Is your Website ready for 2022?

Is your Website ready for 2022?

I love the New Year with all of the promise that the 12 months to come brings! And it’s the perfect time to ensure that your website is up to scratch and ready for the world to see.

So, here are my Top 10 tips to make sure that your website is up to date for 2022…

#1 Copyright Date

A quick win to start with – update your copyright date in the footer of your website to 2022.

If you don’t already have a copyright date set, then now is the perfect date to add one. You can simply add the current year, or to protect all of your content from the time you launched the site, I recommend adding a span of years to your site (e.g. © 2014 – 2022) to ensure that content is protected from the start date of your site. And don’t forget to add in your company or trading name too!

#2 Check for Errors

Is your website working correctly? Do you know how to check for errors?

Keeping on top of errors on your site is really important and I recommend repeating this task monthly, but the New Year is a great time to check for website errors to ensure that you don’t have any broken links or old content that is no longer relevant.

You can manually go through your site if you only have a few pages, or use an online error checking tool such as Google Webmaster Tools. Whichever method you use, you should ensure that your check includes:

  • broken internal and external links
  • site speed
  • mobile responsivity
  • SEO errors (see point 6 for more details on this)

Each time you update your website and fix some errors, make sure you run another report and see what needs to be fixed next as your website will never be perfect but you can improve it every time!

#3 Update Products & Services

Are you offering something new for 2022?

The New Year is a great time to go through your website and update, tweak or remove your products and services to match your 2022 goals.

#4 Update your Prices

Similar to Point 3 above, if you list your prices on your website, make sure that you update these for 2022.

I’m a huge advocate of having prices listed on your website because it helps visitors decide whether they are the right fit for your business before they even get in touch. Yes, it will put some people off if they see you as ‘too expensive’ but they are not your ideal client so that’s a bonus!

#5 Publish a Blog Post

Whether you are new to blogging or an old hand, adding new posts to your website regularly is a great way to keep your website up to date without changing other content.

Think about the questions you get asked about most often and write regular posts addressing those common problems – it’s a great way to keep visitors returning to your site and gives you more scope for adding keywords and useful information to your website, and also creates a resource of posts for you to share on your social media channels!

Here are 2 of my latest posts as an example of the topics that I write about…

6 Smart Habits to Help You Manage Your Email Inbox for Good

6 Smart Habits to Help You Manage Your Email Inbox for Good

As most of us have shifted to remote working setups, plus those who have joined the gig economy as home-based freelancers, emails have found a resurgence as a medium for correspondence. From online shopping updates to work notifications, the email inbox is probably...

Why we’re increasing our prices in 2022

Why we’re increasing our prices in 2022

2022 is here and as with every New Year, I sit down and work out just how I want Web Goddess to grow over the coming 12 months. This involves looking at which services I want to focus my energy on and the types of clients I love working with, and also on what we are...

#6 SEO Check & Update

SEO (search engine optimisation) is a task that really should be on your monthly list for website updates as you need to ensure that you keep an eye on your keywords and what’s actually 

Depending on the platform you host your website on, this will be a slightly different process. But it’s important to keep on top of SEO tasks and make sure you go back through your website. 

#7 Google Tools

Not really an update as such, but as with SEO, keeping an eye on your Google tools will help you to understand where visitors are coming from and how they are finding your website.

Check Google Analytics and Google Search Console and make sure these are connected correctly to your site – and if you haven’t installed or used these free tools before, make 2022 the year that you get to grips with them and add them to your website.

I also recommend creating a Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) account if you don’t have one, or updating it with new information about your products and/or services for 2022. It’s great for local businesses, but don’t discount it if you have a service area rather than a physical location as it can be useful for all small businesses.

You can read more about Google Business Profile in my blog post here.

bonus tip – create a monthly action plan 

OK, so it’s not an actual website update, but planning dates for your updates each month NOW is a great way to ensure that you keep on top of all of your website tasks throughout the year.

I generally plan these for the middle of each month for my own website as my end/start of month is really busy with client work, but do whatever works best for you. Make sure you diarise the changes and check on your SEO, website content and blog posts at least once a month to keep on top of them throughout the year.

So, is your website ready for the New Year?

Web Goddess

 

Want to Learn how to implement these changes?

Join the Web Goddess Academy to learn all about website design, SEO, blogging, and email marketing – and how to keep all of your tech dots connected!

Google Business Profile – why you need to use it NOW!

Google Business Profile – why you need to use it NOW!

One of the most common questions I get asked when it comes to SEO is:

What can I do to get found on Google?

