Do you have a lovely website but you’re not getting the traffic you expected?
Maybe you’ve spent hours, days or even weeks making your website look stunning but you’re feeling puzzled as it’s not bringing in the leads that you hoped for?
Perhaps you worked crafted it yourself but your website is buried far down in the rankings of the Google search engine and it’s not serving you.
It can be really tough as a small business figuring out how to schmooze the Google rankings, but there are things that can be done to help you get more visible and reach the people you want to.
In fact, having the website but not the visitors is a common problem for many small businesses.
To get the expert advice on this, I spoke to Malcom Maybury who owns digital marketing agency 360 Spin helping businesses across the UK helping them become more visible and get the clicks that they want.
You can listen to our chat on the player link below or carry on reading the key points as a blog post.
About Malcolm Maybury and 360 Spin
Malcolm has been self employed for 20 years and started with a photography business, 360Spin, which evolved to a virtual tour photography for people to look around a location or venue online.
He also offered Digital Marketing services as if clients wanted to show off their premises with a virtual tour, it was key they got found on Google.
Malcolm and his team work with all different types of clients locally and across the UK.
He explained: “People come to us usually when they have a website but their phone isn’t ringing, they don’t have the interest they need.
“Their website might look great but it’s not getting the traffic, so that’s where we come in for the digital marketing side and the cornerstone of what I do is keywords.
“I ask people ‘what do you want to be found on Google for?’ and then research the keywords and phrases and we go from there.
“Being niche is important as the more generic the keywords, the harder it is to be found on Google.”
What mistakes do small businesses make when it comes to digital marketing?
The No 1 mistake is having a website that can’t be seen. Google prefers WordPress to other website hosts, so often when people self build, they have a website that’s almost invisible.
Malcolm explained: “The DIY sites visually look great but unless you do a lot of work on them Google doesn’t like them and they can get lost. That’s why I always recommend WordPress.
“I feel sorry for people find themselves in this situation, because they didn’t know that this could happen.
“But if you’ve a site that’s not visible, find someone who can export your site to a WordPress site so it doesn’t lose anything and it becomes more visible to Google.”
What else can you do to get found on Google?
There are steps that businesses can take when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation to boost their Google rankings.
He said: “The first is a keyword search, so establish what you want to be found for.
“Ideally you want to use keyword clusters which answer people’s questions as Google is also being used by voice activated devices like Google Home and Alexa and it will reward the website that answers the question the best.
“You also need to make sure your website is built properly and there are no bad error codes. Google won’t send customers to these places. Your website needs to be optimised for mobile because this is how most people search now.
“I’d also recommend getting your business name, address and details on citations like Yellow Pages. We normally approach 100 plus of these because it increases your searchability.”
“Also it’s really important to be on Google My Business because this gets you on Google Maps and social media too as Google watches for this interaction. You need to be seen on all of these platforms and have them all linking back to your website.
“Reviews too are so, so important because Google monitors these.”
How can we use keywords to make our website visible and not vanish?
Content marketing and the use of keywords can help businesses to be favoured by Google.
If you’re producing regular content around the keywords related to your product or service, Google will send more people to you.
Malcolm said: “When you have the foundations in place, content marketing can really help you to be seen.
“Post good quality content that people are interested in, share this onto your social channels and link back to it.
“Reviews are really important to share too, because 87% of people will believe a review they’ve read online from a stranger.
“If someone leaves a bad review, the best thing you can do is reply politely and then when you get more good reviews it will bury the bad one.”
What about blogging and social media?
Blogging can really help to boost your ratings on Google especially if it’s rich in keywords.
But it’s something that is often put at the bottom of the to-do list, so Malcolm’s advice is to take small steps first.
Malcolm said: “If you don’t want to do a blog, do a tweet, or a Facebook post to dip your toe in the water. Then as you get used to it you will progress to writing longer content.
“Longer Facebook posts can be repurposed in to blogs, and once you build the habit and see the results, it will help you keep going.”
What should your website look like?
Whether you’re a small or big business your website is your place to talk about your expertise and your shop window for people searching for the answer to the problem you solve.
You want it to look professional, and for people landing on it to feel confident that they are in the right place, and you can do this by structuring the pages on your site properly and publishing relevant content.
Malcolm said: “Your website should be the hub of your content. Your key information needs to live on your website first and then be shared on social media so that Google recognises it.”
What to consider when outsourcing digital marketing
When you’ve so many plates spinning in your pet business, outsourcing SEO and digital marketing can take the pressure off.
As this can be costly, it’s key to work with a reputable contractor or agency who can show they get results and that you’ll get a return on your investment.
Malcolm has the following advice. “Ask them to show you examples of their clients, so you can type them in Google and see where they rank. If they’re doing a good job they should be happy to show you this.
“Use Google incognito to help you see where they rank and where you rank, they should be able to help you improve your ranking and if they don’t, find someone else to work with.
“The SEO world changes all the time, it’s a moving target so when you’re focusing on your business it’s hard to keep up. That’s why working with a professional is really helpful for a lot of people.”
How to find out more about Malcolm
Malcolm helps small and big businesses across the UK improve their searchability on Google, and you can find out more on his website, 360Spin.com
If you found this post helpful, you might like to read How blogging can help your pet business or How to get your pet business found on Google with Rosie Robinson,