The following guest post was contributed by Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Dean Heasley
As a website designer at Nashville Marketing Systems, I see many mistakes that local businesses make on their websites. There are some website mistakes that are common and very easily overlooked. These can have an enormous impact on your website’s effectiveness. Most of them deal with needed items being missing.
The upper right section the website is the most valuable real estate on the web page. The contact phone number should be very easily visible and stand out from the rest of the text or links in the upper right corner.
It should also be clickable from a cell phone. Over 50% of all searches now are done on a cell phone. Also, over half of all searches have a local intent. Local intent means that the searcher is looking for something close by to where they are located.
Often, the searcher will want to contact the business before actually visiting the business, so it’s very important that the phone number be easily located and functional on the website.
“Above the fold” in this instance means anything that loads on the searchers screen first without them having to scroll. I love Facebook for marketing, but if somebody is on your website, you don’t want to encourage them to visit Facebook.
As soon as somebody gets on Facebook, their attention and focus on what they were doing before typically goes away. You want to encourage people to visit your business, not fight with their brother-in-law about politics. So, Facebook links should be below the fold. Typically, I prefer them in the footer of the website.
This is a very simple task that can be done very quickly. And it is a great local signal to Google confirming the location of the business. When Google sees these obvious connections between your website information and the information that they have in their records, they’re more comfortable about serving that information to their customers.
All you do is go to your location in Google Maps, click the share button, choose embed, choose the size, and copy that code into your website.
Every website should have video on it, preferably somewhere on the homepage. There are two reasons for this.
The first reason is that Google looks at time on page behavior as a significant ranking factor. So, if somebody visits your website, and leaves after 12 seconds, that is a bad signal to Google. Video helps keep people on your website longer.
The second reason that video is so important, is that people relate best, and form relationships best, with somebody that they can see. If you are comfortable on video, or if you can have a video made, your customers will be more likely to form a relationship with you through that video.
Schema is a relatively new tool for websites. It is a special set of computer codes that informs search engines what the website is about.
Admittedly, coding in schema is rather difficult. But, if you have a WordPress website, there are many plugins that can add schema for you without you having to know any code.
My favorite plugin is by fellow Duct Tape Marketing Consultant, Phil Singleton. It is a simple plug in whereby you enter your business information and it converts all that information into schema.
Schema is important because it directly informs Google what the website’s information is. That means there is no confusion on Google’s part about the contents of the website.
My recommendation is always to have a professional build your website. But, if you are building it yourself, be aware of these common mistakes so that your customers can find you and interact with you.