I would love to answer ‘How long is a piece of string?’ as there really is no ONE answer to that question. But there is a tool that if used correctly can immediately boost your visibility on Google.

GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE

Now, you may have heard of Google My Business (now renamed to Google Business Profile) and even listed your business there, but chances are you are not making the most of this powerful free resource.

So, first things first. If you don’t already have a Google Business Profile Listing – GET ONE HERE!

They are free to apply for, you just have to confirm that you are at the address where you say you are. This is usually done via postcard that Google will send to you in the mail. Verify using the code and you’re set to go.

THEN WHAT?

Once you have verified that your business is at your address, it’s time to ensure that you set up your account correctly.

LOCATION OR SERVICE AREA

It is really important that Google Business Profile lists your business correctly. If you work from home but visit customers (e.g. heating engineer, locksmith, gardener, etc) setting a service area rather than a single location for your business is vital. You want to ensure that people can find you and know the areas that you service.

COMPANY INFORMATION

Ensure that you fill in all the relevant details about your business including office hours, your website, your products (if you have them) and your services. The more information you can include here the better. Remember, not everyone has social media so you need to use your listing to advertise your business as fully as possible.

Top Tip: Don’t simply copy and paste details from your website. Write unique content for Google Business Profile and for any other listing on the internet – search engines hate duplicates!

BRANDING

Spend some time uploading your company logo, cover image and some images of your brand. It is important to make your brand consistent across the web.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

Now, this is where most people stop. They believe that simply adding a listing to Google Business Profile is sufficient to be found. While it is better than nothing, you can really ensure that you are the first person someone calls when they need you by doing the following…

REGULARLY ADD POSTS & PHOTOS

Just like a social network, Google Business Profile allows you to add Posts and Photos to your profile and encourages you to do so. In fact, Google estimates that businesses with photos receive ten times more visits than those without.

However, unlike social media, users do not need an account to see your listing, so adding regular posts (one a week is ideal) is a great way to reach those who detest social platforms.

ADD PRODUCTS & SERVICES

You can add listings for your individual products and services to Google Business Profile and include prices (either exact or in a price range). Not only does this help with transparency from a business point of view, it also weeds out those prospective customers who may already have a price in mind that you don’t match.

USE KEYWORDS

When describing your business in the general section or adding posts, ensure that you use the keywords and phrases that you would like to be found for. This ensures that people searching for those keywords in your area find you more easily.

COLLECT REVIEWS

It’s no good having all your reviews stuck on Facebook if people can’t see them. So, actively ask your customers for a Google Business Profile review. You can share the link straight from your dashboard on both PC and mobile and the more reviews you have, the higher your listing will appear on Google Maps.

YOUR GOAL

GET IN THE 3 PACK

The Google 3 Pack is the Top 3 listings that appear for a local business search on Google Maps. This is ultimately where you want your business to appear.

As you can see below, Web Goddess currently sits at the top of that 3 Pack when you search for Web Design Uttoxeter. Not only that but with 20 reviews AND actual links to my website (unlike one of the web design listings below) I am more likely to receive clicks through to my listing and website.

 

Google My Business - Web design Uttoxeter 3 Pack

This is the whole point of listing your business on Google Business Profile – to make it easier for people to find you. And when people can find you and they visit your website, you are improving your ranking through more visits, longer visitor time spent on your site and appearing for more relevant keywords.

It’s a Win-Win-Win!!

If you need help with your Google Business Profile, check out the Web Goddess Academy, my monthly membership for newbie entrepreneurs and small businesses to help you get ahead online.

Web Goddess

 

 

Why Landing Pages are Good for your Business

Why Landing Pages are Good for your Business

Landing Page

A standalone web page, created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign. It’s where a visitor “lands” after they click on a link in an email, from search engines or social media and is designed with a single goal or call to action (CTA) in mind. It usually contains no distraction from headers or footers of your usual website.

WHAT?

As defined above, Landing Pages (also known as Splash Pages, Sales Pages or Lead Pages) are usually part of a specific marketing campaign and keep your visitors focused on only ONE call to action, rather than offering lots of options. It is this definition that denotes the difference between a Landing Page and a Home Page. The two are often used interchangeably in marketing terms, however a Home Page usually has links to ALL of the relevant services or products on your site, whereas a Landing Page just has one.

 

WHY?

We are simply bombarded with information on the internet, so giving visitors a specific CTA and focusing just on that can lead to more sales than just sending them to a Home Page where they may get confused with all of the options you have on offer. By creating separate Landing Pages for each of your specific products or services, or even customers can also mean that they feel valued and that you are really speaking to them individually.

