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Maximising your online presence
A high percentage of potential customers will visit your website before they contact or visit you. Maximising your online presence within search engines is important to help the right potential customers find you, access information that is valuable to them, and ultimately engage with your brand or products, says Nick Pauley.
The wonderful thing about Google is that no matter what size your company, you can still create a first impression to rival the largest product manufacturers in the world. Google doesn't look at financial data or how big you are, it merely provides its users with the most relevant business to them - and that business could be yours.
Are you aware that your online audience now spends significantly less time searching for, and browsing your website? Getting your website to the first page of the Google search rankings will make your life much easier.
Based on our own experience and judgment we at Pauley Creative advise clients that the length of time a visitor needs to make an initial judgment about how appealing your website (and company) is, is 0.1second. The length of time a visitor will wait for your website to load fully is only 1 second. If your site takes longer than this, potential customers will have navigated away, and perhaps gone straight into the open arms of a competitor. Ten seconds is our estimate of the time visitors will take to examine all content on a page. Do you have so much content that it isn't possible to absorb the key messages in this time? Is your website difficult to browse at speed? Is it laid out in a logical, simple manner? If so, your website may be failing to communicate important information to your audience in time.
One minute is the maximum time we've found visitors are prepared to spend completing a task on your website (such as finding and completing a contact form or telephone number, downloading a product PDF, etc). If your website isn't easy or intuitive to navigate, and your key 'calls to action' are buried away, you'll lose your potential customers before they've found anything of value
The web today plays a fundamental part in how people research, select and choose companies and products to work with. The use of search engines to identify businesses, products and services at the very early stages of a project is certainly increasing and the competition online is far greater. A simple search for 'aluminium cladding panels' returns 1.78 million results. It's the top ten of those 1.78 million results that matters. However, a search for 'aluminium cladding panels for stadiums' returns 111,000 results - a much less competitive term.
Your website is the first thing your potential customers see before they make contact (by telephone, email, contact form etc) to find more information - it's your shop window.
First impressions are increasingly important for a successful website, and this forms the hub of all your other marketing and advertising activities. Anyone who views an advertisement will perform a search on Google for further information, and if they can't find you, or you don't match up to the impression your advertisement gave - then you've fallen at the first hurdle.
An inward looking company site that doesn't really say anything useful to your audience won't present the right first impression, and won't be successful in Google search either. Your website shouldn't be shouting "Me Me Me!", but "You You You!" instead. Google search is heavily used to answer question-based searches. Remember this when writing your content.
Converting visitors into business opportunities should be your ultimate goal. Your 'calls to action' should be clearly displayed on each page, think carefully about what you'd like potential customers to do next; offer them PDF's to download, or competitions to enter, in an accessible, clear format.
Five top tips for evaluating your website
- Most people will search Google before they contact you. Make sure your first impression is the right one.
- Get specific with your search terms and make certain you're visible in Google search results.
- Update your website content to clearly communicate how you meet customers' needs. Buyers search for solutions to their problems.
- Make use of low-cost publishing channels such as YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Allowing people to spread your content as far as possible will help customers to find you.
- Calls to action - think about what you want your visitors to do next, and make their life easy. Remember, you haven't got their attention for very long.
For more information about RIBA Insight advertising and marketing solutions, please complete our short further information form.
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