What is one of the main reasons you’re thinking of starting a blog for your website? Maybe you just love the expression and freedom that comes with writing?
Or maybe it’s really because you want your website to get more attention and visibility.
Having an abundance of & high quality content on your website is one of the best ways to rank higher in Google and drive more traffic to your website.
When you combine this content with a wealth of backlinks from high domain authority websites, you website stands a great chance of ranking higher on Google.
The problem is that it is notoriously difficult to build these types of high quality backlinks.
You can reach out to other relevant webmasters and ask if they would consider linking to your content (and so your website) but you cannot guarantee that they will place that link on their site.
Unlike backlinks though, creating great content is directly under your control.
Researching, planning, creating and publishing content is something you’re able to do without having to rely on anybody else.
The issue is that there are many factors that determine the difference between a great piece of content and a mediocre piece of content.
As of 2021 there are 600 million blogs on the internet, and unfortunately they can’t all be good.
When searching for a certain topic Google wants to put the premium content at the forefront, since Google’s aim is to connect users with the best piece of content out there.
Therefore it’s unfortunate but a mediocre piece of content will most likely get buried among the others out there.
It doesn’t matter how much experience and passion you have, if you don’t convey that properly within the content on your website very few people will read it.
Obviously we don’t want mediocre, we want to write great quality content that is recognised by your audience as highly useful and relevant and ranked by Google on page #1.
So if you want your content to be high value then you need to plan and and create it with 2 people in mind:
Gone are the days when a 500 word text-blog post will do the job. Now you need to remember that you aren’t just writing for your audience, you’re also writing for Google.
By keeping both of these in mind you will end up with a useful source of information filled with great images and media and formatted in a way that adheres to a multitude of Google’s current ranking factors.
This way when Google crawls and indexes the page it can confidently determine that your content is the best match for the keywords contained in the blog post.
This is important since Google strives help its users by matching search terms with the most relevant & useful content.
Since your blog is also going to be highly useful to your audience (not just Google!) you’ll be able to build trust and create more opportunities for the readers to take further action with your business and potentially enter your business’ sales funnel.
In this article we’re going to go through some of the most important factors that make a piece of content great.
The primary reason to create a great piece of content is to help users by providing them with answers and information to the questions, problems and search terms they type into Google.
But if a user thinks they’ve clicked onto the wrong website, or they just aren’t certain your blog will give them the answers they seek, then they may well click off your webpage soon after clicking onto it (they’ll bounce).
The 2 main factors that determine if a user will stay on a webpage are:
Improving these 2 factors will help to ranking you higher and increase the time a user spends on your website and engaging with the information on there.
The thing about relevance is that your website and the blog article displayed may be highly relevant to the user searching for the information contained on your website, but if the blog isn’t perceived as being relevant then it doesn’t matter how great and interesting the information is, the user will simply click off your website.
Add a nice clear heading that introduces the topic you’re writing about and make sure the overall structure of the blog is well-formatted, that way the user can skim ahead to make sure they want to invest their time into reading further.
External links are a great way to add credibility to what you’ve written. If you’ve quoted facts or statistics then you should consider linking externally to external resources.
It lets the reader click the link to be taken to the external webpage you’ve linked to and see what the cited website says in more detail.
Not only does it confirm what you’ve written and build trust with what you’ve said, but Google looks upon these links favourably.
This is because any good piece of content that is credible will cite its sources, think of a university dissertation citing its source materials.
Be sure to limit the number of links to a sensible amount, the general rule of thumb is around 1 link every 250 words.
If you add too many links then it make make your text confusing and break the reading flow.
Google may also penalise you if you go over-board with the number of links.
It’s important you don’t go overboard with the CSS styling of your hyperlinks, Google confirmed that it doesn’t like it when websites makes its links hard to recognise as actual links.
Links should be underlined and have a separate colour used which will clearly identify them as hyperlinks.
The anchor text should also be relevant to the topic it relates to.
The use for keywords is to directly help you with your SEO ranking for Google and other search engines.
By adding these keywords to your blog Google will know that your blog topic is relevant to these topics and make it more likely that your blog will show up in the search engine results when users are searching for these terms.
The main types of keywords to research and use are:
Although you don’t want to stuff these keywords into your blog randomly, it is good practice to make a list of these keywords for each blog and aim to sprinkle them throughout the blog in a natural way.