HOW?

The step-by-step specifics of how you add a Landing Page to your website depends on the website platform you use for your site, but most websites have the ability to change the type of page from a ‘standard’ layout to ‘blank’ layout which will remove all headers and footers from that page only. If in doubt, search the Help section of your website platform for inserting a blank webpage and that should give you an answer.

In the example shown here, you can see that there is only one focus – to get visitors to register for an upcoming course. That’s it. It is short and to the point, and gives people only one clear call to action.

Example of a Landing Page for a program

TOP 5 LANDING PAGE TIPS

1. Stay Focused – remove all links to other parts of your website (even if you feel that you would like to share them). Remember, this page has ONE purpose and that is to sell the product or service that it relates to.

2. Repeat your CTA – whether that’s a signup form or a button – throughout the Landing Page. This gives your visitors the option to sign up without having to scroll right to the bottom of your page and reminds them that they can sign up at any time. Also make it really obvious by using brighter colours, larger lettering or a boxed format they can’t miss.

3. Include Testimonials – visitors LOVE social proof, so include relevant testimonials throughout your Landing Page copy to show what previous or current clients think of your service.

4. Make it Long – in general, the more expensive your product or service, the longer the Landing Page should be. Whatever you are selling, you need to give your visitors lots of reasons why they can’t say no. That doesn’t mean using spammy sales patter, just give them as much detail as you can and explain how you can help THEM.

5. Make it Stand Out – curb appeal is everything here! Use lots of images, bold writing, large text and colours that help your message stand out throughout your Landing Page. If people are going to stick around, they need to feel welcome and that there is a reason to read on. Your Landing Page doesn’t have to exactly match the rest of your website (in fact it’s often a good idea to make it look different so it appears more special) but is should match your branding and vision.

So, there you have it – Landing Pages demystified!

Now it’s up to you to get your Landing Pages sorted and start driving visitors to the right product or service for them. And if you need my help, why not check out the Web Goddess Academy where I share exactly HOW to build one for your business…

Here’s to your Landing Page success…

Web Goddess

 

 

 

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Why your choice of website platform doesn’t really matter

Why your choice of website platform doesn’t really matter

Choosing a website platform is one of the biggest roadblocks that I see my clients put in their own way when first decide they need a website.

As a web designer you would expect me to say that you need a website. Which I do. And you may also expect me to say that there is only one place to build that website. But you would be wrong.

Why?

Because the answer is not black and white. There are more website platforms out there than just WordPress. There is more to consider than just what you’ve been told. Yes, WordPress does currently power around 32% of websites in 2021 but that leaves around 68% that are not!

And because even when people have used WordPress in the past, doesn’t mean you have to keep using it forever. There are some great alternatives out there that don’t cost the earth and may even be better for you in the long run.

So, here are the three questions I ask my own clients when they come to me confused and paralysed over the website platform they ‘should’ choose for their business.

 

1. What do you need your website to do?

I am always amazed when clients have not ever been asked this before building a site. This is THE MOST important questions in my opinion as the purpose of the website is more important than the website platform on which it is built.

Think about what you want to do with the site.

Does it need to sell products and take payments?

Do you want to blog?

Are you simply going to use it as an online brochure with a contact form?

Do visitors need to book events and services through the site?

Will you be starting a membership or running online courses?

All of these considerations will help you figure out the website platform that may work best for you. For example, if you are booking services and want the bookings to be taken through the site, then Acuity is great – and it’s a native product of Squarespace so that platform may work best for you (although you can use Acuity with other platforms too).

Your website is likely to grow with your business so scalability is important, but don’t think so far ahead that it stops you from starting. You can always upgrade and you can always move to another platform later on. It’s not as difficult as you think and it’s just a part of being in business. And on that note, I spend a lot of time completely rebuilding WordPress websites so being on WordPress to begin with does not mean you will avoid a rebuild in future either!

 

2. What technical skill and interest do you have?

The answer to this will play a BIG role in the website platform you decide to choose. WordPress may be all singing and all dancing, but that also means that the technical skills it requires to keep all those parts working is huge compared to a website builder like Wix, Create or Squarespace. These still require skills, but are definitely easier to use.

I often recommend clients move off WordPress and onto Wix and I know that will annoy so many web designers. But you know what? I really don’t care! Why? Because I put my clients first and if they want something they can understand and can manage themselves then I’m not precious about what website platform that is. My client comes first.

It is also important to point out that you may not have the technical skill now, but may want to learn it. That’s fine and I would encourage you to learn some skills to help you manage your own website or at least understand the basics. But, if you have no interest at all and know that you will be likely to ignore it once built, please hire someone to do it for you. It means you don’t have to worry and can call on their expertise to make changes for you.

