Does your website say anything about you at all?

Image by KansirOne of the great things about my job is that you’re asked to look at lots of different types of websites and suggest what can be done to them to help their search engine performance and their marketing performance.

it’s not as simple as one might hope.  I’ve seen some really awful looking websites that have been performing really well in the search engines and I’ve seen sites that look fantastic but just don’t perform in the search engines.

Of course, an effective website really needs all elements to be working well. If  you click a link in the search results then you hope that you’ll find a site that you want to spend some time on, not one that has you diving for the close button because it’s a mish-mash of colours and patterns.    And a website that’s an artist’s indulgence with lots of lush graphics and design features but no text won’t be seen by anyone because it’s not going to appear in the search results at all!

I’ve spent the last couple of days looking at a number of websites for clients and one of the issues that kept coming up again and again was that their website never actually told me what their business did.

This sounds silly but I’ve seen so many websites that talk about the company’s ethos, their client list, their qualifications and the awards but never actually explained what they did.  If I can’t quickly find out what your company does then you can be pretty sure that Google isn’t going to know either. 

If you’re a graphic design company then tell everyone that you’re a graphic design company.   Not only will this help the search engines return your website for relevant searches and increase the traffic to your website, it’ll help your visitors understand more about your business. 

Let’s build on the graphic design example: Imagine that you have a visitor that knows nothing about graphic design but wants a new logo and brand design for their business.  What text is more likely to speak to them and turn them into a customer:

1 – We are a graphic design company based in Banbury and we design logos and branding for businesses of all sizes.  We also have our own printing facilities and can produce all the stationery that your business will ever need!  Call us now for a free, no obligation quote.

or

2 – We pride ourselves on our customer-centric ethos.  We work with you to deliver a coherent message for your global brand and weave the essence of your business into the fibres of your branding accessories.

Eh?  If the guy is a plumber looking for some business cards then he’ll be off to your competitor quicker than you can weave your essence.

OK, perhaps I was being a bit silly with the second one, but it’s not too far from the truth with many websites.  The rule is to keep it simple.  Tell your visitors what you do in simple terms.  Only when they’re clear about what your business does should you try to impress them with all that other rubbish relevant business literature.