Google

How to use your online voice Part 2

Write to Right - How to use your online voiceNow you know how to find your online voice, use these tips to use your online voice (and not sound like a dork).

Be mindful of your medium

Now you know who your ideal customer is, you need to hangout where they do.

You have your website, you need to make sure that you promote it at any possibility. This means sharing links, linking to it from your social media profiles, and adding it to your promotional material. If your ideal customer values quality, then make sure your website reflects this, have a look at our health checks as a way to ensure the quality of your site.

Facebook, this is one of the most popular social media platforms. I have written on where businesses fail on Facebook, make sure you read these tips (or print them out). Above all, keep it positive and sociable on Facebook as people use this platform to escape from the drudgery, catch up with friends, and have fun.

Twitter, this is a great place to develop your network and share information about your business. Because you need to be brief make use of a URL shortening service, some websites have their own, when linking to your site. Twitter users love to be recognised, so don’t neglect thanking and recognising follows and retweets.

Pinterest is primarily used for people who love to DIY, travel, interior design, beauty, and fashion. If your business has a product that is for children, fashion conscious, DIYers, or home improvers/interior design fans I would strongly suggest getting on to Pinterest. Not only is it a great way to advertise your products, it is a great way to find content for your other social media platforms, and provides valuable backlinks to your website.

Be consistent

Ensure your message focuses on benefits over features, your customer’s needs over your business needs, and you remember the medium.

If you are using social media, be aware that although people (in general) are not as concerned with spelling and punctuation, you are still representing your brand. If your brand represents, values, and your customer values quality then make sure that your posts/tweets/pins/instagrams all reflect this.

Ensure you use the adjectives that you identified earlier. This subtle reinforcement will speak to your customers who value these attributes. Remember that you need to speak to your ideal customer. You can also experiment with these words to discover which ones hone in on their inner most needs and desires. These keywords will then help you drive your business. They can then be used in other marketing materials. Be warned, your ideal customers may not all hang out in the same social media circles and what works on one platform, may not work on another.

Now this by-no-means means that you should use a social media management tool and post the exact same message across all of your social media accounts. In fact, your followers can be turned off by that. Some customers will subscribe to your newsletter and follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and/or Google +. If they see the same message posted across your channels they will know that you are not being authentic, interested in their needs, and they will feel that you are simply pitching to them. By now you know your ideal customer’s likes and dislikes, remember the profile, so make them feel valued and that they are the only one you are talking to.

Include endorsements

When you write a job application, most are looking for concrete examples where you achieved an outcome, not just the fact that you know what to do. Customers are no different. They want runs on the board, bang for their buck. Show them!

Write to Right Lynda review

Customers value third-party opinions. Remember the power of word of mouth. On your website, or social media platform, you can control how these are displayed. I am not saying to remove every bad review, in fact I advocate keeping them and using some strategies I have previously shared, you can actually turn the negative experience around. You may even help others to explain your processes, a situation, or a learning just by keeping all channels of communication open.

This can be done in many ways.

Facebook reviews – If you set your page to local or small business and include a physical address (don’t worry it doesn’t have to be exact), then you will get the review stars popping up on your page. Be warned, if someone accidentally gives you one star it can’t be undone and will effect your rating.
You can ask customers to leave review posts on your page. These used to be able to be highlighted on your page. They now appear in the left hand margin of your page. You can reorganise this left margin so they appear higher up. You can also hide general chit-chat posts, so they don’t interrupt the reviews.

Website reviews – There are many plug-ins you can add to your page. I have one on one of my WordPress sites which I populate with feedback customers have sent through. I have seen others where it is populated by the customer. Alternatively, you can set up an email form where customers can send feedback through to you.

Other pages will have a page of testimonials (like I have here). These testimonials can stand alone as their own page, but they are also a handy way to add credibility to a related blog post or marketing material (including a blog post).

Do it with integrity

For me, the key to all of this is working with integrity. People value honesty and integrity. We make mistakes, own them, own up to them, fix them, learn from them, and move on. This is why I believe it’s important to keep negative feedback in the public domain. Handled with tact and integrity they can prove as valuable as a positive testimonial.

In the first instance, be true to yourself. Most businesses, especially ones that come from a place of internal passion, are extensions of the owner. If you are not speaking honestly, and from the heart, you are less likely to do so with conviction, less likely to convince and convert, and when it comes to meeting the client, you are likely to be tripped up.

Be true to your customer. Now this isn’t just about owning where things haven’t gone as planned. It means being true to your ideal customer. You need to honour their needs, and place these at the core of your business. Print off your ideal customer description, find photos of them, make a vision board of them; all of these ideas will keep them centred in your work space and will remind you when you work.

Truth is easier to remember. Integrity will take you far.

Now you know how to find your online voice, allow me to help you reach your ideal customer. By using the process in this series of blog posts, I was able to focus my business and move it from page 16 in a Google search to page one. If your ambition is to have your business appear on page one of Google, then contact Write to Right about a website health check. This check will get your website in to shape and my hints will improve its ranking. Read more about the website health checks or if you are ready to be on page one now, contact Write to Right now.

Errors Small Business Website owners make which is killing their Sales

Write to Right - beat Google at its gameSmart business owners know that the best place to sell, outside of their bricks and mortar, is online. Some have tried Facebook, but with declining reach, the smartest ones are moving to web sales. Sadly, it’s no ‘Field of Dreams”, if you build it, there’s no guarantee that they will come. Sound familiar? Struggling to get customers to your site?