Even if your blog article contains great information it needs to be easy to read. If it isn’t then many people will not take the time to read through and find the information they are seeking.
Computer screens emit unnatural light that our eyes are not evolved to deal with, and if you make the information contained on that screen difficult to read then it can cause eye strain which leads to an unpleasant reading experience, it may well be enough to put people off reading it all together!
When it comes to reading text on a computer screen you want to ensure that the text is broken up into short, easy to read paragraphs, this means you can quickly and easily read these small sections, one at a time.
It is also important to make sure that the paragraphs themselves are laid out in a standard manner, either a standard top down layout (like this blog) or from left to right, like a newspaper.
If your information doesn’t follow one of these classic layouts then people will quickly become frustrated and lose the flow of your communication.
There is a whole sub-reddit dedicated to people making these confusing errors, check out www.reddit/dont-dead-open-inside!
Your webpage’s introduction
In this series we’re going to talk about key UX design elements you should include and optimise on your website.
The first key in this series of 8 is all about your page’s introduction.
Why Should You Care?
That’s how long you have when someone lands on your website.
5 seconds to convince someone to stay on your page.
If they don’t like what they’re seeing, they’ll leave.
If they’re confused about what they’re seeing, they’ll leave.
According to Semrush, around 50% of people ‘bounce’ from most websites (leave the site without exploring further).
We don’t want them to leave your site, we want to keep them on your page.
More time on your page = a higher average conversion rate.
A higher average conversion rate = more leads per year for your business.
How to Improve Your Page’s Introduction?
What can you do to keep people on your site and keep them scrolling?
A strong and intriguing introduction that conveys authority and relevance in relation to whatever topic they’re searching for.
A strong introduction is made up of 2 key elements:
1. Your page title (h1 tag)
2. The page’s main image.
By improving and optimising these elements, you’ll grab the website visitors attention and sell them on the idea of exploring the page further.
A short sharp introduction to your page that clearly and concisely explains what this page is all about.
– Aim for around 5 – 10 words – this allows them to read it as quick as possible.
– Include relevant keywords – people are looking for these keywords (it helps with SEO too).
– Make it a large font and make it bold – catch their attention and make it the first thing they read.
– Be specific where relevant – if your service is specific then mention it! (i.e. don’t just say ‘t-shirt printing services’ instead say ’24 hour t-shirt printing services’).
This is all about grabbing the website visitors attention and confirming that they’re in the correct place.
If in doubt, think of an Amazon listing. They aim to describe the product in detail with their titles, allowing the shopper to confirm if they’ve found what they’re looking for.
A picture says 1000 words.
Human beings are visual creatures, we can learn a lot from a quick glance at an image.
– Pick an image that is described by your title – These 2 elements need to complement each other
– Position the image close to your title – make it clear they’re related.
– Image should be around 50KB – 200KB – Don’t crush your page load speed!
This blog is to act as a guide to help a variety of business owners on their business lead gen process so they can use those leads to generate sales.
This way they can begin turn their website from a static collection of web pages, containing a variety of information about their business, into a tool that can build interest with their target market, generate leads and hopefully convert them into new clients & customers!
The primary way we’re going to achieve this, is by informing you on the psychology of how potential leads think when they’re searching for goods and services on the internet.
This way, when we introduce the relevant sections and elements you can add them onto your website, then you’ll be able to improve your chances of capturing website traffic and turning it into sales leads.
No only this but you’ll also have a good understanding of why these sections & elements work to convince people to take action and purchase, so you can be confident in your decision to implement these ideas.
Perhaps you’re a small business owner with your own website and you recognise the need to make some changes to try and increase the amount enquiries to pass to your internal sales team.
Or maybe you’re a single tradesman; gardener, roofer or general builder that wants to receive more emails and phone calls so you can stay booked up with new work all year round.
Whatever your business or trade, this guide is sure to contain some nuggets of wisdom to help you improve your website.
Whether your building your own website with a drag-and-drop website builder or you’re working alongside a web designer, this guide is intended to give you some fresh ideas for elements and section to add to your website.
Before the internet, things were quite different when it came to a business finding new work and expanding its operation.
The general underlying principles of sales were the same but now the internet has opened things up for everyone.
No longer does a business have to rely on their local community for clients and customers, they can sell their products to people in countries across the globe and offer their services with a range as wide as they like!
As of 2021, in the U.K. 87% of the population report using the internet to make purchases. Considering the age of the internet this figure is staggering.
