According to Google, 95% of all online searchers never go past the first page of results.

Ask yourself these two questions:

1. Is my website on the first page of results for my industry’s major keywords?

If not…

2. What can I do about it?

If your website is not showing up on the first page of Google, Yahoo! or Bing for your industry’s major keywords then your website is not receiving the traffic that it should be and your business is not acquiring as many leads as it needs to be.

As far as online searchers are concerned, if they don’t see your website on the first page of results then it might as well not even exist.

Now, I’m sure that isn’t the kind of news you want to hear after you invested all that time and money into your website. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to improve your website’s rankings. Keep in mind that some of the things we will talk about in this article take time and patience.

The following information is free advice on how to improve your search engine rankings.

SEO Beginner Tip 1: Title Tags

Title Tags are one of, if not, the most important on-site SEO component. A webpage’s title tag is located at the top of your internet browser.

A webpage’s title tag tells the search engines, and the public, what they can expect to find on that page. Without proper title tags the odds of your page being ranked high for your industry’s keywords are extremely low.

What you want to do is place your keywords in the title tags of your site’s pages. Make sure that each page on your site has a unique title tag relating to the content on the page.

SEO Beginner Tip 2: Meta Data

Meta data is information that is hidden in the code of your site and that the search engines use to find out more information about each page on your site. This data, while not as important to search rankings as it once was, is still useful and should be added to each page of your website.

The first piece of meta information that you want to add to each page is called the “meta description.”

The meta description is literally a description of what can be found on the corresponding page.

Your meta description should not only describe what can be found on the page, but also include a call to action. Being ranked high in the search engines is good, but if people are not clicking on your link then it doesn’t matter how high you are ranked. You want to give people a good reason to visit your site.

Also, make sure that your meta description contains the keywords that you are optimizing that particular page for.

The next piece of meta information is your “meta keywords.” Meta keywords are not used by Google anymore in regards to how they rank your site. There is some indication that Bing and Yahoo! still use them, but the weight that they give them in their search algorithm is very low. We still suggest placing these keywords in the code of your site because things change so much with the three major search engines that it is better to be safe than sorry. We may wake up tomorrow to find out that meta keywords are now important again and having to go through all your website’s pages again to add them could take a lot of time. It’s better to add them now and not have to worry about it later.

Your meta keywords should contain all the keywords related to your SEO campaign and all industry keywords that are related to that particular page regardless if you are optimizing for them or not.

 

SEO Beginner Tip 3: Internal Linking

Internal linking is not only helpful for search engine rankings, but it also allows your visitors to find other pages on your site that may not be reachable through your main navigation or easily found. Internal linking can also pass along link juice from one page to another on your site, which can help with rankings.

You want to link the pages of your site together using anchor text links. An anchor text link is a link that uses a keyword instead of, for example, “click here.”

Anchor text links tell the search engines what the page that the link leads to is about. You want to make sure that you use this technique to link the pages of your sites together. For example, if you were to write a blog post talking about link building techniques, you may link the phrase “link building techniques” to a corresponding page because you would want that page to be found for the keyword phrase “link building techniques.”

 SEO Beginner Tip 4: Content

Content is extremely important. Search engines love content. The content on your site needs to be unique, well written and contain useful information. It also needs to contain the keywords which you are optimizing for, and which are relevant to each particular page. Your should also be adding to the content of your site on a consistent basis. Stagnant sites, ones that never add content, for the most part, will not rank high. The easiest way to continually add content to your site is by adding a blog and posting at least once a month. The more often you post the better.

SEO Beginner Tip 5: Back Links

Back links, at this point, are still the most important off-site factor when it comes to where your site ranks. Gaining back links, however, is a time-consuming process and something that needs to constantly be done in order to not only achieve high rankings, but also to maintain the rankings you have already achieved.

A few of the many different ways to gain back links are blogging, business directory submissions, article marketing, press releases, commenting in forums and on other blogs, creating content on your site that people want to link to as well as simply asking other webmasters for links. The one thing you should never do is pay for links. All three major search engines frown upon that and doing so will get your site penalized in the rankings.

The above tips are very basic and meant for beginners.

If your company has separate departments or suppliers for marketing and web design, the responsibility for turning website visits into conversions (sales and enquiries) can tend to fall between two camps. This can be bad news for any business hoping to turn their online investments into real profitability.

So who is responsible for ensuring the website leads to a conversion? And how do you make sure the right people, in the right departments, take the right steps to make your website convert? In this article I look at the problem and offer some tips to help you turn your website views into conversions.

You may assume that the optimisation of conversions is part of the web designer’s role (they’re the technical experts after all). However, as marketing managers delve deeper into the world of online marketing, conversion optimisation becomes much more of a collaborative effort between the two teams.

Marketers have a unique understanding of the needs and wants of their customers, this gives them valuable insight into what will convert visitors into clients or customers, and what won’t. These sorts of Insights may not be available to many web designers. Meanwhile, many marketers may not realise how important their customer knowledge is to conversion optimisation and how crucial their understanding is to successful web marketing.

