(Time to read this Blog is about 3 minutes)

 

Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking or smiling:

  1. My Biz Quote of the week:
    “With higher wages, more benefits, increased staff turnover and generally higher operating costs, your only hope for profitability is to develop world-class operational efficiency in every part of your business.  Who’s in charge of that critical project in your business?
    …Donald Cooper.
     
  2. Quick Biz Tip:
    What do your Staff Lunch Room, Washroom and other Staff Facilities look like?  
     
    When I’m touring client’s factories, offices or warehouses, I’m usually told how important, appreciated and well-treated their Team is.  Being a believer that ‘actions speak louder than words’, I ask to see the Staff Lunch Room, Washroom and other Staff Facilities.
     
    Sadly, these Staff areas are often dreary, depressing and badly maintained…and the message is clear.  Do your Staff Facilities honor, respect and uplift your Team?  If not, what needs fixing and when will it happen?
     
  3. Carmakers are spying on us and selling our data. Our vehicles are ‘connected devices’ and, according to a New York Times investigation, automakers are selling our driving data, including the trips we’ve taken, our speed and braking habits – which insurance companies are able to use to hike our insurance premiums, or deny coverage altogether.  And this is happening without our knowledge or consent.
     
  4. In France, measuring employee productivity is a bad thing…a very bad thing. The Frech government has fined Amazon €32 million ($47 million US) for using their warehouse employees’ hand-held scanners to measure employee productivity.  The French government deemed this activity to be ‘excessively intrusive’.  OMG!
     
  5. World’s most valuable brands. Every year ‘Brand Finance’, the world’s leading independent Brand Valuation and Strategy Consultancy, evaluates and values over 5,000 Brands throughout the world.  For 2024, Apple is rated as the world’s most valuable brand.  The top Canadian brand is TD Bank in 100th
     
    To access the complete 2024 ‘most valuable brands’ Report, Click Here.

 

Now, to this week’s important topic:

 

12 important tips to improve your Website:  

Research shows that 81% of consumers and 94% of B2B buyers do online searches before making a purchase.  So, for many businesses, their website is the single most important part of their total marketing effort.  So, here are 12 important tips on how to improve your website.

Tip #1:  Strong graphic design that demands attention and clearly differentiates you from your competitors.  This is an art and a science…not a do-it-yourself project or a side-hustle for your 18-year-old niece.

Tip #2:  ‘Up your video’.  Your website should have lots of video clips.  A website without lots of quality video is way out of date.  Most of us have become ‘lazy learners’.  We’d far rather watch a video than read a long article.  Video gets attention and video ‘sells’. 

Note:  Search Engines don’t recognize video, so to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), add the key info in the video in text form on your website.  

Tip #3:   Be the ‘Caring Coach’. Offer lots of free info and ‘coaching’ tips on how to wisely choose and effective use and / or store or maintain and eventually dispose of what you sell.  What do people need to know about you and what you sell?  Help them make wise choices.  Does your website deliver that info in a simple and interesting way?  If not, fix it.

Tip #4:  Use effective ‘Search Engine Optimization’ (SEO) to get your website at or near the top on major search engines.  If you’re ‘below the fold’, you don’t exist.  Once again, this is not task for amateurs.  Effective SEO is a science and an art.  Use a pro. 

Tip #5:  Check for typos, bad grammar and amateurishly written text.  In my work I see so many websites that are riddled with typos, bad grammar and badly written text that make them look unprofessional.   Everything we do, or don’t do, makes an impression and creates or destroys confidence.  How we tell our story matters. Writing great copy is an art.  Don’t have it done by amateurs.  If you’re not a whiz at spelling or grammar, hire a local high school English teacher to proof-read your website. 

Tip #6:   Make sure your website and the info on it is current.  I’ve just visited a client’s website and under ‘Events’ they list two events from 2013, three from early 2014…and nothing since then.  The clear impression is that nothing new and exciting has happened in this business for 10 years and that they’re dead from the ass up.  WOW, that’s bad for business.

Also, adding information regularly greatly enhances SEO.  If google checks your website and then checks it again a month later and there are no additions or changes, you’ll move down in search ranking. 

Tip #7:  Have a ‘Meet our Team’ page that creates confidence, build’s relationships with your target customers and honours your staff.  

Tip #8:  a) Donald’s opinion:  On your ‘Contact Us’ page, don’t use that stupid ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ grid that every business uses…and every customer and prospect hates.  Give actual names, telephone numbers and email addresses.  Make it easy for people to do business with you.

b) My Tech Guy’s more educated opinion: If you post your email address directly on your website to make it easier for your customers, like Donald Cooper does, it does harm your search results, and makes you more vulnerable to scammers and spammers.

So, use an Enquiry Form on your ‘Contact Us’ page that automatically and immediately sends an auto reply to the website visitor with all your contact information (after they prove that they’re not a ‘robot’).  Test your forms often to ensure that they’re being delivered to the enquirer’s email box and not going to their ‘Junk email’ folder where it’s likely to be lost.  

Tip #9:   Be sure to also have a google business profile (google rating and google reviews).  This will pop up when anyone searches your business.  In that profile people are able to rate your business with google reviews.  This shows how previous customers value you.  Plug those google reviews into your website. Search on google for info on how to do this.

Tip #10:  Be sure to have your website optimized for mobile phones.  A website that’s responsive to different screen sizes (ie. laptops and mobile phones) ensures that customers will spend more time on your website. Also, websites that are not responsive to various screen sizes are ranked lower on search engines.

Tip #11:   Always have an SSL Certificate for your website.  SSL (Secure Socket Layer) ensures that customers who enter any data into forms on your website are protected from having that info being stolen by spammers and scammers.  It is also favoured by search engines and moves you up in ranking.

Tip #12:  Never Plagiarize.  Even if the written copy or article you’re adding to your website is ‘open’ to being legally reposted, search engines check the entire internet and if your posted article is chronologically later than the original article you’ve ‘borrowed’, your website ranking will go down for ‘stealing’ content from other sources. 

So, how do you find someone to update or replace your website? Here are my 4 key requirements for an effective website creator:

  1. Strong Graphic Design as it relates to websites,
  2. Expert at SEO Optimization,
  3. Marketing and business smarts. Knowing what motivates people to make a buying decision.
  4. Compelling content creation and word-smithing that’s congruent with your Brand and style.

Very few web designers are experts or even journeymen in all four of these requirements for a great website creator.  Most are mediocre graphic designers pretending to be excellent website creators.

Bonus Tip:  Before you can start the website improvement journey, you need to be clear about:

  1. Who your target customers are. What they really value?  What they fear and what they’re really trying to do, functionally, emotionally and financially when they buy what you sell.
  2. Who you are. What’s your clear and compelling value and experience story that will ‘grab’ your target customers, clearly differentiate you from your competitors, make you ‘famous’…and grow your bottom line? 

 

So, how will you use these 12 tips and insights to improve the effectiveness of your website?   

 

 

 

That’s it for this week…

Stay safe…live brilliantly!       

Donald Cooper 

 

Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and profitability.  He can be reached by email at donald@donaldcooper.com in Toronto, Canada.

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