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Want Better Sales & Marketing Results?

It’s the New Year, and often a time to consider new cost-effective ways to improve your sales and marketing.  Do you ever think:

  • ‘my website should be getting me better results’; or
  • ‘my website is looking a bit out of date’; or
  • ‘is there some cost-effective marketing out there that could work better for me?’

Then give me a call. I would like to introduce myself, my name is Kathryn Schimanski, and I have my own marketing services business, Aztera Marketing, based here in Tawa, Wellington.  For 12 years I have been supporting a wide range of local businesses through providing smart, practical and cost-effective marketing solutions… without big agency fees. 

I specialise in supporting small to medium sized businesses, including new start ups.

I believe that doing business on a one-to-one basis works best – I work locally and have some great marketing services that you may be interested in.  I’m not a big agency – I offer a personal service and work closely with my clients, to help them increase their sales.  I work with a virtual team of specialists including graphic designers and website designers, keeping your costs down and quality up.

I’m focused on delivering smart and targeted solutions.  I provide the full range of marketing services, with a specialty in digital and online, including websites and search engine optimisation.  And don’t just take my word for it, take a look at the many Testimonials on my website.

Want to know more? Simply visit my website, and also check out my free one hour consultation.

The Design of Your Website Is like a Store’s Shop Window

When you are deciding on your website design, keep in mind that it really is like a store’s shop window.  Within 10 seconds (or less) from landing on your website, customers will make the decision to continue to browse, or to exit and look at another website.  Sadly, it is that harsh and that quick.

So think about your design.  For your target market does the design ‘fit’.  It is somewhat emotively engaging, enticing prospective customers to continue to stay and browse some more?

On the home page, are your key messages at the top of the page so they see these early on.  Are the messages ‘on topic’ and reflect the information your prospective customer would be searching for.

7 Key Elements for Good Website Design

  • Your brand and colour scheme.  Does it fit your target market?  Is it clear and distinctive?  Does your logo assist in conveying what your business is offering?  If your brand name clearly conveys what your business is about, that’s a great first step as customers immediately know what your businesses, e.g. Dave’s Plumbing.
  • Easy readability of your font.  I have visited a number of websites where they have decided to use a fashionable light grey colour for the font.  Sadly it makes it impossible to read, and as a visitor to the site, I noticed that I quickly clicked on the ‘back’ button and continued to browse to the next appropriate site.
  • Your navigation buttons – are these easy to find on your website?
  • Have you got your phone number in a clear and visible place?  And for the smartphone experience, is there a simple way they can just tap on your phone number and it will immediately begin to ring.
  • Is there a clear ‘information hierarchy’ so you can easily and quickly read the page headings and find key areas of text that are relevant to you.
  • Is there sufficient amount of white space, so the headings are clear and distinctive.  This aspect of design can significantly enhance the performance of your website.

Let’s Talk Website Navigation

You may think website navigation is a standard and simple thing to do for all businesses.  If you have a standard 10 page website with just the standard page topics, then it really is straightforward, e.g. Home, About Us, Our Services, Contact Us etc.

However, if you are selling a range of products and/or services, and have a number of category headings, a lot more thought should go into your website navigation.

The common rule for websites is the ‘3 click’ rule.  That means, within 3 mouse clicks (or less) that your prospective customer should have landed on their desired web page.

What’s more, have you thought of the hierarchy of categories.  Top selling products being higher up on your navigation structure, and lower selling products being further down.  Think of your navigation like a supermarket.  Keeping the most purchased items in easy and accessible reach, and in easy viewing profile.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is also affected by your navigation approach.  As this enables core selected SEO keywords to be able to be used in category headings and also in URL addresses.  Grouping of products to key categories can also improve SEO performance, along with improving your online shoppers experience.

With a bit of thought to your website navigation, and thinking about it from your customers shopping experience, it’s amazing how a few changes in tab positioning can influence a product’s profile.

Getting Your Website up on Search Rankings with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

I doubt that I need to convince anyone nowadays that search rankings do matter.  And just for the ‘newbies’ learning about this topic, search engine optimisation is the tool used to improve your website’s organic search results.

There are many factors that influence your search rankings.  Some you have easy control over, e.g. your website content, and some you have less control over e.g. the age of your domain name.

So for the purpose of this article, let’s talk about what you can control – your website content.  And this includes your ‘on page’ content (what you see when you land on a web page) and your ‘off page’ content, these are referred to as your meta tags, with the two key ones being your Title and Description meta tags.

5 Key Points to Keep in Mind with SEO and Your on Page Content

  • With regard to the products or services you are selling, it’s important to do some initial keyword research to identify the most popular search phrases prospective customers would type in to Google, when doing online browsing for your kind of product/service.
  • Once you have an idea of the range of keyword phrases, across all your products or services you offer, it will influence how you handle your website navigation, and how you split your website content across dedicated key topics/search phrases.  With this level of consideration, it means you can move towards having single topic dedicated search phrases, spread in a manged way across your range of web pages.
  • For each web page, using keyword phrases in the heading text and on page general body text assists with SEO.  There are a few tricks that can go with this, to enhance the strength of optimising for keyword phrases.  But the key thing is understanding that the use of text and keyword phrases are highly linked for SEO purposes.
  • When including the keyword phrases into your general page text, it’s important to not over populate these phrases, as Google may see this as ‘keyword stuffing’.  And this is strongly disliked by Google.  So using them to a level is good, overusing them to an intensity moving towards ‘keyword stuffing’ can be to the detriment of your website performance.
  • The key thing to keep top of mind, is even with the task of blending in keyword phrases, the final version of the copy still needs to be appealing and interesting to your prospective customer.  It’s the horrible task of developing web copy that blends the two aspects of meeting SEO requirements combined with developing strong, enticing, sales centric website copy.  As the primary purpose of your website is to achieve sales, either directly from the website (if it is a shopping cart/e-commerce website), or as a lead generation tool i.e. to entice the customer to contact your business.