As a sole trader you should already know how to get customers to your site, right? Designing a website and getting users to come and visit it, require different skill sets, so it can be useful to have some pointers on how to lead potential clients to your website.
When a person looks for information on a topic Internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing use various mathematical formulae or algorithms to find websites that it believes are a good match. Those websites that match most closely to the search term will show up highest (as well as those that paid to do so and show up as advertised results). A whole specialism called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has developed in recent years, to link websites to specified search terms, just so that the sites show up when a user looks for information on these subjects.
The different search engines use different, closely guarded algorithms to match websites to search terms, so it can be difficult to pinpoint what works in all cases. However, some basic pointers that help SEO are:
- Choose title pages that accurately describe the content
- Identify what phrases people would use to find your services and then use these in a relevant way as part of your content, particularly in section headings
- Some words or phrases will be too heavily used by other websites – try to strike a balance between words/phrases that are relevant but less commonly used e.g. Joomla expert London – rather than website designer
Blogs & Articles
You can attract browsers by writing articles related to your area of expertise and having these appear on websites that are relevant to your target clients. By providing advice on general areas or topical issues, you will demonstrate your expertise, in turn helping to raise your profile. When potential clients perceive you as an expert in your field, there is less of a requirement to prove your ability and they are much more likely to contact you when they need help.
These can be useful for both SEO purposes and site users, when employed appropriately. A backlink is basically a link on your website to another site. As a rule of thumb, it is better to connect to websites that are relevant to the subject, rather than including random links. Sometimes people offer to include a link to your website in return for placing one on theirs. However, be careful to consider websites that are relevant to yours. Otherwise search engines may adjudge it to be spam, which would have an adverse effect on web searches. Just as importantly, irrelevant backlinks may result in a negative user experience.
Websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can be very useful for promoting your website and it is well worth including your website address as a tagline to your name or auto-signature so that users can follow the link to your website when they wish to find more information about your services. Similar to blogs and articles, by joining relevant discussion groups and commenting on threads relevant to your skills it will also help to build your profile as an expert, helping to attract users to your website.