With this in mind, it is still important to consider the platform and WordPress has more skill involved and will ultimately require more time and therefore money to keep updated.

 

3. What is your budget?

And that brings me to my final point. Budget. If you are intent on using WordPress as your website platform, you can expect to pay a lot more for it than builders like Wix. It may look cheaper to begin with, especially if you are self-building but don’t forget that you need to buy a theme and then install separate plugins for all of the functionality that you want on your site. This can soon add up so that your inexpensive website is anything but.

If you want to build yourself on a budget and you’ve decided the functionality you need isn’t going to require super plugins, then I’d recommend looking at a website builder like Wix. It is still scaleable and you can build more features in as you start making money.

 

 

And finally, if the platform doesn’t matter, what does?

That’s easy – it’s what you do with it that counts!

It’s your content, your offering and your business sense that makes the difference, NOT the website platform.

I have seen clients build hugely successful businesses on website builders and clients sell nothing on WordPress. The deciding factor to their success has nothing to do with what it’s built on, and everything to do with how they hustle.

A simple and effective website that you can confidently manage and update versus a swish one you loathe because it costs hundreds just to get your designer to update it is no way to run a business in my experience. 

In summary, don’t get sucked in by what everyone else is telling you is best for your business. Choose the website platform you need based on YOU and YOUR BUSINESS needs.

Technology is always changing so you will no doubt move your website at least once (and more likely many times) during your business life. So. don’t put it off just because you don’t want to start at the bottom and work your way up!

And, remember, if you get stuck or just don’t know where to start, why not get in touch and book a Discovery Call – I’d be happy to discuss your needs and recommend the right solution for YOU.

Web Goddess

 

 

 

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Why your choice of website platform doesn’t really matter

How to find your Business Niche and why it’s important

When you first start a business, it’s important to find your business niche rather than trying to sell your product or service to everyone. Unfortunately, it can be the part of your business strategy that gets lost in the excitement of starting something new and a wish to be of service to the whole world.

But remember,

When you sell to everyone, you’re selling to no-one!

So it is super important to spend some time getting clear on who your target market is to ensure that all of your hard work doesn’t go to waste. It’s also a great idea to review your business niche regularly.

Why is it important?

Your business needs to fit with your vision – who you are, what you believe in, and your WHY (check out my last blog post on that if you missed it). Because if you are trying to be everything to everyone, you lose the essence of individuality – what makes your business unique.

When you focus on your specific message it actually helps you attract the RIGHT clients to your business; rather than those who really are not a good fit in the first place. We’ll talk more about those people in a bit.

It also means that it becomes super easy to create content for your website and social media because you have a FOCUS. Your message is not distracted trying to solve everyone’s problems – just those you are best at.

“If everybody is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction.” – SAM Walton

So, how do you find your Business niche in the first place?

The best way to find your niche is to answer these two questions:

  1. What problems do you solve for people?
  2. What do clients tell you your superpower is?

Now, these are hopefully the same or similar to each other, and if they differ greatly then that’s also something to look into in more detail.  You see, you need to be clear on what you offer and ASK your clients what they think too. Feedback is super important when figuring out what your niche is (and it may not be what you think it is!).

“You gotta keep trying to find your niche and trying to fit into whatever slot that’s left for you or to make one of your own.” – Dolly Parton

It is also important that when you are writing down your niche offering that you think about the kinds of clients you really want to work with. What are their characteristics? What makes them special? What does your ideal client look like?

For me, my ideal client is a purpose-driven microbusiness (1-3 people) with a passion for learning new skills. They need to be accountable for their own success and able to communicate honestly. And finally, they need to value their own time – and mine!

Knowing just those few points helps me weed out those businesses that just aren’t a good fit for me in the first place – the people I know I will resent if I feel like I have to take them on as clients. I need to add here that it doesn’t make them bad or wrong in any way – just not right for me and my business so that I do my best work!

 

What if someone isn’t in your niche, but still wants to work with you?

It’s a fact of running your business that not everyone will be in your niche (that’s why it’s called a niche in the first place), so the answer to this question depends on YOU and the individual circumstances of each client.

The first example is someone who isn’t in your niche, but aspires to be. Perhaps they don’t have the budget to work with you but do have the drive and passion and are otherwise a good fit. It’s then up to you to decide whether you give them a payment plan or some other deal to work with them that they can afford. Don’t ever feel obligated to do this though as that’s not a great business model. These kinds of relationships have to work BOTH WAYS to provide value.