If your business isn’t using the internet or hasn’t optimised their business website, then that’s a wealth of opportunities that you could be missing out on!
If your website was to receive 300 visitors per month (that’s a modest 10 visitors per day) then you’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make to your operation.
For the sake of this next section, we’re going to assume that you’ve already invested time or money into improving the SEO for your website.
Although SEO can be unpredictable, let’s say you ran a 6 month SEO campaign that took your new website from 0 – 300 visitors per month.
Let’s also quickly define conversion rate. This is a term widely used within the digital marketing realm and the meaning can vary slightly depending on the situation.
Conversion term used to determine the percentage rate of a group (in this case website traffic) that performed a conversion action.
If we use Amazon as an example, then the conversion action is defined as a user purchasing a product from the website.
In the case of a roofing website, then the conversion action could be a lead filling out a contact form or calling the business directly.
They visited the website, and based on what they saw and their current needs, they went on to convert from a website visitor into a lead by performing a certain desired action.
If you ensure your website is well-designed and includes all the important sections and elements featured within this article, then you can expect a conversion rate of 2- 5%.
Let’s say you’re at the bottom end of that figure with a conversion rate of just 2%. That means that from those 300 visitors per month 2% of them go on to contact your business to find out more.
That’s 6 sales leads. 6 new enquiries every month for potential clients wanting to find out more about your business services.
Only you know your business and what the value of 6 new leads are to that business, but ordinarily, if you received 6 enquiries, how many of them usually go on to become new clients/customers?
And out of those that do become new customers, what are they worth to you and your business over their customer lifetime, what is your average customer/job/project value?
You can quickly see how this seemingly small trickle of website visitors can be nurtured into profitable new growth for your business.
Just think that if you then work on your website to turn that 2% into 3%, that’s an extra 3 people contacting your business every month.
That’s 36 more leads per year.
What would an additional 36 leads be worth to you and your business?
Setting your website up to have a high conversion rate isn’t going to be as difficult as you think.
Lot’s of studies have been conducted within this realm and it’s been found that people generally buy based on the same certain factors.
The main motivating factor that causes people to want to buy are their emotions.
If someone has a problem in their life that is causing negative emotions, they seek to resolve those negative emotions by fixing the problem causing them in the first place.
For example, let’s say their house has a leak in their plumbing and the leaking water is ruining their carpet.
They’re then going to feel upset or angry because of the leak and so they’ll seek to resolve this issue and deal with their negative emotions with the help of an emergency plumbing service.
At this point, their main concern is whether the emergency plumbing service has the ability to resolve their situation and stop the leak, and in turn soothe their negative emotions.
Or, instead of a situation causing negative emotions, maybe they are drawn towards positive emotions associated with a product or service.
Imagine that a new model of Tesla has been released that has a wealth of positive feelings and emotions associated with it, for example;
quality of the car = comfort
performance of the car = fun
helping the environment by choosing an electric car = general positive feelings about their choice of transport.
Their motivating factor isn’t a source of negative emotions that need to be resolved but instead they are drawn towards the positive emotions that come with buying the new Tesla.
There are also other specific psychological triggers that people look for, either consciously or subconsciously when selecting a product or service.
Many people will feel the need to fulfil these triggers before they feel comfortable making a purchase.
Let’s take a look at some of these triggers and see how you can implement them in your website.
One of the biggest factors that persuades people to make the decision to buy a product or service is social proof.
We go through life accruing experiences based on various events within our general life.
Based on these experiences we can make certain decisions.
For example, you may know which restaurants near you are good and which are not so good.
This knowledge of which restaurants are good is based on the fact that you’ve been there yourself and remember whether you enjoyed the experience of eating there or not.
However, there’s going to be many times when you don’t have the first hand experience of having done something or having visited somewhere to make a certain decision.
In these situation we look for something called social proof to help us make a decision.
A new restaurant has opened near you, you haven’t been there yet and you don’t know whether you should go there, maybe it will be good but maybe it won’t?
In this case you can look to other people to help you make your decision, they have the experience of having been there and can tell you if the experience was good or bad.
If lots of people say they had a good experience at the restaurant, then that restaurant has a lot of social proof.
There more demonstrable social proof a place has then the more likely it is that more people will go there.
When we’re talking about websites, and not restaurants, then one of the best ways to capture and present this social proof is in the form of reviews.
Reviews are the bread and butter of social proof on the internet.
