Much is written about how to get people to see your lovingly crafted website, and much of this is designed to get you to spend your hard earned cash to employ Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) experts. Unless you have an internet based business that relies on reasonable amounts of traffic being directed to your site then this is entirely unnecessary. Would you like to know the 3 big website mistakes to avoid?
First of all you need to look at how the internet searches work. Looking at things simply, bots (from Google, Bing etc.) wander around the internet taking a look at our websites. We don’t want to do anything to deter them so make it easy for them (plenty written on this subject). The search engines then operate on this mountain of data. We supply keywords or phrases and the search engines do the rest.
We of course want our sites to appear near the top of the results and with smartphones and tablets this is even more important. Here are 3 things that you really should not do to your website.
Have a poorly designed website – search engines like quality so your site should be clean and easy to use although it need not have been designed by a top designer!
Demonstrate untrustworthiness – if you offer advice you must demonstrate qualifications. If you offer online shopping then show security certificates, links to independent testimonials etc.
Never take into account the needs of users – these days users are lazy. They type the minimum but expect to see a website, directions to your shop etc. Ignore user needs at your peril.
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Learn To Love Your Bot
Consumers gain the most pleasure from the act of shopping according to research. This is preferred to the outcome or purchase. The idea of ‘shopping as leisure’ has defined many new retail developments such as Cardiff’s new St David’s shopping centre and the Trinity shopping centre in Leeds (other retail experiences exist!). Could innovation be a way to help smaller retailers now that others have shown the way?
I had the pleasure of living in Cardiff when the St Davids centre opened and waited to see if it would sink or swim. The effect it had was to help the city climb up the UK retail index. At the time many smaller independent traders were uncertain as to whether this would put them out of business or act as a magnet to attract more customers.
A recent study showed the impact on traders in the nearby Victorian market and arcades. Only 10% of the 90,000 people walking along the City’s High Street each week confirmed that they visited the Castle Quarter arcades.
This poses the question – in today’s continually innovative retail market. Should smaller, traditional retailers adapt their stores to the changed retail habits of today’s consumer? What can they do to make sure that consumers enjoy the experience, as well as the purchases that the independent traders are known for?
Where can retailers turn to for ideas and advice? Banks and Post Offices turned to theme parks for help in making queuing experiences less painful. Maybe some alternative thinking would help?
Could a bookshop offer a great cup of coffee to fortify tired shoppers or keep hold of them for longer? Could the male barbershop be enhanced to pamper men in the same way as ladies hairdressers?