wrong. I could actually write a whole blog post on why, but i’ll keep to the main facts and save that for another day.
It’s technically true that Google does not take into consideration Facebook shares and likes and Twitter follows and tweets to determine your page ranking, however, successful social activity can have significant secondary effects on your SEO efforts.
Social activity helps address two of the major tasks facing SEOs:
- Search engine discovery and indexation
- Content distribution, which leads to links and shares
- Successful social activity puts your content in front of the right group of users, increasing visits, engagement, and brand signals like the number of users searching for your site.
Finally, the simple act of more influencers visiting your content can lead to more links and further sharing, and the cycle repeats itself. All of these secondary effects can significantly boost your SEO efforts.
September 5, 2015
SEO (search engine optimisation) has become harder than ever to master in 2015 since Google hit with the Panda update in February. Because it’s now harder to compete for top ranking with other established websites its undoubtably become more expensive too for quality SEO strategies.
However you should view SEO as a longterm investment because when people search for keywords in the search engines, 60% of clicks go to the top 3 organic search results, 70% of links users click on are organic not paid and 80% of search engine users say they don’t click on the sponsored ads. If that isn’t enough percentages for you then how about add this too; 75% of web users don’t even go past page 1 of the search results. Although this could take a while to get up onto the page one of search engine results, especially if you have a competitive keyword, but the sooner you start the better- this will give you a legs up from your competitors who haven’t already started.
The good (but could be bad if you wanted to engage in black hat SEO) is that there are no longer any tricks with algorithms anymore. Google likes to pick up on quality website content- which is how it should be done so the user benefits. You will still need to optimise your page titles, implement your keyword into your content (in a natural way) and meta data though to make you as searchable as possible. SEO is not just about quality content though, its also about understanding who your customers are and where to find them.
If you were planning on investing a lot of money into social media advertising, consider that search engine searches drive 400% more traffic to web pages then social media does.
Of course once you have the quality content and the keyword implementation, you need some quality back links so Google can see that your site is of authority and trustworthy. You can do this by guest blogging (note that this will also get you exposure to a new audience) and commenting on other popular quality blogs.
Another statistic to leave you with for the day; it’s important to remember that 93% of the online user experience starts with a search engine.
September 5, 2015
What is your Google Page Rank?
This is the scale of importance which Google has ranked you aside with other websites. It is calculated with a variety of factors in mind. Every website has the same goal- Be number 1 on Google. Thanks to a new algorithm released earlier this year you can no longer rank high on Google using spammy links but rather on the quality of content your site holds and the quality of sites which link back to yours.
Services which can increase your Google Page Rank would be;
Guest Blogging on other sites within your industry
Quality Blogging on your own sites – Offer your readers relevant information which makes them want to share with others and drive more traffic to your website.
Quality inbound and outbound links throughout your website – An outbound link is a link that points at an external domain. Like this. And an inbound link points to another link on your domain. Like this.
Quality page titles – This is the title that you assign your page or blog post. If you’re not sure how to do this, then this is something you should consider hiring a professional for because it can make a huge difference to the amount of traffic you receive. Whenever I do SEO reviews for clients one of the problems which frequently arrises is page titles not being written properly or not being written at all. If you’d like a free SEO audit then get in touch.
Quality chosen keywords and implemented across your site- This is another frequent problem I come across when doing free SEO audits. Usually people haven’t done any keyword research or not implementing them throughout their site properly.
September 5, 2015
Having a blog is hard work and earning those unique visitors, especially when you first start a blog can seem a mile stone impossible. However there are 3 things which will make your blog post better for the reader.
In 2015 its all about SEO (search engine optimisation). Therefore optimising your blog posts to make you as visible as possible is crucial. How can you improve your existing posts? Well follow the rule of the 3 S’s and you will soon be watching that traffic increase!
The 3 S’s consist of:
Searchable – Snackable – Shareable
Searchable- because there are 115 billion average global searches on google alone. You should be using long tail keywords which appear in your title (under 70 characters), naturally in your post and then again in your meta data. This will bump up you SEO.
Snackable because the average person has an attention pan of 8 seconds, and 3000 brands on average make an impression on us each day (but how many do you actually remember?)
Shareable- because on average there are 2.7 billion likes and shares on Facebook each day. If you have great content (which for SEO purposes you should) people want to be the first to share it.
September 5, 2015
Guest blogging is used widely in the SEO industry to increase traffic to your website by posting blog posts onto other high traffic websites. By doing this, not only are you getting more exposure but you’re also putting your link onto a trusted Google site so they will read your website as a quality site too which will push your page rank higher.
Guest blogging can work in 2 ways; either you write a post to appear on another website or someone else writes a post to appear on yours.
When you allow guest bloggers to write for your blog they are also helping to increase the value of your blog by submitting the quality content so its a good two way street. It’s also great for a networking online and building relationships with other bloggers.
Link building is one of the most effective SEO tactics any website can invest in Google will always want quality so by starting now you’re putting yourself in a good position longterm.