One of the most difficult concepts some companies fail to grasp is the importance of a “living” website. Too often General Managers, Owners and Top Management consider the mere presence of their company on the internet is enough to be internet marketing. Of course, they also don’t get why they are not showing up on search results. They paid for a website, it’s up and running – so where’s the business?
There are essentially two tasks your website has to fulfill:
- Be a user-friendly, informative website for current and potential clients to find what they need as quickly as possible and make contact with your company.
- Be organized and up-to-date with what the search engines are looking for to determine the best results for their searches.
Unfortunately, in many cases, neither task is being fulfilled to the level needed to get the job done.
Put Life Into Your Website
We have literally taken over websites that have not changed in ten years. No product or service updates, inaccurate contact info, missing information – you name it. Like a rusting auto in the backyard, the website is just fading (or has completely faded) away.
Before anything can really happen with the search engines, your website must be up to minimum standards that represent a website of value by the search engines. If your website is not up to standard the search engines will not be spending quality time with it, nor finding any value in placing you in favorable search results.
Likewise, spend a few minutes on your site and a few of your competitors. Are you embarrassed? What do you think a potential customer would be thinking when doing the same thing. Who do you think is going to get the business? Unfortunately, not as many people see this as you would think.
To be honest, chances are you need a new website – especially if your current website is more than 4 years old. Things have changed that much. It does not have to cost a fortune, but it will make a difference.
Once you get a new site – make sure you keep it up to date. Search engines like change. This is one reason social media and blogging are so powerful in boosting search results.
Make your website a resource that customers will want to visit again and again. If your website does what it is supposed to do it will perform well with search engines.
Get On Google’s Good Side – And Stay There
Like everything else on the internet, the search engines are always changing the rules as to how a search engine evaluates websites and where they place them in searches. Remember, their task is to give the best results they can find when a search is requested. Thus, Google and all the others are constantly tweaking their algorithms to maximize what they perceive to be the best results. You may not like it – but it is their rules.
Chances are you will not even know about the changes until you see your website drop in performance. Sometimes these changes create a small ripple, sometimes a tidal wave. In the search engine optimization world (SEO) it is a constant challenge.
Having a in-house webmaster may not be enough. In most cases, we find they are not fully tasked to the website, have other demanding duties with the website coming in as an afterthought. This is not a focus on your internet marketing. Plus, it is not an issue of keeping up – you need to be looking at staying ahead of the search engine curve.
How do you do that?
Honestly, unless you have some SEO experience in-house, probably not so well. While Google holds their cards extremely close, they do give out clues about concerns they have and how they might correct them in search results. Obviously, Google’s commanding lead in the search engine world means all the other search engines are paying attention as well. Projected changes spread like a bad cold throughout the SEO community. Those who understand the issues can make necessary changes in preparation.
Those in the know understand that some basics have to be dealt with almost daily:
- Backlinks – this is what make Google Google. If you do not have backlinks pointing back to your website, you are losing the vote of the internet. Yes, there is a difference between just a backlink and a weighted backlink. Having your dentist link to you is not as good as another manufacturing company pointing to you. For more on the importance of backlinks, read this.
- Social Media – The search engines love social media. While difficult for a manufacturing company, it is not impossible and should be pursued as vigorously as possible.
The real key to staying ahead of the internet trends is to know where everyone is going, and make sure you get your company there first.
- Get your website up-to-date and technically correct. Make it something you can be proud to point to.
- Keep your website up-to-date and fresh. Maintenance is as important as any of your production machinery and equipment.
- Get involved with social media. Yes, it can be done for a manufacturing company.
- Build and support a relationship with the search engines by building and supporting solid backlinks.
Is your website working for you – or against you? For a free website evaluation, contact us.