Is your website talking the same language as your customers?

One of the biggest challenges of keeping your website content up to date and relevant to customers is that the geeks keep moving the goalposts.


Whether it’s Google tweaking its search algorithms to penalise ‘copy and paste’ websites, a new social media platform changing the rules of the game or simply a shift in user behaviour, it often means a bit of a rethink.

Any one of these factors – or mostly likely, a combination of all three – can dramatically affect the audience reach of your website.

So if you haven’t been getting as many leads or orders via your website recently, here are three common problems that might be holding you back.


Your website content was written for robots

Until quite recently, a lot of clever web developers tended to pack websites with hidden keywords and technical SEO tricks designed to attract the attention of search engine robots and boost your search ranking. Google and the other search engines, have got wise to this and are now much better at sorting good content from artificially boosted content. Not only will Google now ignore SEO trickery, it will actively downgrade the rankings of sites that feature this sort of content.


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Your website was designed to impress the boss

When a small business is spending thousands of pounds on a new website, it’s entirely understandable that the boss wants to make sure they are getting value for money. So they probably had final approval of the content. The problem with this is that the content needs to impress potential customers – not the boss. Bosses tend to focus on top-down communication and the hard sell. This doesn’t work well on the Internet. Customers simply want to know that you understand their needs and are able to meet them.


Your competitors have caught up

If your website was built more than three years ago, chances are some of your competitors didn’t even have websites, or were still figuring out how to do it. If they have moved online more recently, chances are the technology that runs their website is more up to date. Perhaps the biggest change in website design is the switch to responsive sites that work across all devices: desktop, mobile and tablets. Most people now access the Internet via mobile devices, so if your website is unreadable or slow to load on a mobile, this will almost certainly be reducing your traffic.


The good news is: most of these issues can be addressed with some common-sense analysis and a few tweaks to the content.

It starts with a content audit and SEO MOT, then its simply a matter of creating some fresh content that looks great on desktop and mobile and really talks direct to your customers in a language they understand.

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Author: Mark Sutcliffe

Freelance content consultant and editor specialising in the outdoors, environment, sustainability, walking and cycling.

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