When it comes to your website you’re going to want to present your reviews clearly and prominently on your website.
This will let people know straightaway that other people have used your services and have presumably been satisfied with it.
If you offer garden landscaping services then you’ll want to present the reviews from all your previous clients on your website for potential new clients to read.
They’ll naturally take the reviews into consideration when deciding whether to go ahead and use your service or not.
However, not only is the quality of the reviews important (obviously, the higher rated the better) but the quantity of reviews are important.
People want to know that many others have used the service in question, otherwise the social proof isn’t as valid as it could be.
1,000 people rating your landscaping service with an average of 4★ can often be more valuable than 10 people rating it 5★.
Based on this information, you’ll want to make sure you’re soliciting reviews from your previous clients.
To do this you may need help with your email marketing strategy. Another important factor to consider about the reviews themselves is the authenticity of the reviews.
You may have 1,000 x 4★ reviews for your landscape gardening service but where did those reviews come from? Are they legitimate?
People need reassurance from the reviews but they also need reassurance about the reviews themselves and that the information they contain is trustworthy and reliable.
For this reason, you need to make sure that you choose a credible platform to host your reviews.
2 of the best platforms are:
People recognise these names and put a lot of trust into these platforms, and the platforms themselves put a good deal of time and resources into ensuring the quality of the reviews are maintained and that fake and spam reviews are rejected or removed.
These platforms also allow you to display the reviews for your business on your website with a widget.
This way people can see the reviews, see that they are hosted on Google My Business, realise the authenticity of the reviews and even go and visit the platform directly to further authenticate the reviews.
Find out more about integrating reviews to your website here.
Reviews alone aren’t the only form of social proof you should be relying on, you should also use your work history as social proof.
This may not be relevant for all businesses, but let’s say that your a freelance graphic designer and your main service is logo design.
If you’ve previously worked with companies like; Apple, Burger King and Sony, then you’ll want to make that very clear to new potential clients.
The fact that these instantly recognisable companies have chosen to work with you adds a great deal of social proof to you, your business and your services.
You can do a few things to demonstrate this social proof;
As stated previously, social proof is the validation from individuals that have used your product or service etc.
But there is another source of validation that is seen as equally important, and this is the validation from your fellow peers or key people/organisations within your industry.
Think of it as industry proof.
For example, maybe your business is a garden design company that designs and creates beautiful gardens for your clients.
Within this industry there is an organisation called ‘The Society Of Garden Designers‘.
This organisation is a body of authority with the UK that is responsible for presenting yearly awards for outstanding work within the field of garden design.
If your business has previously won an award (or was even nominated) then it is definitely worth highlighting this fact on your website to add industry proof.
You may simply want to use the image or logo of the organisation and present it on your site with a quick explanation.
This industry proof adds validation where social proof does not.
It is validation from those within your industry that are experts and validates your work/services in a way that an ordinary client cannot.
If your friend recommends a restaurant based on the quality and skill of the food then that may be some good social proof for that restaurant.
However, if Gordon Ramsay recommends a restaurant based on the quality and skill of the food, then most people will put far more value in his recommendation, since he is an expert with the restaurant industry.
Awards aren’t the only form of industry proof, an infact they are usually not even the most common form of industry proof.
Many industries have one or more certificates and accreditations that an individual or business can obtain to prove their skill/credibility with the field.
An example of this is with gas engineers.
Any good and reputable gas engineer will be verified by the Gas Safe list as being competent and licensed to carry out certain work regarding gas boilers?
If an engineer hasn’t received this accreditation and you’re aware of this, then you’ll be far less likely to trust in the quality of their work (as it’s illegal for them to carry out this kind of work without it!)
Some certificates aren’t a requirement however, but some are a demonstration of an advanced skillset.
An example where the certificate isn’t necessary but simple a proof if advanced skill is….
You’ll want to be sure to link to your personal profile on these accreditation sites (where possible) or simple link to the general site itself to allow potential clients to read further.
Remember, these certificates and accreditations may be obvious to you, but those people using your website may not have heard of them before and so need to validate what it is.
Now that we’ve discussed ways to make yourself and your business more credible in the eyes of new leads, let’s talk about some other triggers that will help them make the decision to convert into a new customer/client.
It should come as no surprise that human, in general, are very visual creatures.
This is especially true when it comes to buying and selling.
