If you wouldn’t open your storefront before everything was in place, don't throw together your website. If you maintain cleanliness and order at your place of business with the hope of appearing “put together” for customers or clients, you should pay similar attention to your website.
The internet doesn’t have to be a place for the same old thing. Too often I see clients requesting a website-build with 0 originality. “Just a simple landing page” they say or “I want every page my competition has”.
If you are trying to build a website that ranks on Google for the long haul you need to build your website with as much pride as you built your business with. This means monthly, if not weekly improvements. Simply copying the pages from a competitor's site and putting up content one time will only get you so far. Even simply posting a weekly blog can only get you so far in the SEO world.
Small to medium sized business owners are often too busy to realize the proprietary real estate they could be building online in tandem with growing their business the way they know how.
Brainstorm what your customer base could make use of online. You can use a website to do just about anything. You can create a resource center, you can create a platform for others to come together, you can make something video based, you can add content to 1 page or create 50 pages about each of your service providers... anything in between.
If your business is fighting for SEO visibility you need to be building useful pages for every topic concerning your business. This is much more beneficial to your rankings than focusing on any page speed metric or backlink count.
Examples of Spectacular Sites
Some of the most important metrics Google wants to see in order to rank your page are organic visits/shares, time spent on page, pages per session, and bounce rate. If you have an SEO agency like ours clean up your website’s backend (which we offer!), you should really only need to spend time worrying about these metrics. The backlinks will come naturally to your content.
Here are some amazing sites that do an exemplary job of keeping you on the page and encouraging shares.
MyCreativeType.com is a product built by the team at Adobe Create. If you give the site a click you can see it checks off almost every metric I mentioned.
The official website for Super Nintendo World in Japan is one of my favorite examples of what a website could be. This website checks off all the boxes above as well. It is also a link generating machine with thousands of free links from bloggers and other websites showing their readers the masterpiece built.
I found ACCLAIM after a quick Google search for outstanding contractor sites to make this blog more applicable to those who don’t own a theme park or photo editing software company. Instead of sticking to stereotypical site structure for a contractor, ACCLAIM went above and beyond creating an interactive website that takes the user through the 2 main services they offer. As you can see, once you start scrolling down the site, the website takes over and takes you through the content the way the business wants you to.
They also present their other 9 services lower on the page giving Google a very clear link structure to learn.
Where do you start if you want to build a beautiful web property?
Well, you start by calling Mad Mango Marketing. But for those who are looking to try it themselves or are looking for some more information we will bring up a few points worth mentioning.
This depends on your developing capabilities as far as time. If you want to build a website that is over the top in design and engaging like the examples above you can expect to spend anywhere from 8-20k+ in most markets. Hosting can also be a little bit more than average if you are getting a lot of traffic or running a lot of video content.
Unfortunately, the build is just part of the equation you will need to consider as a business owner. One thing all great websites have in common are incredible imagery. The Nintendo site referenced must have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in artist hours! The difference between popping off the screen and grabbing attention relies much more on your graphics and art than backend development. Depending on your business you should plan on budgeting anywhere from 1-5k for art.
WordPress, Shopify, and Webflow are the three platforms we would suggest you consider to build an incredible website on. We mentioned pricing first because although these platforms are cheap to build any old site on you will still need to spend either a lot of time or spend a fair amount to have a website built that isn’t just another site. Webflow and Shopify both have a significant advantage in the fact that you won’t need to update plugins or worry about security nearly as much as a WordPress site. It is very important that your web designer builds your site with an easy to use CMS in between you and the backend so that you or your team can easily add additional pages or content without paying your developer more $$$.
You should really have at least the first year of content planned. Whether it is daily, weekly, or monthly posting for the first couple months should be fairly straightforward when starting out. Find a soft spot for information in your industry and cover it completely. If you install microwaves you should be reviewing every model, if you have an at-home care business you should be covering every reason someone may end up in your care.
Start with the main tenets of your business and get deeper and deeper into detail with dedicated content. You can also use an agency like Mad Mango to write professional content for your industry alongside your efforts to expedite the process.
