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In 2021, there were roughly 1.88 billion websites online, although that number would fluctuate. In 2022, we can only expect that number to increase as we continue to lead many aspects of our lives virtually. What is going to make your website stand out and succeed?
After being in online marketing since 2003, consulting on SEO for seven years, and owning the website My Wedding Songs, I have seen many websites that have less than stellar results. If I were to speak to any CEO today, these are my top five elements of a website to review for success.
User Experience Should Be Your Primary Design Concern
Showcase the benefits of your product or service to your target audience. In addition, there is a difference between the features of your product or service and the benefits. You must know how it makes your customers feel. That feeling must be expressed through the words on the page and the pictures displayed.
Within three seconds, a visitor must know who you are and what you do. That being said, your website must load within three seconds or you risk people leaving.
Lastly, you must give visitors something to do — a call to action that encourages them to take the next step. What do you want them to do? Call you, email you, sign up for your newsletter or schedule an appointment? Give them that option front and center.
Tell Your Story and How It All Started
We all know that people buy from who they like and trust. That being said, customers are usually more interested in you and could be willing to spend a bit more if you have an inspiring story. The story could be why you started your business, the struggles you faced while bringing your product to market or your learning curve to success.
In order to make a connection with your customers, tell your personal story. Share pictures of your favorite hobby, your pets playing or the family photos that you love. This will help develop a personal connection with customers.
Be sure to feature your accolades too. Don’t look at it as bragging, but rather as badges of honor for your hard work. These also alert Google and your readers to the fact that you are an expert in your field and have the authority to talk about such topics, making you that much more worthy of readers’ attention.
Show That the Company Is Giving Back
Being active in the local community is not only great brand awareness but also improves the lives of others. In addition, people today love to see companies giving to a cause that is bigger than the bottom line and are more likely to support such businesses.
Select a cause that is near and dear to you. We lost a good friend to breast cancer, so we were active in participating and donating to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. I was active in high school in a program that helps students succeed through financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship programs — also known as junior achievement (JA). Thus, our donation efforts in 2022 will be targeting JA.
Use Your Pronouns Wisely
For every use of the pronouns “I, our or my,” you lose one customer. OK, this is an exaggeration but you get the idea. When reviewing the content on your page, conduct a search and look for any use of words that talk about yourself when the focus should really be on your product or the customer. Then, rewrite the content and talk about the benefits as stated above. In addition, turn the attention back on the reader and replace personal pronouns with “you, your.” This, of course, excludes the section on your personal story, which is integral for customer connection. Look at other areas of your website to see where you’re defaulting to personal pronouns.
Implement SEO Techniques
This is such a broad topic and could be its own article, but SEO is especially important in 2022. Start with researching what keywords your customers use in search engines. What are they searching for already? There is no need to write about a topic no one cares about.
Each page on your site should target a theme of keywords. This includes synonyms and other common similar search phrases. The targeted keywords should then be included in the page’s title, meta description and heading one (H1). The keyword phrases and synonyms found in your initial research should be used throughout the content.
Next, answer the questions commonly asked about the keywords. This can be done by conducting a Google search for your keywords. Then, look at the “People Also Ask” section. Review the questions that are relevant to your topic and add the information to the page. Also, look at the “Related Searches” section at the bottom of the search results page for more content ideas.
Finally, take a look at the top results in a search for your targeted keywords. What type of content do they have on their pages that you can have on your site without duplicating that content? Do they have videos that you are not yet including? Think to yourself how can you make your content the ultimate resource on the topic.
Personalization, search engine optimization and website optimization are not rocket science. You must start with the user experience and then see your website through the eyes of your target audience. What would they do?