5 Must-Have Features for Every Business Website

5 Must-Have Features for Every Business Website

A staggering 46% of small businesses are operating without a website, but 24% plan to build one in the near future.

Today, every company needs a website that caters to your customers’ exact needs. Any prospect looking for information on your business, ethics, products, shipping process, and anything else they could possibly need to know before buying should be able to find it.

Which features must be on your website?

 

Social Media Integration

Social media is critical for every business. It allows you to market to existing and prospective customers, and reach a wider demographic. After all, 22 percent of the planet’s population is on Facebook, while over 50 million companies have Facebook Business Pages.

Beyond Facebook, 93 percent of Pinterest’s users plan or make purchases, and 88 percent of companies use Twitter as a marketing tool.

Add buttons to your website and enable visitors to check out your social pages with just a click. This helps to boost engagement and is invaluable as a fast customer-service tool.

 

Multiple Contact Channels

If customers go to your ‘contact us’ page only to find an email address or an international phone number (with expensive charges), they may well be put off. It appears unprofessional and suggests your business has little interest in receiving feedback.

Provide users with email addresses (one for product queries, one for complaints), local phone numbers, and live chat. This latter option is vital today, providing a free chance to exchange text-based messages with support agents in real-time.

 

High-End Security

Never take security for granted. For businesses handling online transactions, an SSL certificate will show customers that you take their safety seriously, and all critical details (credit card numbers, bank-account numbers etc.) are encrypted.

With an SSL certificate, a tiny green padlock will appear to the left of your HTTPS URL. Today’s online consumers are security-savvy, so invest in the best you can.

 

Clear, Logical Navigation

Make navigating your website as quick, simple, and logical as possible. Use clear names for pages in your tabs and site maps (About, Contact, FAQ etc.), and use calls to action to help visitors find the most important pages, such as specific product catalogs or live chat.

Imagine yourself as a customer visiting your website for the first time. Where would you want to go first? Would you be able to get their with your current design? Explore the site with this mindset and make note of any potential problems.

 

A Comprehensive FAQ

A variety of contact channels is key, as we mentioned above. However, add an FAQ to your website so visitors can help themselves before having to get in touch with your support team.

Again, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What would you want to know? List as many questions as you can think of, and then add any others being asked on a regular basis.

 

At Nett Solutions, we’re a leading Orange County digital marketing agency. If you want to know more about boosting engagement and maximizing your online performance, give us a call now.

3 New SEO Audit Checks for 2017 And Beyond

SEO Audit Checks

Regular SEO audits are essential for every website. This relates to all of the elements that are integral to your domain’s visibility, and a thorough audit may well improve your performance.

An SEO audit will let you examine why you may be struggling to achieve the SEO results you hope for. You can identify the weakest aspects of your campaign, giving you the information you need to formulate a new direction. You should aim to perform a full SEO audit in each quarter, or whenever you feel your progress has stalled.

If the time has come to run an SEO audit on your website, here are three new checks for 2017 – and beyond!

 

Run an Audit on your Internal Links

Your internal links help to establish your site’s architecture: you want to have relevant pages connected to each other, to help increase your ranking and ensure users can navigate your site in a logical way.

Wikipedia is testament to the power of good internal links, and helps explain how that site manages to retain such authority: practically each page on Wikipedia is packed with relevant, organic links to other pages right across the site.

If you haven’t performed an audit on your internal links, make sure you do this from now on.

Your keywords should be scattered across your site’s content organically, rather than clustered together. Your anchor text should use high-quality keywords, and pages linked together have to be related (directing a user to an irrelevant page may chase them away).

Your most important pages should always be within three clicks of your homepage, while any broken links have to be fixed (or replaced) immediately.

 

Check Indexing

When search engines index your website, they collate information on its relevancy and quality. Effective internal links are vital to help search engine crawlers navigate your site properly, to avoid missing any important pages.

Part of running an SEO audit on your site is deciding which of your pages are meant to be indexed and which should be left alone. Any pages lacking valuable content, such as your terms and conditions, should be excluded from the indexing project. Duplicate content needs to be left out of the indexing process, too.

You can tell crawlers to exclude a specific page by creating a ‘no index’ meta tag to said page’s HTML code.

 

Make Sure Your Site’s Mobile-Friendly

Every website has to be mobile-friendly today, given that Google has started indexing mobile domains rather than desktop ones. As a result, you need to make sure your website is optimized for mobiles as a priority.

You can use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test application to evaluate your site’s compatibility, and identify any major weaknesses. You should also track your mobile rankings, and consider switching to AMP(Accelerated Mobile Pages).

These are pared-down, lightweight pages designed to load within 8 seconds. These run without certain elements found in standard HTML, such as submission forms and JavaScript.

 

Want to know more about how an SEO audit can boost your online visibility? Get in touch with Nett Solutions – we’re an Orange County SEO agency ready and willing to help!

Reasons Why a Remarketing Campaign Might Not Be Driving Results

what is remarketing

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What is remarketing?

Let’s keep this simple. Remarketing is basically a way to continually target your customers after they leave your site, thanks to the power of data-gathering cookies.

When visitors leave your website or app without completing a transaction, your AdWord ads will feature on domains within the Google Display Network to re-engage said users. This minimizes the danger of losing their interest altogether.

While a remarketing campaign can play a powerful part in your online advertising, you may find it fails to drive traffic back to your website as soon as you would like.

