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Your website is your first “First Impression”

Your website is your first “First Impression”

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Having an effective website is critical to your business success. You cannot afford to have a missing or poor online presence. If your website doesn’t make a good first impression and deliver all the information the visitor is seeking, you will most certainly lose out on business.

Read more to learn about the key elements that affect your websites performance.

Your website is your first “First Impression”. 

Think for a moment… what do you do when you need information? If you have a phone in your hand or pocket, chances are you will ask SIRI or Hey Google. Otherwise, you may jump on the nearest tablet or computer and visit your favorite search engine to get your answer.  All of these will likely result in you viewing one or more websites.  Even If you have some familiarity with the organization you click to, it is highly likely that you will form an immediate impression of how viable they as a service or product supplier.  That click will create a first or updated “First Impression” that will affect your purchase choice.

poor impression

Having an effective website is critical to your success. You cannot afford to have a missing or poor online presence. If your website doesn’t make a good first impression and deliver all the information the consumer is seeking, you will most certainly lose out on business.

So how can you make sure your website is a help and not a hindrance? First of all, let’s begin with the basics. You need to make sure your website works. This may sound obvious and trivial, but a surprising number of sites have broken links or error pages that become roadblocks for the visitor. Surely you have encountered many of these in your online experience. How can you check your site for problems?  Start with free resources that will perform a quick technical audit of your website and make sure your website is free from technical issues.

Another basic check is to make sure your website is compatible with all commonly-used internet browsers as well as mobile devices. Your site is visited by a diverse array of users who may be accessing it through multiple means. You do not want to forfeit a potential business opportunity because your site would not load on a particular browser. Also, if your site has mobile usability issues, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines will lower your search result placement (SERP) to save their visitor aggravation.

Since most users will be using a search engine to find you, your site needs to be prominently listed when a potential client is looking for your product or service. This is what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about. SEO is a complicated but necessary process you need to use to rank your site well with search engines.

We know that most users do not look past the first or second page of search results and if your site is not one of those results it will most likely not be visited. You will also need to rank well for the key words and phrases used in your industry.  Finding these terms means that you will need access to the tools and skills of an SEO consultant.  They have data that sheds light on keyword search volume and competitive difficulty in ranking for words and phrases in search.  They will help you use the best words and phrases in your web content so that search engines understand the essence of who you are and what you do.  This understanding gives them the confidence to send their visitors your way for answers. 

 Be aware that website performance does not exist in a vacuum. You and your competitors’ search result positions change from day to day as new content is added on websites and tastes and trends change. Therefore your site’s performance needs to be monitored so your website can respond to both opportunities and obstacles. We are here to help you with this step.

Your content cannot be so focused on search engine consumption that human readers are turned off or confused. To present a professional image, your content should be easy to read and free from grammatical and spelling errors. Proofreading is always necessary before posting or updating page content. You may utilize a professional proofreading service, such as to make sure it is done correctly. Or you may run your content by several sets of eyes and use tools like Grammarly. Once you know your content is sound, make sure the color scheme, font, and graphics are consistent with your branding. If the alignment is off or colors vary from page to page, it can come across as unprofessional.

Lastly, make sure all of your content is current and that it is updated as needed. Your site needs to keep up with the times. You should be staying current with industry standards so that design, functionality, and user experience are up to par. Users know what to expect from companies in your industry, and your site must represent the best. Maintain your site much like you would maintain anything else in life. Your site requires constant upkeep and you can expect that you will need a site redesign every three or so years to keep a contemporary and fresh look. 

Developing an effective website is a very intense process, and can seem quite overwhelming to the average business owner. Thankfully there are many resources available to assist you each step of the way. As long as you know what you need, you will be able to make your website an indispensable asset.  If you have questions about any of the items above we would welcome your contact or call.


Web Content Localization

Web Content Localization

Web Content Localization

Most websites need to target specific users. Your prospects are likely in a geographic region, or in a specific industry or perhaps both. Your goal is to write your content in a way that attracts the prospects you want.   You do not want to compete for visitors you do not want or need. Content localization is the process of writing content to target your prime audience. You will see your best search results when you have localized your website content,

I this post we will only look at content localization for US audiences. After all, US website owners are my gold prospects. 😊

Localized Web Content
Content Language(s)

At the most basic level your content must be in the language(s) that your audience uses. While this is obvious deliver your content in the language your audience speaks. For example, you will need to hire a professional translator if your content creators do not speak fluent Spanish.  Your site will not successful with your Spanish speaking audience without professional translation. Putting your text in Microsoft’s Bing translator is not going to work. Don’t laugh, I have seen this on live websites.

