In this review for VirdenChamber.com, a Chamber of Commerce website, I will be giving some awesome quick tips on how to improve their website presence and conversion.
In this review, we will cover:
- The importance of usability and why user-friendly content is key.
- Benefiting from Social Integration.
- Converting traffic to your website with fast and free tools.
- SEO and the ranking on effectively on Google.
The rule of thumb here is, does your website make it easy for clients/customers to understand who you are and what you do? In this case, it’s pretty simple to understand what to expect with a Chamber of Commerce website.
One thing we really look for, is whether or not your website is responsive. What this means is, how does your website look on many different devices, especially mobile ones? There’s a great tool online to test this: www.mobiletest.me. You can select a device, put your link in there, and it will show you what the website looks like on mobile devices. Google sees whether or not your website is mobile friendly or not and ranks websites based on this.
Another thing we look for is a clear call to action. What do you want people to do when they come to your website? In this case, there’s no clear call to action that prompts a local business to join the chamber of commerce. On every page, there should be some clear call to action driving people to where YOU want them to go next. For example, on the About page, the call to action could be, “Are you a Virden business owner? Join the Chamber of Commerce and see the benefits today!”
Is the website easy to navigate? Is it easy to find information? If it is, you’ll see better SEO, more conversions, and ultimately…. more money! If the website isn’t easy to navigate people WILL go elsewhere. Your company and your offerings are not so unique that people will stay on your site and deal with the horrible browsing experience. They will leave.
Once you have someone engaged on your website, it’s important to have an effective layout to keep people happy. Again - if they are not happy, they will leave and you will never see them again. Break your content up smartly and in a way that makes people want to read on. Images, catchy headings, things that make people ask themselves questions. These are what keeps people on your page.
The ultimate goal is to keep people on your website as long as possible. The Google monster knows what kind of experience people have on your website. If it is a shity experience, you WILL be ranked lower. If people spend more time on your website, they had a great experience and they will stay longer. The more relevant you are to the search term people found you through - the better your website will do.
2. Social Integration
It’s important, especially for a Chamber of Commerce website, to be engaged with the community both offline and online. Is it easy for a visitor to share images or articles across their social media channels? If not - it should be. Any Chamber of Commerce, large or small, has a single purpose - create awareness.
Another aspect of social integration, is to pull, or embed content from social media to into the website itself. Create an instagram account and use it! Photos sell and unless you want to work harder….get your images on your website - AUTOMATICALLY! In the case of a Chamber of Commerce website, it’s an easy way to show website visitors what’s is going on in the community. Get the community involved. Start a hashtag campaign for instagram and have the community start hashtagging instagram photos and videos they are taking while they are out and about.
3. Website Conversion
Is the website doing what it’s supposed to do? What is the goal of the website? If you don’t know, you better figure it out ASAP! If the point is to allow visitors to see the directory of local businesses, make it easy for them to find that information. Free downloads often help convert visitors. In the chamber’s case, free downloads can help conversion. For example, collect email addresses, or shares on social media and then provide free downloads of area maps, or lists of businesses to visit.
Finally, how easy is it for people to get from Point A to Point B on your website? This is called conversion funnels. It’s the clear call to actions that drive people from each area to the next on your website.
Find out what your website is ranking for! What are the organic keywords that Google sees on your website? In the case of Virden Chamber of Commerce, none of them really relate to the town itself. Your content on the website needs to be valuable in terms of keywords - what do you want people looking for on your website? Create pages based on that content. Each page should focus on one keyword.
Google will rank pages based on how much time people stay on each page. The longer people stay on the page, the higher you’ll rank for that keyword.
Supporting keywords are important too. Inform visitors about things related to your primary keyword. In my battle field example, I can also promote the local museum that has a civil war battle field section.
Build relationships in the community to drive traffic between websites. Link to and from the Visitor Center’s or other local business’ websites!
Creating an effective website for a Chamber of Commerce is about providing information to build your community as well getting the community to promote your site (think social media). We hope this tips serve as a guide to help build your community and your Chamber of Commerce website.
If you’ve got a website you want us to review, visit http://zerozendesign.com/website-review and we will get you on the calendar.
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Find out which 6 plugins I use on every site and so should you!
If you don't know what a plugin is, here is a quick explanation:
A WordPress plugin is a file that you can install on your website to add additional functionality quickly and easily. There are many free plugins that are awesome, and there are also paid plugins that are even MORE awesome!
There you go.
So, let's get to the meat and potatoes
Over the years I've learned (through trial and error), which plugins you should ALWAYS include on your website. Here's my top secret list and links to them.
- EWWW Image Optimizer - optimizes images you upload automagically so you don't have ridiculous photo sizes slowing down your website.
- Simple Mail Address Encoder - If you put your email address on your website (which most people do), you are at risk of it being harvested, sold to the highest bidder, and then overrun with spam in your inbox. This will stop that from happening.
- Slim Stat Analytics - Did you know Google Analytics hides about 70% of your keyword data? Don't believe me? Look at the top of your Google Analytics stats and you will see an "Other" listed. That "Other" is a majority of your traffic and they won't share it with you (unless you pay for it). Slim Stats gives you better analytics and all of it...for free!
- Use Google Libraries - This is a speed thing. I'm not going to try to explain it. Just add it.
- WP-SpamShield - WordPress sites can get spam through many different ways, mostly comments. This will keep that from happening. Add it and see how many it blocks. Amazin'!
- Advanced Database Cleaner - Remember your parents always telling you to keep your room clean? This is the automated WordPress cleaner. It allows you to clean out old cluttered stuff without needing to be a nerd. Just push buttons!
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