The top five things that will increase your website’s visibility include:
- Blogs or newsletters.
- SEO strategies.
- Make your site shine.
Just like the stars in the night’s sky, you want to see lots of reviews.
Reviews enable one person’s opinion to affect hundreds and even thousands of other people’s opinions. You may think that we want a night’s sky full of stars; bright, beautiful, five-pointed stars. Yet we know that a true night sky with no obstructions is very rare. There’s always a cloud or two scuttling by, maybe some tree branches in the way, or a light dimming the darkness. It’s the same way with reviews. If you only have five-star reviews people start to think something is fixed. Surveys say that sites with 1-1.5 stars get more business than a pristine five-star site! The sweet spot is 3.5-4.5 stars.
Stars aren’t the only thing you want to set your sites on. You want that sky full of stars, lots of them, even if some are dim; likewise, the quantity of reviews is more important than the quality. That tells people that you have customers and that they are impressed enough by you (negatively or positively) to tell others about it. Your goal is to get a review from every customer!
How do you get reviews?
- Have review widgets on your site.
- Utilize promotional tools such as stickers on your site.
- Invitations to write a review.
- Provide places at our business where they can take a selfie and post it.
- Surveys (don’t forget to get those valuable email addresses or text numbers).
- Simply ask people to write a review, maybe even offer an incentive or reward.
- Have QR codes posted around the office or laundry or anyplace else where folks might be hanging out with a few moments to spare.
- Involve your employees, offer a bonus for each three-plus star that mentions their name.
Don’t forget to respond to each and every review, the positive and negative. If it’s a negative review, offer a solution, maybe a discount. Strive to earn an updated review. Don’t ignore those positive reviews, either. Maybe give them a free drink on their next visit or a discount. They are reaching out to you, accept that hand of friendship and build customer loyalty.
How important are reviews?
Showcase your reviews everywhere – on your site with a reviews widget, on Facebook, sign up for places like Trip Advisor, Viator, and Get Your Guide.
- 83% of people use information from reviews to pick the “right” place. (Tripadvisor)
- 80% read 6-12 reviews. (Tripadvisor)
- 53% won’t book without reading reviews. (Tripadvisor)
- 79% trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation. (Brightlocal)
- 73% only pay attention to reviews written in the last month. (Brightlocal)
- Keep those reviews coming!
2. Blogs or Newsletters
Some say blogs and newsletters just seem like something that is time-consuming, and no one reads them, however; they are vital to a thriving website. It’s like a constellation; we all know where our favorites are. They help keep our eye on the sky. As a result, when we see a falling star we immediately stop, point it out, and share it with others.
- 77% of internet users regularly read blog posts. (LifeThisWay)
- 53% of marketers say blogging is their top priority. (HubSpot)
- Blogs provide you with more natural link-building opportunities, think 97% more! (see the next hack) (HubSpot)
- They are an awesome means to optimize search engines, they help you stay at the top of search results. (see hack #4)
- Blogs help build your credibility, they show you are alive and well and interested in sharing a piece of your world.
- They build a relationship with your customers and potential customers.
- They are easy to merge with Facebook and provide additional reasons for people to bookmark or pin your site.
If writing is just not your thing, or you really don’t have time, don’t fear, we’re happy to do it for you.
Links tell a search engine that your site is real. You want to share links with other valid sites. Beware of false stars in the night sky.
Buying and selling links needs to be for valid advertising reasons. Search engines can tell the difference between links generated for search manipulation and links that have something to do with your site. Don’t be penalized. (Google)
Your links should be natural, something that you are referencing or talking about. That’s one of the pluses of blogs or newsletters, you can talk about and link to different things and it’s natural.
You need to be original. Never be one of those sites that just copy and paste information from another. Search engines know that this paragraph is the same as that one. When you link to information from another site, always paraphrase what you are referencing, give it your own spin.
4. Search Engine Optimization – SEO
The best stars in the night sky are the ones we can see with just our eyes. If you have to have a telescope, you’ve lost a lot of viewers. As a result, the more difficult a star is to find, the bigger the telescope that is needed, the fewer people who will find it. The same is true with your website. If you come up at the top of a search engine, you will have a lot of traffic, a few pages down and some will find you, not at all or buried deep, and very few, if any, will visit your site.
- Make sure Google knows you exist.
- Register your Google Business Profile. (Google Business Profile)
- Stay up-to-date with Google’s latest search engine algorithms. (Google)
- Provide quality content so search engines like you.
- Be in the know on the latest in keyword usage.
- It is very important to have a site that loads fast, especially for mobile devices.
- Be shareable, pinable, and accessible.
5. Make Your Site Shine
It doesn’t matter how many stars are in the sky if there is too much cloud cover or light pollution. You need to make sure that your site shines!
- Your site shouldn’t be down for maintenance with a notice from last year.
- Your images should never be broken.
- If the programming is out of date and nothing works, you know no one visits.
- If the information is all out of date, that’s a red flag.
- Make sure it can be read and it’s not a blinding mess of animation and fluorescent text.
A good site should
- Load fast whether it’s on a desktop or mobile device.
- Have a few images to catch the eye, but remember, the picture is the draw, the text is why they stay. Make sure the images are not the only thing they see.
- Don’t have music going or someone talking automatically. Let them push the “play” button. Otherwise, you are slowing down the speed and just being annoying.
- Have very limited or no animation. If you have a video, tell them about it and let them click the play button or follow your link to YouTube or another video server. Don’t worry, those who are interested will be happy to click.
- Make sure your site is current; otherwise it’s dead. New reviews, the latest blog, a list of activities, are immediate game-changers.
- It should be readable – clean, crisp, clear.
Each of these hacks is vital, if you are missing one or more your constellation just doesn’t make sense. We realize that you are busy and may not have time to keep on top of all of them. We are happy to help. At Swan Haven, LLC we can get your site set up and turn you loose to stay on top of things yourself or we offer packages designed to fit how much work you want to put forth or if you want us to handle most everything. Click here to learn more or drop us a line.
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