How to drive customers to your website

The previous article looked at picking the right website for your business; this month it’s all about the visibility of your site.

Your online business will either be existing customers coming back to see what is new or to place a repeat order, or new customers looking for a supplier. Your website needs to be optimised so new customers can find your business online, and search engines and search engine optimisation (SEO) will play a pivotal role in determining how well your business performs in this respect.

What is SEO? SEO makes sure that your business gets found organically when a customer searches for terms related to your business using a number of different tactics. For example, print and embroidery companies in Cardiff should make sure their site pops up when someone searches for ‘personalised clothing Cardiff’, ‘printed T-shirts Cardiff’ and so on.

How does it all work? Google’s search bots scan your page and analyse the content and a few other factors such as layout and design, and give it a ranking factor based on the quality of the content, how it relates to your targeted keywords and how it measures up against the competition.

What is best practice? Some factors affecting website ranking continuously change, but there are some constants that search bots always look for:

  • High quality content
  • Engaging social media and blogging
  • In-bound links to your site
  • Good layout and design

DIY or outsource? There are digital marketing agencies out there who can help, but they come at a cost. We recommend doing it yourself: just stick to the core principles. You can write content about your business (no marketing agency knows as much about you and your business as you do) and build this around your keywords.

Keywords advice: Ask new customers where did they find you online? What did they search for? What would you want to be found for online?

Tread carefully There are lots of companies out there promising high rankings for businesses. Before using them, do your research by reading reviews and asking for testimonials to make sure you get a good deal for your business. Remember that there are also lots of companies out there that will promise to get you to the top quickly and cheaply using bad practices, so be wary!

Andrew Langridge is from eTrader, one of the industry’s leading suppliers of websites to garment decorators across the UK.