Your Company’s Website is the Best ‘Employee’!

“Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that.” ― Paul Cookson

This quote is the best way to describe the importance of your company’s website. It is always out there working silently to promote your company and its brand and products. Your company’s website really is your best asset and the only ‘employee’ working around the clock for the company! It makes sense then to take care of your website and ensure that is easily seen, searched, liked and gets people talking about your company – in technical terms search engine optimization. Ensuring that SEO is in place is the most basic and yet the most crucial trait for your company’s website. This ‘trait’ ensures that your website ‘pops up’ as soon as a user enters certain key words or phrases which in turn would mean that your company’s website gets more traffic. Higher website traffic has a better chance of getting converted to leads and a higher likelihood of business. Also when the popular search engines put your company’s website in the list of ‘top searches’ your company gains popularity and users are more likely to call in for business prospects and also your company will attract the best talent in the market.

Your company’s website must be properly equipped from the SEO point of view if it is to provide seamless experience, high interaction and also portray an image that is relevant not just for your line of business but cross-industry insights too. The content, graphics, social media links and interactive features of your website are the key ingredients of any website and it is up to the company to make this as interesting and engaging as possible if you don’t want your company’s website to be treated as trash. So does your company’s website have what it takes to make it the ‘favourite’ of search engines?

The job of a search engine is to refer as many users to your company’s website and it will do so if the content on it has the highest relevance for the user at the time of searching. In addition, to be ‘picked up’ by the search engines your company’s website must function well, be easily navigable and must come across as the SME (subject matter expert) not just for the  current relevant topic but also have additional links to other sites that could add value to the user’s search.

While ensuring that your company’s website is relevant, easily ‘spotted’ and among the top picks, a company must also be mindful of what not to ‘do’ on the website. Search engines are smart and it is impossible to fool them into believing anything that your company and your company’s website is not – so don’t even try. Cramming the ‘pages’ and sections with keywords and overloading the landing page with information and these words will make search engines ‘like’ your company’s website less and over time they will relegate the website.  In addition and crucially so, if the users find your company’s website hard to navigate, are unable to find what they are looking for and the amount of time spent on the website reduces, the ‘bounce rate’ (defined in the dictionary as: “the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page”) increases. According to a study if the bounce rate of your company’s website is 80% or higher, you can be sure that trouble is brewing and immediate action must be taken. It is therefore imperative for any company to monitor the ‘bounce rate’ of their website.

Consistency of keywords, phrases and content across all channels of communication is also extremely vital. If a user logs in to other platforms, apart from your website, the information they access must reflect the same ideas as expressed on your company’s website. Multi-channel augmentation and uniformity will build trust and confidence in your company’s on-line word – it is out there for everyone to see. Openness and transparency always lead to trust and better relationships. These other channels include social media sites, email messages, and print and television and radio advertising. In an earlier exposition, we spoke in detail about the importance of consistency across all platforms and means of communication – it reduces the effort users must exert to search for what they want – one or two keywords or phrases would deliver results.

When choosing a domain name for your company’s website ensure that it is catchy and intriguing and yet in consistent with what your company has on offer. Also this name again must be consistent and must match the keywords and phrases that best describe your company’s products and brand. The other key feature for any website is its adaptability and navigation over smart devices. Your company’s website must be user-friendly even on these devices and the content and graphics must adapt to the smaller screens on these devices without the need for zooming in or causing the user’s device to hang or blank out.

Titles and meta-descriptions must be distinctive and also accurately reflect what a particular section of your company’s website is conveying. Using the same titles and descriptions on each page is among the worst things you can do for the website and will only work to disadvantage your company and its website efforts.  As a user, observe which titles attract you and force you click on the link to read on. Ensure that the titles and descriptions follow this pattern if you want your company’s website to be rated highly by the popular search engines.

Like every other business process and customer service endeavour, SEO for your company’s website too must be an on-going and steady process. Most companies have a specialized SEO team that has the prime responsibility of measuring bounce rates, number of ‘footfalls’ on the website and the current ranking of the website as per the search engines. This is one investment that every company must be prepared to make if they want to reap rich dividends from their website. It is common sense to know that if something is to remain relevant and updated, continuous focus is required and so is expert attention. Ensure that your SEO team is also trained and coached regularly so that they can ‘on top of their game’ at all times which would lead to your company’s website to be highly effective and gain the profits that you seek for your company.

In addition to monitoring, the upkeep and maintenance of the website is also equally crucial. This means that keywords, content and other information on the website is regularly tweaked and upgraded based on the current rankings from a search engine perspective. Your company may undergo a change or have new information to share and unless this gets reflected on your company’s website, it will slowly lose its relevance and utility for the readers. Most company websites have a separate section for blogs. The content on these blogs must be interesting, engaging and must provide value-added information for the readers. They do not necessarily have to be related to the line of business of the company but could be anything that a company knows would be of value to the readers and customers. For example – a company that deals in housing options could have blogs that provide the readers with useful tips on how to maintain the house, make the house child friendly, how to keep the house secure and even where to buy home décor and accessories. This information is not exactly about the kinds of homes available but is extremely valuable information when a person actually buys a house. People are more prone to buying from a company where they believe that they can get all the required information on the company’s website thereby reducing their effort to search for things that would be relevant when they buy their home.

Last but not the least – the oft repeated quote “content is king”! Content that is well-articulated, informative, relevant and engaging is almost half the battle won for your company’s website. Ensure that the content is fresh and very ‘today’ if you want your company’s website to be among the top rankers for a particular subject. If the website has been receiving a number of visitors, this will soon drop if content is not continually refreshed and is value-added for the visitors.

Your company’s website, in a nutshell, must follow SEO rules and current practices and must be given the attention that is required to keep your company in focus and among the favourites with search engines.

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