Languishing in the back pages of Google

Google is the most used search engine. Like Facebook, Google has its own methods for working out the ranking for pages in a search result. I don’t know of many small businesses that would pay for Google rankings, and to be honest if you pay, your result is only as good as the amount you or your competitor pays (the more the better).

Focusing on the following hints will boost you through Google. How do I know? I did it. I moved my website from page 16 at launch to the first listing on page 2. I also have related content listed on page 1, they also link to my website. So I am on page 1 and 2 of Google Search. Follow these steps to get there too.

Complacent about Key words

Key words are that, key. If you do not use the words in your website that your customers use in their searches then you are starting behind the eight ball. There are a number of ways to find out what these words are: trial and error, ask your customers, put yourself in your customer’s shoes, Google Analytics, paying SEO experts.

But be warned, don’t make your website a gobbledegook mess of keywords. Google has its ways of weeding out nonsensical pages. This is where SEO experts and copywriters can fail. These businesses don’t understand the intricate details of your business, quite like you. You know the benefits for your customers, you know how they use your goods or services. You know what makes your business unique.

Skimping on spelling

Don’t think spelling on your website is important, think again.

Research shows that 59% of customers will not buy from a website with spelling errors. That’s a lot of lost revenue. Why? Quality. Customers believe that if you don’t value the basic skill of spelling, then you are less likely to value them or quality service.

But what does this have to do with Google? Have you ever misspelt something in a Google search? It autocorrects. I’m sorry to say Google will not autocorrect your website. If you type words incorrectly in your website, then that is how they will be indexed by Google and how people will have to type them in a search. Small problem, Google autocorrects searches. See the problem?

Skimping on links

Remember how I said I was on page 2 AND page 1, well my page 1 results are my social media pages (Google + and Facebook). I know many businesses start of Facebook and with the declining reach they have developed a website, you might be one of them.

Don’t get caught up trying to fill Facebook or G+ (or any other platform) with new content, link to your website. Links on Facebook are not just a simple way to populate posts, they are actually a highly respected (and ranked) post type for the platform. Using links to your site drives traffic to where the sales take place. (You can also set up a tab to import your shop into Facebook, more on that another post) Google likes inbound links (coming in to your site) as they are third party endorsements.

Link within your site. Linking within your site allows for cross promotion and cross or upselling. Internal links also work as when Google searches your page the internal links direct it through your site. The more pages Google sees, the more pages it knows of to put in its search results, the more often you are seen in Google.

Like to know more? Not sure you could do this all yourself? Don’t have enough time to go through it all yourself?

Based on my experience managing websites and proofreading and copy editing for the federal government I am offering my skills to businesses to improve their website results. Having your website appear higher in Google search results will mean more customers to your site, most people will stop searching at page 3 of Google.

What is involved?

Write to Right offer two levels of health checks. The first is for larger sites or those businesses after a more comprehensive service; the second is for smaller sites or those looking to brush up their essential pages.

To book you website health check, contact us.

What do others say about the Website Health Check?

“Kara has provided me with feedback on many aspects of my business page with regard to professional written communication. She is very knowledgeable, helpful and does not miss a thing! I know I can rely on her to pick up on my typos, spelling errors, punctuation and even grammatical errors. It is worth having Kara take a look at your written communication, whether you are in business and would like to appear professional, or whether you are doing a job  application that needs to be perfect! Highly recommended!” – Jacqui, Celestial Photography

Comprehensive Website Health Check

This health check is for businesses looking to grab those 59% of customers who are put off by errors on their website. It’s for businesses that rely on their website to sell their products and services 24/7. It’s a check for businesses that pride themselves on their excellence and attention to detail.

This check will:

• Focus on the top ten non-product pages on your site
• Advise if your content achieves its aim
• Includes at least ten, researched, keyword suggestions for you to use to help increase your search engine ranking
• Assess your content for optimal layout, helping to get your message across sooner and potentially reduce ‘bouncing’ from your site
• Ensure links on these pages are functional and appropriate
• Check for your social media integration and offer suggestions for your site as a whole
• Include an Excel spreadsheet report for you, or your developer, to keep for implementation, and
• Free email follow-up one month after the report is delivered.

This premium service is offered to you for the introductory price of $185. It is a small price to pay when it has the potential to turn up to 59% of your web traffic into paying clients.

 Book your comprehensive website health check by contacting us.

 Essentials website health check

This health check is for those smaller sites with fewer non-product pages. It is perfect for those businesses just starting out but still pride themselves on how their business is presented to the public.

This check will:

• Focus on the top five non-product pages on your site
• Advise if your content achieves its aim
• Includes at least five, researched, keyword suggestions for you to use to help increase your search engine ranking
• Ensure links on these pages are functional and appropriate
• Check for your social media integration and offer suggestions for your site as a whole, and
• Include an Excel spreadsheet report for you, or your developer, to keep for implementation.

This essentials health check is a wise investment at $95 and a fantastic way to ensure you are starting out on the right foot.

Is your site larger than average or do you want more?

If your site has more than ten non-product pages, or you would like to include your product pages, we can perform a more comprehensive check for $80/hr and includes all of the elements in the comprehensive website health check. Write to Right is able to offer proofreading & copy editing for all other documents, please contact us for our full list of fees.

 To book your website in for a health check contact us.