Be on page 1 of Google? Comply with GDPR? There’s lots to do this year
Is your business ready for everything that we expect in 2018? I’ve already spoken to 3 people this year who have asked “What’s happened to my website? I was on page 1 of Google and now I’m on page 3.” If your website isn’t ready, make this a year of exciting changes.
There's a lot to think about, thanks to Brexit and the economy. You are probably planning for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into effect in May. The question is, have you thought about GDPR and your website? Does your website protect users by design - through secure hosting and encrypted databases?
You need a strong client base this year and you may need to invest to get it. There are important SEO trends to watch in 2018 and you need to be ready for them to succeed.
Take on the challenge and book a website audit. You'll discover what is good about your site (and what your competitors are doing wrong), master a top 10 Google ranking and keep ahead of changes in legislation. It's a golden opportunity!
"It's ok thanks Kate, we've got this covered."
At the end of 2017, I got in touch with several of my LinkedIn contacts to offer them a free 10-15 minute chat about ways to improve their websites. I spoke to some great people who were keen to know more about the risks and opportunities I had spotted. I genuinely enjoy helping people so I really like doing this.
What surprised me was the number of people who said "No thanks". It also troubled me because every single one of the businesses that declined a free chat had a problem with their website. Some had malware, some hadn't claimed their Google My Business listing, some had duplicate businesses on Google Maps and many had technical issues. Rather than listen to a little bit of free advice, these people chose to ignore my message. I wasn't happy leaving them in that situation so I sent them all a quick message to flag up the specific problems they faced. None of them have been in touch (not a problem - it was an offer of free help and that's what they got) but I sincerely hope they now have their websites on track.
We're ok though - aren't we?
Now, you might be thinking that you have your website in hand. Lots of people do. The people I contacted in 2017 thought they had.
People say “We have our web guy” (or gal) "who does that for us." The trouble is, that person ISN'T doing it for them. Either that person doesn't have the skill set or she or he doesn't have the right budget. Either way, those businesses are all letting their competitors walk off with their customers.
Do you look after your website visitors as carefully as the people who visit your premises?
If you walk into your own office, you notice straightway if the door is stiff and the reception area is cluttered and dirty. Or do you? We all get used to the status quo and we don’t notice the stack of filing or that dying pot plant any longer!
Sometimes, it’s worse than this on websites. Imagine a crazy scenario where everyone who works in your company is over 7ft tall. If you have premises that work for your team, what will happen to average height visitors? They won't be able to reach the door handles or sit on the chairs. Will you ask them to bring steps and camping chairs when they come to visit? Of course you won't!
Your website is your online office building
You wouldn't expect customers to walk through a grafitti covered door and step over abandoned post. You wouldn't ask them to leave personal information or cash in an envelope on a reception desk. I look at sites every week that ask customers to do the equivalent of this online.
This morning I saw a newly updated dental surgery website. This website should be on secure hosting but it isn't.
Potential patients' can apply to join the practice by filling in online forms with their name and date of birth. This is what Google calls "your money or your life" personal data and websites should only transmit this over an encrypted connection. A statement under the form that says that it might not be secure is not good enough. This could get the dentist a Google penalty. Worse still, they could incur a breach when GDPR comes into effect in 4 months time. The fines for non-compliance will be crippling for a small dental practice.
What makes me furious is that the site was built by a specialist dental website provider. That development company should know better and, in my opinion, they have badly let their client down.
Why audit my website, SEO and GDPR?
When was the last time you looked at your website from your customers' point of view? People are using mobiles, they’re searching over 3G connections and they are using voice search. Have you tried using your site in these ways? Have you asked someone independent to tell you how your site measures up to Google’s guidelines?
Are you confident that your site meets the standards demanded by GDPR? Can you afford a breach when GDPR takes effect? The cost of the fine and the damage to your reputation will be huge. Don't take the risk!
A professional website audit by an experienced SEO professional will show you what needs fixing. It will let you plan your website improvements and it will put you in control. Just as you spend money on cleaning, maintenance and structural repairs for your premises, you must do the same for your website.
If your goal for 2018 is to get more income through more leads and better enquiries, this is the place to start.
Discover your opportunities
Make fact-based decisions.
Take expert advice.
Get ready for Voice Search.
Plan to stay up to date.
What are you waiting for? Book a website audit
I'll schedule the work, give you some "homework" and then deliver an actionable list of improvements you can make to your site to protect your business reputation (online and offline) and your website. You receive a detailed report from me and then the next steps are up to you. We can work through the recommended changes together or you can get your own team to do the work. The choice is yours.
Let's take 2018 by storm
When you start the year by promising yourself an independent audit, followed by action, your competitors won’t keep up. Google has got technical so we need to obsess about site performance and speed in order to get better results.
With structured investment, you can get your website ready to seize the opportunities and face GDPR with confidence.
Best of all, if you’re ready for voice search, mobile-first search and rich results (those lovely, eye-catching results in Google) before your competitors, you’ll have a chance to talk to their prospective customers before they do.
Then you'll be glad you started 2018 with an audit!
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