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Shireen Qudosi

Revitalize Your Search Ranks & Spring Clean Your Website

Apr 05 2012, 06:02 PM by

With spring in fast bloom, the task of “spring cleaning” shouldn’t be practiced just in your household. In fact, the notion of spring cleaning – of doing away with the old and outdated to make room for the new – is more of an imperative in business than anywhere else.

Businesses that rely on seasonal sales can be in constant flux. Before they know it, one year is out and the next year is in and yet they continue spinning on the proverbial wheel. While it may be business as usual, your clients will know whether or not you’ve put in the effort to dust up on your marketing materials. Whether it’s your website, print materials, email templates or just even a sales sheet, blog design or business card, your marketing material needs to be spruced up with the thorough attention to detail brought forth by a spring cleaner.

A failure to do so is detrimental to your business success. Take Pratesi, the king of luxury linens. A couple years ago, you couldn’t justify the cost of the items or appreciate the luxury it provided if you judged the company by the website. Their website was archaic; decent enough for a website but unacceptable for a website that represented such an esteemed brand. Their web photos were painful for a marketer to see, sparse outdated images against an uncomplimentary background. There was no social media or email campaign set up. Pratesi was a company in dire need of a spring cleaning, which it has dutifully undergone since and now reflects a clean crisp site mirroring the cream of the crop clientele that continues to flock to them.

So what should you consider if you undergo a website spring cleaning? Check out the tips below and feel free to comment with any further or specific questions you may have.
Do You Have the Right Design Scheme?
Everyone judges a book by its cover and in a business world your website is your cover. Make sure your design scheme is attractive and appealing to your audience. The more frequent mistake businesses make is not considering their audience. A B2B site and a B2C of the same product or in the same industry should look VERY different. Also consider color schemes, uploading speed and site navigation. Ask yourself, is it obvious what we’re about and how to contact us/connect with us on social media? To get truthful answers, you can conduct your own (cheap) focus group by asking 10 random people to visit your site and answer a quick questionnaire. You can set this up at a locally owned coffee shop and offer participants a gift certificate to the shop (which will also make the vendor more gracious toward hosting you). You’ll get firsthand, honest feedback at a fraction of the cost of paying a focus group company…and you’ll be faced with brutal honesty.
Does Your Copy Make the Cut?
Copy is an industry word for “words” or “content.” Your copy will dictate (1) whether you’re found on the internet through SEO search filters and (2) whether you’re able to engage your audience and (3) whether you’re able to close the deal. The process of smart copy involves a lot more than just writing “some stuff.” A good copywriter will first assess the health of your current copy, do a bit of cross referencing, and then come back with some stats and suggestions before a copy (re)writing project even begins. Keep in mind that a good copywriter isn’t cheap and copy farms are a complete waste of money.

If you’re going at it on your own, start by looking into some SEO tools to help boost your website traffic. SEO tools will help you discover what keywords/phrases are working and popular. Keep in mind that this is a science and requires a bit of understanding. Even if you understand, the next step is knowing how to write SEO copy – which is very different from just being a good writer.

Posted in Tips & Resources, Email Design & Templates, Social Media, SEO

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