I will now suggest some key points that when applied can improve website conversions, the points are summarised on a format that both marketers and web designers can use:

Delivery Relevance

Clear headlines and suitable images reassure potential customers they are on the right page to find the information they need, this ensures they continue their ‘journey’ on your site and are much more likely to convert in the long run.

Integration

As a marketer you work hard to entice customers to visit the website. Keeping your message consistent from offline to online will improve conversions by keeping visitors on site for the same reasons they visited in the first place (the messages in your offline material).

Details

Whilst short sharp points will attract attention, visitors are also likely to be looking for informative text which helps them to make buying decisions. Give them all the facts they need to make the decision to buy/ enquire.

User Journey

This is where the web design department becomes a part of the optimisation process. Every page should be designed to take users on a journey, whilst minimising the number of clicks to reach their destination.

Page Length

Part of conversion optimisation is about thesting out which approach is most effective. Longer pages with lots of information or shorter, more impactful pages. Try both and test which is the most effective at converting

Graphics

Through experience with offline brochures and advertisements, marketers will have gained useful insight into the images that illicit the strongest response from the target market. These should be incorporated into your web design to improve conversions.

Menu Options

Reducing the number of menu options on a page also reduces the number of possible clicks, often resulting in improved conversions

Call to Action

Marketers should be adept at writing persuasive copy, and strategically placed calls to action could be the difference between a conversion and a lost customer

Whilst the web department will have an expert understanding of what looks the most appealing, website design should be guided by the expertise of marketers. By working together and analysing the data, conversion optimisation becomes a lot easier.

There is no single solution to website conversion optimisation. Only testing and in house knowledge and expertise can help to provide your customers with the ultimate online experience.

 

Problems with current websites

If you buy the wrong website you will struggle to be found in Google for very important search terms, having trouble updating products and some people that buy the wrong websites shoot blind, unable to see the website analytical data needed to make informed, well-judged decisions.

Can you list your products properly?

A number of websites used by clothing companies don’t allow them to upload their catalogue effectively. If someone is searching for a certain T shirt or particular item of corporate workwear , then a site that doesn’t show them these products straight away is highly unlikely to convert that visitor into an enquiry

Internet users are used to getting what they want immediately and making rapid decisions. If a site is little more than a corporate brochure then those users will click the ‘back’ button and seek out an alternate supplier.

Your site should have one page for each product and give all the necessary information on prices, sizes, colours and customisation options. Don’t give users the excuse to click over to one of your competitors just because they show more information than you do..

Are you able to sell your products online?

Another consideration is your ability to sell products online. The world of customisable clothing is notoriously difficult from an ecommerce point of view, because the number of personalisation options make creating a great selling platform very difficult for web developers.

Technology has leapt forwards recently and there are now web companies out there who can offer you a full ecommerce platform. These platforms will allow users to view, customise and pay for their clothing online, quickly and easily.

Think about how much simpler your life would be if you could sell clothing at any time of the day or night, without ever having to speak to anyone. It is important to tread carefully here. A number of companies I spoke to at the event had spent 1000’s of pounds on websites that lacked important functionality, such as the ability to upload artwork or buy multiple sizes of the same item, which isn’t helpful at all. Make sure your web developer has experience with customised ecommerce sites before forging ahead.

Can you add your own, unique content?

When it comes to content, there are two main areas that you should be concerned with, product descriptions and blog/ news articles. 

Why is the content so important? It allows your website to stand out from the crowd , to both users and the search engines. Google hates duplicate content and if your site has the exact same product descriptions as everyone else you wont be looked upon favourably which is bad news for your rankings.

Conversely, Google loves fresh, unique content, which is easily provided by a regular blog or news section.

Taking the time to create your own product descriptions and to write advice articles or news pieces for your blog each week will do wonders for your website’s search engine ranking. At the same time it will show the personality of your brand to users, making them far more likely to remember you and recommend you to their contacts.

Does your website integrate with Google?

If your ecommerce site has the ability to integrate with Google Products Seach, your items will be displayed in the “shopping results” section of Google.

This section is displayed on page one of Google and shows an image of the product. This can bring in a lot of traffic and can often be automated, costing you very little in time and money.

Another Google tool well worth having is Google Analytics. This free software provides you with data about what’s happening on your website

This vital information includes the keywords that people used to find you, the other sites sending you traffic, how long visitors spend on your site and which pages they look at. This sort of information is exactly what you need when figuring out what works and where to take things in the future.

 

Have you bought the wrong website?

Etrader websites are the only solutions in the market that understand what you need as a garment decorator. We understand because we have decades of experience in the print and embroidery market.

Is your current website out of date?

Our solutions are the ultimate modern tool for presenting your business online; both from an aesthetic and a functional point of view. Our elite team of industry topping web developers will improve the design and marketability of your current site. As well as giving you the tools you need to generate more enquiries and orders

Are you sick of wasting time and money trying to update your site?