Even being 30 years separated from the first commercial website, few small business owners who conduct business offline think like this. They see their website as a billboard instead of a warehouse with unlimited land to scale.
When you create content that users need (even if it's 1 or 2 people a month), structure it so that Google can understand the importance of this content within the context of your business, and work at building more on a regular schedule... it's only a matter of time until the free organic traffic lands on a site with your name and number.
All SEOs have been there before, no matter what you propose or how much you pay an expert to write a great piece of content, your client never thinks it is worthy of placement on their website. There are a number of different reasons a client may see your content ideas this way which we will discuss. However, for as many reasons not to post something on your site there are an equal amount of counterpoints. As SEOs our job is to convey this message in a way so that the client sees value, allowing us to do our job and bring results, creating a long term relationship and client for life.
Reasons Your Content Ideas Aren’t Getting Past the Gatekeeper
Some clients operate in such a specialized industry that as an SEO or content writer, you will never have the expertise to generate valuable content to the searchers. Finding writers for these niches can cause your margin to disappear completely, forcing you to raise prices before you even get going. They’re worried about misinformation being posted on their site before they can correct it and risk embarrassment to legit customers or the competition.
No SEO Priority Internally
No matter what business the client is in, they will need to provide some notes for content creation. Additionally, they usually want to approve all posts before going live with any new information on the site. Having no internal contact with a priority on SEO can cause a backlog of content pieces waiting for posting but never getting the final approval.
This is usually the cause. The way you present the data and the opportunity to rank is not clearly laying out the time-cost benefit. SEOs constantly get lost in the ambiguity of search engine algorithms and can over explain certain metrics or not provide enough context on the ones that matter.
If your client operates in a hyper niche like a specific medicine or law, getting good content up and then building links can take so much time, effort and money that you risk losing the client by not delivering in a reasonable period of time. Instead of shelling out to have a 5,000 word blog post written that takes up half your budget and will take months to rank, consider leveraging the staff at this business. If there are any interns or lower level employees that show promise, these could be your keys to content success.
The following are a list of content ideas that a touch point inside the business can provide you which you can then turn into a SEO masterpiece with some on-site work and link building:
No SEO Priority Internally
This is the hardest of the three to overcome because a lot of it lies out of your control. If there is no SEO priority internally you need to have an “intervention” style meeting and let the client know that a workflow for content needs to be approved otherwise efforts on all sides are wasted and you are better off bowing out of the project.
Tools like Surfer SEO can help put your new content pieces into easily read and transmitted SEO focused documents that can do a lot of the hand holding for approval.
We have also heard of agencies who have stipulations in their contracts that allow them to post content on the client's site within X number of days.
This can really be the cause of both issues above. If the client doesn't believe you can put out relevant info in their hyper-niche that falls on you. If the client is unmotivated by SEO, again, that falls on you as the service provider.
The best way to convey your message early on in the onboarding process of this pesky client is to show real world examples of what you have created and how it has brought users to that site which ultimately converted into sales. If you are new at SEO you can use tools like ones we have discussed in this blog to show an example of someone else who has used content similar to that which you are proposing to propel their business.
Metrics Business Owners Care About (in our experience):
SEO is not a game of hitting numbers like word count, backlinks, and search volume. But you’re not selling your services to SEOs. The last 4 bullets in the list above are some of the best metrics you can use to convince someone a piece of content is worth pursuing. Use these to get the ball rolling and then introduce things like authority of each link and heading structure after the client is excited and see the benefit in this new content.
At the end of the day if you aren’t creating content regularly that has a purpose, your SEO efforts will struggle to amount to much. There is often a fountain of convincing information that lies in the sites of the competition. Combine all 3 tactics above for success: present the information through a value lens, build a workflow with the client that works for everyone, and find a touch point inside the business that can help move these SEO efforts along.
All blogs are written by our incredible staff here at Mad Mango Marketing. Your Connecticut SEO, App Development, and Online Advertising experts.