Small changes to your site can make a big difference in the number of visitors to your website. These minor improvements are free to make and easy to implement. They don’t require the assistance of a coder, an expensive SEO or website development company. They are simple to do, even if you don’t know the first thing about HTML.
Have you taken a look at your women or minority business website’s analytics lately? It might be time to tweak your site’s offerings to see if you can try to increase traffic as well as engagement. Following are seven quick and easy ways you can get your analytics heading back in the right direction.
1) Image Size
Google has plainly stated that the speed at which your site loads is a factor in page rank. The faster your site loads for the end user, the better your placement in their search results. Nothing will send readers scurrying in the opposite direction faster than slow-to-load web pages.
Image use is a big sticking point for many business sites, including women and minority owned ones. Your natural inclination is to use the biggest, most colorful and most detailed images, of course. The trade-off that many business owners are not aware of is that these large detailed images are choking their site’s loading speed.
Fortunately, you can change the file size of your images (the storage space they take up and bandwidth they use in transit) without having to improve the display size or reduce the picture quality.
Images that are taking up too much space are usually in a file format that is uncompressed, like .BMP. You can convert them to a lossless compression format like .PNG, which will reduce the size without degrading the picture quality. You might want first to try converting your images to .JPG, however. This “lossy” compression format dithers specific colors somewhat to make image files tiny. Unless you need very high-quality detailed images, most of your visitors will not notice the difference.
If you have Photoshop or a similar program, you can open each image and then save it as your desired file format. You should notice an immediate difference in file size when stepping down from .BMP to .PNG or .JPG. Many content management systems, such as WordPress, also have these compression tools build into for business site owners.
Finally, be sure not to have any large image galleries or auto-playing videos on your main page. If you need these elements on your site, they are better suited for sub-pages that are marked as having them.
Or considering using tools like Compressor (compressor.io) to reduce your image file sizes and speed up the rate at which your website loads. Talk about an easy fix, right?
2) Image Names and Data
Search engines still mostly focus on crawling websites using the text on the page. Search engines are not yet at the point where they can recognize the contents of an image just by looking at it. They will take a stab at it, however, and they lean heavily on the image file name and internal data to do it. Optimizing these things can help the search engines better understand your site, and also drive more traffic to it.
The first thing to look at is the image file names. The file name should merely convey what the image is in a few words. Don’t try to cram keywords or too much business information in; keep it simple with several words connected by a single dash (for example: “dans-coffee-tacoma-exterior.png” or “2018-fender-stratocaster-neck.jpg”).
Also, make use of the “alt tag” for each image. You can insert this descriptive text into the portion of the page code that displays the image. It’s primarily used to describe the image to visually impaired users or those browsing without pictures, but search engines also make use of it to help understand and categorize pages.
3) Page Titles for your Women or Minority Business
The page title is displayed in the bar at the top of the browser when a someone is viewing the page, and also as the link shown in search engines. Page titles not only help search engines understand what each page is about, but are also the primary factor that entices a searcher to click through to your business website.
You don’t want to go too “salesy” with most page titles, however. Don’t make the title too long. Think instead about the key search terms people will be using to find the page, and how the title can most quickly and directly give them an answer to their problem or satisfy their need.
4) Meta Description Tags
Meta tags are very short snips of descriptive text that give search engines a quick summary of the contents of the page of your women or minority business website. These used to be one of the primary ways that Google identified pages, but are decreasing in importance as their Rankbrain search AI categorizes pages from full context instead. They are still useful, however, especially in courting less sophisticated search engines.
Be sure that each page has a meta description of no more than 320 characters. This description should be a simple summary of the contents of the page in plain speech. Keep in mind that Google may opt to use your meta description as the excerpt that appears beneath your link in the search results, but there’s no guarantee they will do so (they may pull another chunk of the page that they feel more relevant to the search term instead).
Look up your site on Google and review the content being shown to potential visitors. What can you change to increase the chances a visitor will click through to your business site? Update your meta description to stack the SERPs in your favor (moz.com/learn/seo/meta-description). Think about the descriptions that make you click on Google search results (e.g., discounts for first orders or newcomer specials) and integrate those ideas into your site’s meta content.
5) Create a Blog
If you want another effective way increase traffic to your minority or women business owned website and hog page views from competitors in your niche, consider adding a blog to your site. Fresh content is a very important SEO ranking factor. No, you don’t have to write long-winded posts if you are short on time.
Take a look at Google Trends to see what is trending (local or global), and then decide if there is a way you can connect your brand to a current trend. Or write about anything in your industry or a topic that may be tangent to it. Or write about new services or products you may be offering for your business. Update your business blog on a frequent basis with anything from smartphone staff selfies to quick infographics you create yourself using a tool such as Piktochart, which is an excellent option (piktochart.com).
6) Website Hosting
Choose the Website Host (or Plan) with the Most Speed. Speaking of speeding up your site, it might be time to upgrade plans with your website’s hosting company. Dig into the packages offered by your hosting company to see if upgrading to the next level can improve your site’s load rate. Look into processing power, server storage, and other specifications. Or just call your provider.
Another option is to host your website in the “cloud”, or use a CDN such as Cloudflare. Those services can also speed up your website. A slow-loading site equals an instant click on the “get me the heck out of here” button, especially for mobile users.
7) Address Bounce Rates
Take a look at your bounce rate in Google Analytics. Use a page and filter view. Are there pages on your site with a consistently high bounce rate? Are those pages essential to your site? Are they gaining decent traffic?
If certain web pages are causing your visitors to flounce away from your site, it’s time to either rework the content or delete those pages completely (remembering to redirect appropriately). Make sure the content is relevant, error free, and deep enough. Maybe add some internal links to try to get those visitors on your site.
Small Tweaks for Big Performance
You can make these changes through your CMS, or by manually altering the HTML code of each page. The only one that may require an extra step is image file format conversion; you may need to manually download images, change the file format and then re-upload them.
These are six simple ways you can increase engagement on your site while offering a superior visitor experience. Track your visitor numbers on a daily basis and set a goal to increase those numbers each day. Try ideas like promoting your content more on social media, data mining on Twitter for potential customers, or answering questions on Quora relevant to your business. You might just be surprised at how quickly you see more visits to your site. In most cases, these tweaks will take mere minutes and do not require any technical knowledge but will pay big dividends regarding new traffic.
By Jon McNamara