With ease of use being at the fore front of our thinking, we have developed our solutions with ‘2 sides’, from both the customer and owners perspectives. The customer can checkout in seconds, with our easy to use customisation process and secure online payment service, whilst the owner can change the content of their site in real time. From text and images to brands and entire clothing lines. It can all be changed in seconds!

Is your current website underperforming and you don’t know why?

At e-trader we have great expertise in internet marketing and search engine optimisation. The architecture of your new website will be constructed in a search engine friendly way. Accompany this with our easy to use SEO section on the’ owners side’ of the platform with the weekly marketing hints and tips from the e-trader team and you will be climbing up the Google ranks in no time.

Does your current site have a low conversion rate?

Our websites give you the potential will to generate more traffic towards the site and rank well both locally and nationally for related keyword searches. But the platform gives the customer the ability, to pick a garment, customise it and checkout in seconds. This gives you site a better chance of converting more site traffic into sales.

Are you fed up with managing all the data from your site?

We do all that for you! We can plug your new site into any of your wholesaler’s catalogues that you buy from.  We will also update them for you; too save you the hassle of doing it manually. This gives you the potential to have unlimited brands on your website.

Has your business taken over your life?

If you want to go on holiday we will take the orders while you’re away and fulfil them, leaving your some care free time away from the world of business. You will also find yourself with a more efficient production process as there is minimal communication between buyer and seller other than a simple order form. So you don’t have to wait around and you can improve your order turnaround time.

Are you confusing your online customers with costs?

In our market research we found that many print and embroiders confuse customers with costs. Our platform allows to you to build the costs on the ‘owners side’. Here you can set delivery charges, digitizing fees and other costs such as V.A.T with ease and simplicity. This way the customer is not left bewildered and wondering what stitch counts and set up costs mean. The costs are spread over the order with the same design, as a customer you can see the cost coming down as you buy more.

Are you losing customers to the rapid change in technology?

Our solution allows your website to be accessible on all devices. With tablets currently outselling laptops for the first time ever and technology becoming more mobile we decided to build a solution for the future. Many of the alternatives to our solution use flash; therefore they are not accessible on Apple products- such as the iPhone, iPad , iPod and iMac’s.

 Do you want to make it easier for repeat customers to place orders?

The e-trader+ option will give you a ‘Pre-branded products’ section on the ‘Owners Side’ of the website. Here you can in effect set up your own ‘mini-shop’. Upload pictures, write descriptions and set prices of your own products. This works particularly well if you supply local schools, sports teams or clubs, you can give them their own section of your website to show how much you value their custom.

Internet leads can be a fertile ground for new business. But are you making the best use of all those potential leads?

The online business resource, Forbes, posted a worrying article last month, entitled: “Why Companies Waste 71% of Internet Leads”. The article looked at more than 10,000 businesses over 5 weeks and uncovered the following statistics:

·         Average lead response time is 46 hours and 53 minutes

·         Sales rep give up after 1.3 call attempts to leads

·         A mere 27% of leads are ever contacted

These figures show that the average business is throwing money at leads they never properly chase up. The article examines how to boost conversions by 341% and maximise your investment in lead generation. It is well worth reading. Here are some ideas how to help you improve sales……….

1.       Auto respond

Think about setting up an auto-responder. This will send an email to individuals who have completed an online enquiry form, helping to keep your prospects warm. The message can also include latest offers, company news, a link to your FAQ page, etc. It can also better inform the individual about your service or product and prompt them to take certain actions. Auto-responders can also be set up which send information more regularly, weekly bulletins or a monthly newsletter for example, until the prospect is ready to buy.

2.       Use your analytics data to make better sales calls

In Google Analytics (and many other website data systems) you can track enquiries by setting up Goals, and if you are a PPC advertiser then you can put Conversion Code in place. This data can tell you which keywords and adverts lead to a sale and which pages an enquirer visited on your website. If you look in the Network sub-section within the Technology section of the Audience tab, you can see the IP addresses of visitors. Combining all of this data will let you know what information your enquirer was searching form and the page that prompted the enquiry, allowing you to make a more informed sales call.

3.       Nurture your leads

If you provide professional services or sell to businesses, it is highly likely that enquirers will not be ready to buy straight away. It is important that a system is put in place to keep these parties interested while they consider their purchase. Develop some ‘keep in touch’ campaigns that allow you to communicate regularly with enquirers and help you direct them further down the sales path. Such campaigns could include emails, telephone calls and physical items like newsletters, postcards, letters and brochures, with a mix of sales offers, industry news and company information.

Use your social assets

Get closer to your prospects by following them on social sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Here you can learn about their interests and the way they like to work, helping you to develop your relationship. Be careful not to overdo it though, as there can be a fine line between helpful supporter and relentless internet stalker.

5.       Use a sales database

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software allows you to keep on top of enquiries. Building up a database of all sales leads, grouping them up by industry or interest, assigning tasks to each one, tracking progress and much more can be easily achieved in one of the many CRM packages available. With CRM systems available for free and even those that are very popular costing just a few pounds a month, you have no excuse to continue organising your sales activity on Post-It notes and print-outs!