The second example is someone who desperately wants to work with you but really doesn’t fit with you for any number of reasons (budget, values, location, etc.).  This one you just have to get used to saying ‘NO’ to. It’s your business after all and you have the right to run it your way. However, in these situations, instead of just saying no, I always try and offer another solution – another person who WOULD be a great fit for them. Even if that person is in the same industry as me! Yes, I do send clients to other web designers when their skills set is better aligned than mine.

And this is where business networking comes in. Knowing and trusting professionals both in different industries and those aligned to your own is really important. It allows you to have a network of people who you can recommend. Not only does it help the other business, but it also makes you look professional and considerate – and memorable!

There really is enough business to go around!

“I’m always aware of who my core audiences are and I serve that niche.” – Edward Burns 

SAYING NO SENDS A MESSAGE TO THE UNIVERSE

Another benefit of saying no to clients who just don’t fit your business niche is that you are sending an energetic message to the universe to say ‘this person is not the right fit for me’. In my experience, that always leads to being approached by someone who IS a fit for my services. Call it the Law of Attraction, synchronicity, magic or just plain luck, I don’t really care. I just know it works!

The more clear you are on your ideal client, the more focused you are on serving them, the more energy you send to the universe affirming that and attracting more of the same. Try it – it really does work!

 

In Summary

It’s important find your business niche and play to your strengths so you attract the right clients for you. It takes practice, a bit of soul searching and some tweaking of your requirements along the way but it holds the key to ensuring that your business not only survives, but thrives.

Because let’s face it, if you love what you do it will shine through in all that you provide for your ideal clients.

Web Goddess

 

 

This blog was taken from this episode on my Podcast and you can listen in to that and follow me for more business and tech tips here:

Your Business will Benefit if you Start with Why

Your Business will Benefit if you Start with Why

You may find this hard to believe, but having a ‘bad’ or ‘cheap’ website is NOT what’s holding you back from having a successful business – although I do love a website that showcases all that you are. The fact is, you have to start way back before you even looked at getting online – you need to START WITH WHY.

This is the point to tell you that if you’ve never watched Simon Sinek’s TED Talk on this exact topic – WATCH IT NOW! His talk is now over 11 years old and has evolved into a HUGE movement of people looking for more than just going to work because they have to. It has spawned multiple books (like Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t), courses, and even qualifications.

SO, WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

When you start with why you not only have more to hang your hat on than ‘just a job’ but you tap into something deeper within your ideal clients too. As Simon says:

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek

This distinction is important because it explains why there can be multiple people all doing the same thing, but one is more successful than the others.

They understand their WHY. They have a deeper purpose to their work than just making money – instead, they make money whilst doing what they love.

HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR WHY?

The best way to find your “why” is to look back at why you started doing what you’re doing in the first place.

What is the difference you wanted to make?

I’m betting you had a big picture of the problems you could solve for people?! You wanted to make what you do matter and make a difference – right? So, think back to what that reason was.

For me, that start was a deep loathing of so-called website ‘professionals’ who spouted technical terms at their clients in an effort to keep them in the dark and make designing websites and SEO a mystical art that they couldn’t possibly understand. That ‘why’ still underpins everything that I do and a lot of my work still comes in the form of website rescues.

If you’re having trouble with this step then Simon has a second book called Find Your Why that I can also highly recommend if you prefer a step-by-step guide to this process.

THEN WHAT?

Once you have your ‘why’ you can then start to build your message around it. Make sure that you convey your own why online and in person. Tell people why you love what you do and the difference you make – not what you do!

I have a wonderful networking colleague who works in IT security – I know, it sounds super-boring but is an essential service for businesses. When you actually speak to him, he almost lights up when he tells you about how he helps people understand technology and keep their families safe online. This is a far better selling point than telling someone you sell anti-virus software!

“The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” – SIMON SINEK

Your why is what will set you apart and attract the right clients to your business.

REVIEW REGULARLY

When you’ve been working with your ‘why’ for a while, it can be really easy to get sidetracked and forget why you started your business in the first place. So, regularly coming back to your reason for doing what you do will help ensure you’re still providing the right services.

It’s important to circle back to your ‘why’ regularly at least once a year, if not more, and tweak it too. Things change, you grow and your original purpose may also have changed. It’s not only OK to change too – but imperative if your business is going to thrive.

Just don’t forget your purpose in the process!

Web Goddess

 

 

Note: this post contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission when you click one of these and make a purchase. However, as with everything I recommend it’s because I love these books and refer to them regularly!

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