Geographic Targeting

Many businesses and organizations serve clients in a specific geographic region. If you are a restaurant your service area can be as small as a single city or town. If you are a landscaping service, you may serve a couple of counties. If you are an electrical contractor, a corner of your state. How do you let search engines know what area you service? After all, if you are in Waukesha WI you do not want to deliver pizza to Walla Walla WA.

There are several ways that you can target your content, and we can help. Generally, a simple list of every town you serve is not going to be very effective. A long list of cities in your content is likely to discourage your visitors. Of course, you will list your address, or addresses in the footer of website content. Then, look for opportunities to mention locations you serve. You can have a project gallery with a description of the project along with the city and state. You may have a list of testimonials, again listing the city and state of the customer. Whitepapers and project overviews are also opportunities to list locations. Search engines want to deliver meaningful results to their users.  They will pick up these clues and move your listing higher in the local listings. This has an even larger impact for mobile searches.

Your SEO consultant will also want to track your search results by area. This will gives a more accurate picture of your search success than national results.

Search Vocabulary Targeting

The last type of content localization to address can be the most important. Use the word combinations that inform search engines about the essence of what you do. Good topical localization also informs who you serve.  Clear communication of what you do, and who you do it for go a long way toward a successful website.

How important is the keyword targeting? I provide SEO services for several marketing agencies. They do branding, and when I think of branding I think of a specific process with a specific goal. However, I grew up on a dairy farm that also had beef cattle. If I put on my rancher hat branding has a completely different meaning. A poor job of content localization can bring a guy with a suit and briefcase to a feedlot, or a cowboy with a branding iron to a business meeting. Although come to think of it I can think of more than one meeting that would have benefited from a hot iron.

While this example is extreme, your content better say “cattle branding” or “company branding” to avoid confusion.  Again, your content needs to communicate the essence of what you do to search engines. Your content also must use the vocabulary and style that speak to your target audience.


If you need help reaching your best prospects with your website, we would like to help. Contact us by filling out the contact us form or call and we will be happy to help.

Choosing Search Keywords

Choosing Search Keywords

Not All Keywords Are Created Equal

How can you improve your website content to improve your search results?  One of the most important ways is to make sure that your text includes the best keywords possible.  What are the best keywords and phrases to use? They are the ones your prospects use when searching for your product or service.

How do you know what keywords to use?  This is where your SEO consultant comes in.  We have tools that let us test your website content to optimize it.  All keywords are not created equal.  There are several factors that affect how well they will perform for your search results.

Gold Key With Keywords Text As Symbol For SEO Or Optimization
Search Volume

A keyword or phrases’ search volume is a measure of how many times a month search engines see the search string. Depending on the keyword the number can be so few that our tools do not have a value. Some search phrases appear millions of time per month, others less than 100 times. Google for example is now processing about 40,000 searches per second, or more than 3.5 billion searches a day see here. Google has a trends page see here, that lists searches by content category. It is interesting to peek into what searches they are seeing.

While the stats above are interesting, they do not provide insight to what search keywords you should use. Finding those words takes the research and tools that we provide. We begin by analyzing the keywords you provide to us. We then look at those and related words and phrases to find the most active ones. The search volume of your keywords is one of the factors used in your final selection.

Click Though Rate

The Click Through Rate (CTR) is the ratio of clicks to appearances. For example, if a person searches for a phrase, and looks at 30 results and clicks on one, the CRT is 3.3%. Since clicks turn into website visits you want to use keywords that have a good CTR. We also look at your personal CTR. Each time your site shows in search results (known as an appearance) you can earn a click.  The more clicks you get the higher your CTR.

Your CTR depends on several factors.  One is how well your content relates to the search term.  A second is the quality of your meta description. We will help you in both areas.

Keyword Difficulty (Competition)

Keyword difficulty is a measure of the competition for that keyword. The higher the keyword competition the more difficult it is to rank well on that keyword. When your service or industry is very competitive for search results, your keywords are also going to be very competitive. What should you do if this is the case?

One strategy is to find related keywords that are less competitive.  Then target those keywords in your content. A second strategy is to use “Long Tail Keywords”. A long tail keyword is a string of 3 or 4 words that are very specific to what you are selling. You will want to make sure that the long tail keywords you choose have a meaningful search volume. All of nothing is still nothing so do not choose long tail keywords without doing volume research.

Conversion Rate

Your conversion rate is one of your most important performance statistics. Yet, it is also difficult to measure. Your conversion rate is a measure of your success after a prospect has visited your site. You have chosen your keywords, tweaked your meta description.  You have earned that elusive click! Now you must convert that website visitor into a client.

Several factors affect your conversion rate:

  • The match quality of the search phrase
  • The quality of your site content
  • The quality of your site navigation

If the search keyword is a good match for your product or service, you have brought the right visitor to your site. Now your site must answer his question.  Give him the information he needs and assure him that you are the best option to meet his need.