I went to a meetup event to hear David Jackson speak on what he’s learned about building websites as the owner and founder of Tekkii. It was validating to hear someone who I never meet before, making the same suggestions as we do for digital marketing. The bonus was a handfull of new SEO terms and websites to learn more.
A website serves the customer before they get into the store.
Is your website an asset?
A website can build trust with your customers by selecting the right fonts, colors, images, and words. For example, imagine how safe you would feel signing a legal contract in Comic Sans?
When creating content for your website it’s important to think about what makes your store unique, what is it REALLY good at? This expertise shows a customer your store brand is not only safe enough to provide food for their family, but also safe enough to share their contact info.
Figuring out your concept is more important than choosing which web provider to use. It’s easy to change web providers, but flimsy content doesn’t generate enough trust for customers to visit your store.
The home page is the most important. The hero image has 2/10 of a second to get someone’s attention. Put the one thing you would say about your store if you could only say one thing. How is your store perceived? If your store was on highway 66, what would you do to get people to stop and visit your store? Don’t use too much text just headings, and pictures. Put easy to find contact info at the top and bottom. No stock photos, instead use nice photos of your employees.
Hero home page content: Show a problem or the solution your store can provide for your customers. Showing a solution tends to win A/B testing. For example, for online ordering/curbside service show how time spent is now saved with a kitchen timer? Then show good looking meals on a plate.
Content a website should have
• Testimonials: use Schema Markup for star ratings with your testimonials, then the stars will also show up in your Rich Snippets.
• Feature Video: skip the cost to produce a slick video, store’s can create authenticity by just using a phone. Google is looking for user signals like time spent on-page. Videos increase the time spent on a page which decreases your site’s bounce rate. RankBrain tends to rank big brands like Amazon over small businesses. To compete, a small business can produce a video on a specialized cooking task, where there is currently only a text tutorial. Over time, more food brands, chefs, and foodies will be encouraged to link to your content, so your rank will go up. Beware, a low bounce rate is hard to get with a one-page website.
• Call to Action: usually shows the text “Learn More!” or “Go, Register Now!” on a button with a link and an arrow.
• Site Map: then make sure and get it verified on Google Search Console.
Three parts of a website
1. Home Page
2. Inside Pages: make one page for each service your store provides. Put a different title on each page. How much content per page? Look at your competition, do a little more.
3. Outside Sites/Directories: set up social media accounts for presence (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube). However, in the beginning, only focus on one to post on. Posts are best when they come from internal employees. Set up your store location on Google my Business and your website on Google Search Console. Make sure to not get deindexed or penalized on google search console. Google my Business is more important now than it was in the past because it’s data ranking has gone up with past algorithm updates. Consider setting up your store in Whitespark which has more strength in cities. Keep in mind it typically takes 6 months to get your site ranked and up to one year indexed.
A store can also test their site using pleper.com to find and review links. A good rule of thumb is no more than 10 links.
Yelp has been known to be picky about reviews and takes them down often. Ask customers to use SiteJabber instead. When you get a bad comment from anywhere online, respond and try to fix it quickly.
Google is looking for user engagement which is any way that a visitor to any of your digital properties takes action on that platform instead of browsing passively or exiting immediately to find a better source of information.
Towards the end of David’s presentation, he became more serious maybe a bit somber. I could tell his advice, “Stick to the process with consistency. Over time your business will grow” is something he believes and has experienced. David mentioned what it was like starting his business. He said they tried lots of different ideas, and the ones that had results, they kept doing. He also suggested to look up:
- Decide which medium is best for you based on your talents. If your not camera shy try video if you like to write try a blog. If you like to talk, try a podcast.
- Publish one item per day for the next 90 consecutive days.
Most people like to stay in “research” mode too long. This challenge helps get you out of that rut and start creating content.
The challenge is tough in the beginning. Then it gets easier, then it becomes fun because it’s about your passion. The most exciting part is watching your audience grow. Consider customer service problems/solutions you have encountered over the years. Then think about what you can gain by sharing your experience with several customers!
If you consistently put great content out on the web over a period of time, more people will anticipate the next post, then Google will notice and prioritize your account. Remember, “Google is looking for engagement.”