If you’re looking to buy a second hand car, it’s not enough to simply read description about the car you want to buy and be satisfied, you want and need to see photos of the car (or better yet, see it in person).
It’s no different if your business offers services, for example you’re a building firm that is offering extensions on people’s homes.
People crave visual representation of the idea/service being presented.
These are all important questions that a visitor on your website may be thinking and will need to have answered if they are to gain the confidence to take the next steps to become a new client.
The simple solution to satisfy this curiosity is to use photos (or rendered images) of the service in general and the results achieved.
As well as needing good images to represent the service (or product in question) it is also important to make sure that your have enough descriptive text for people to read.
While people need a visual representation in the form of images, many people also need written text to read through.
There’s going to be specific facts, points and ideas in general that can only be fully explained by talking about it further in the form of descriptive text.
Once people have begun to commit themselves to an idea, they look for information to help reinforce this idea. Just like choosing a place for a dream holiday and then reading copious amounts on the area, the culture and the experiences of that place, you want to be sold to.
Therefore don’t be afraid to include a good chunk of sales copy. Infact, this will also help your website’s SEO with all those relevant keywords sprinkled in throughout the text.
As mentioned earlier in this post, people like to buy with emotions and logic.
When it comes to buying with logic, this includes facts, figures and features.
If somebody is paying for a new boiler installation service then they’ll most likely want to know things like:
These are all questions and thoughts that the website user will have when researching more about the boiler installation service.
They want to find the answers to these questions to better understand what’s included in the service, how it works and whether the overall service is a good fit in terms of what they’re looking for.
Don’t hesitate to spell out any simple facts, figures and features that your service includes.
The facts etc may be very obvious and standard to you, but to the potential client it may be new information.
The more you break down the steps included in your service into easily digestible chunks, the more the potential customer will be able to follow along.
The more they can follow along with what is to be expected, the more they can begin to visualize the whole process.
The more they can visualize the whole process that you’re offering with your service, the more likely they are to go ahead and take the next steps to begin working with your business!
If you don’t include this information then they may not find the answers to their question and so may not have the confidence to convert into a new lead for your business.
They may seek the answers to these questions elsewhere, with a different business!
The other half of the buying process that any new client needs to go through is the emotional side.
This doesn’t involve the features or facts about the service but is instead linked to their primary motivation for needing the service.
If we go back to the leaking boiler scenario then we know that the website user’s motivation is to fix the issue of water leaking everywhere.
For this solution they are turning to an emergency plumber service.
In this case, their emotions are going to be more important than any logical fact, they will want to know that their issue is going to be resolved.
Therefore you’ll want to frame the service in an empathetic way.
Your business understands how much of an issue it is for your boiler to be leaking all over your home.
You understand this is an unforeseen issue that needs to be dealt with so life can return to normal.
Your service can provide the solution to resolve this issue, they can trust you.
By understanding the emotional factors associated with your service (positive or negative) you can empathise with the potential new customer and increase the chance of them trusting you enough to give you their business.
If you implement all the features & sections described above, then once a website user has found your website, found the appropriate service page and read through the relevant information there is a good chance that their interest will be high.
They like what they see and are interested in finding out more/taking the next steps with your business.
However, the unfortunate truth is that you cannot expect all people to take the initiative and take the correct next steps, some will but you shouldn’t rely on them doing so.
Once somebody has reached the end of the your service page you should have a prompt there waiting for them.
Usually this will be in the form of a button ‘contact us’ to take them to a page to enter their details or give them the business details, along with a text prompt, ‘to receive a quote from our specialist then get in touch today!’
This may seem painfully obvious but the truth is that people will respond more favourable more often when they are greeted by a ‘call to action‘ like this.
It’s worth mentioning that people like to communicate in different ways, so it’s always best to account for that.
The different ways that you can open a line of communication are:
Having as many if these options to get in touch wit your business will help keep your conversion rate high.
Imagine if you only had a contact form to get in touch with your business but the lead wasn’t a fan of typing on the computer and instead wanted to call your business up and speak to them directly.
This small annoyance may be enough for them to look for another business to contact, one that will take their phone call.
Don’t feel overwhelmed about implementing all these tips and features to your own site, the key is to recognise the importance of what we’ve talked about and to begin to take measures to adding them.
Even just a few changes can increase your conversion rate slightly which can result in more leads over the course of the next 12 month, which should be your main aim.
For more help and advice get in touch with us and we’ll help you where possible with your SEO & Web Design.