Sounds familiar? Don’t panic!

A number of factors might be to blame. Let’s look at the usual suspects. Continue reading

Why We Do Link Building The Hard Way

link buildingLink building is an essential aspect of search marketing, but it can be a daunting area for businesses unfamiliar with the process.

Once upon a time, companies looking for short-term gains would pay for links as and when they could. However, Google’s regulations and penalties are tougher today, and so the risks of lazily buying links outweigh the potential benefits.

While simply paying a website to host a link to yours seems like a time-saver, any company looking to make a lasting, fair impact in the online marketplace must practice manual link-building instead of paying for placements. Here are the reasons why.

Donning Your White Hat

You may have heard of white-hat and black-hat strategies. The former are those SEO tactics that aim to bring real value to users, engaging your audience and boosting traffic through fair means. The latter, on the other hand, are focused more on gaining higher rankings through underhand methods.

Using black-hat tactics can see you penalized, which may affect your reputation. You will also need to invest time and effort to correct your mistakes, costing you resources that could be better spent elsewhere.

Building Ethical Links

You can create ethical links through the following techniques:

  • Publish regular posts with internal links (as often as you can, with high-value content)
  • Reciprocal linking (provided these are relevant and not excessive)
  • Writing guest posts for blogs and sites relevant to your industry (these must be high-value and not feature excessive links)
  • Create testimonials for manufacturers of products or service-providers you use

These are just a few ideas, but they can all play a big part in driving traffic to your website. If you can create valuable content, such as in your own blog or guest posts, you’ll build your brand’s visibility and credibility.

On the other hand, creating badly-written content which serves as thinly-veiled link generators for your site can have a negative impact on your brand in the long-term.

Take the time to build informative, entertaining content with natural links, and you will gradually create a stronger online presence.

One Link can be Stronger than the Other

Getting a link from a website with no authority and no relevance to your business or niche is not a terrific way to build visibility. All links are not alike.

The trick is to nurture relationships with websites that are relevant to your brand and are viewed as a trusted domain. Getting links from high-authority sites is an endorsement of your own site, whereas those from questionable domains can raise eyebrows.

Seek out websites covering topics related to your business or industry, prioritizing the biggest influencers, and reach out. If you can start placing guest posts at popular domains, you can drive real traffic your way over time.

Branching Out

Other options for manual link-building include:

  • infographics that people will want to share
  • lists
  • case studies
  • white papers
  • reports on your own studies

At Nett Solutions, our expert Orange County digital marketing team can help you build links that really matter. Give us a call to learn more!

Which Key Digital Marketing Trends Should You Follow?

digital marketing trends

Image via flickr.

No business can afford to neglect its online presence in 2016. With research indicating that a staggering 31 million people across the US alone will have used their mobile devices to go online by the end of the year, the internet is clearly never far from users’ reach.

The internet’s proliferation and global reach means consumers have more choice than ever today. Even the most well-established brands face stiff competition from smaller enterprises offering similar products and services at lower costs.

Following the latest trends is key to success. Which your business already be embracing? Continue reading

What Are Website Analytics Tools Good For?

what are website analytics toolsWebsite analytics tools are essential for monitoring your online performance. Without this data-tracking software in your arsenal, you stand to miss out on critical information. Every business looking to compete today has to maximize its online visibility and customer-engagement using the best tools available, and analytics data allows you to identify your strengths and weaknesses.

What benefits does analytics software offer? Continue reading

4 Social Media Techniques to Drive Traffic to Your Website

drive traffic to site with social mediaIs your business using social media to its full potential?

Today, more than 2 billion people use social media and have an average of five accounts across different networks. Impressed? You should be.

From a business perspective, social media’s purpose is to drive traffic to your site. Simply creating an account and checking in every other week is a waste of everyone’s time: you have to commit to making the most of your social channels.

Here are four great social media techniques to drive traffic to your website. Continue reading

The Best Places To Put A Small Marketing Budget

small marketing budget

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Online advertising is an expanding field, offering companies across all sectors a wide variety of options. No matter how much or how little money you have available, making the right choices is key.

However, your budget does dictate your freedom to experiment. Those on a bigger budget can simply try again if one method fails to generate the best response. On the other hand, you’re unlikely to have the cash to finance another attempt on a smaller budget, making each choice more important.

You need to invest a small marketing budget in the right places, but how do you know what these are? Continue reading

Rankings Are Not A Good Marketing Goal – Here’s Why

orange county search engine placementOnce upon a time, not so long ago, rankings were the be-all and end-all of internet marketing. Businesses hiring a team of SEO consultants would expect their brand to appear on the top page of Google permanently, and some were willing to pay for this result regardless of the techniques employed.

This focus on visibility over credibility or ethics led to websites carrying hidden content, keyword-stuffed text (which was all but unreadable for users), and paid links from poor-quality sites. Since then, thankfully, search engines have clamped down on such behavior, rewarding domains which rely on solid content and smart techniques while penalizing those with black-hat methods.

Today, rankings and rankings alone are not a good marketing goal; there are more important things in a successful campaign. Here’s why. Continue reading

5 Ways To Speed Up Your Site

website page speed

Your website has many plates to spin at the same time.

First, the visuals must be attractive enough to grab visitors and keep them engaged. Your layout must be clear and well-structured enough to navigate with ease. Your content must be well-written, easy to scan, and appropriate for your target demographic.

However, one area you might not give enough consideration is speed. Continue reading

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