The 8 years of running a national wedding blog taught me many things about brides, this industry, and the online side of businesses as a whole. I know how a bride thinks and acts online and I know that because I spent 8 years reading their searches and online behavior. 8 years takes a pretty 'on point' temperature and I now use that data to design websites that will attract and KEEP a bride on the websites I build for my clients.
As you may have heard (I only preach about it every week on TET) a mobile optimized website is 100% necessary right now. One of the reasons that mobile optimization is key is that 50-65% of the traffic you receive to your website will be from a mobile device of some kind. Think about Instagram. Do you have a high following? If so your following is something to be proud of, but to also be aware of - as Instagram is an app - and if people go to your feed to see more about you they will be visiting your website from their device - being their phone. Passing the mobile optimization test on Google is one thing and you have to have it - but more than that is the EXPERIENCE you are giving those visitors. Is your website beautiful on a phone? Does it work well? Can you browse easily and still see everything you need to see on the small, scrolling screen? It’s important for everyone reading this to take out their phones, go to their browser and be their OWN CRITIC. Rate yourselves! If you aren’t liking what you see - then keep in mind that 50 - 65% of the visitors going to your website may be feeling the same way. Adding a mobile ‘plug’ to your website to pass the Google test is just one of the ingredients to being mobile optimized. SEO is being replaced by UEO - which is user experience optimization. Google now cares deeply that the visitors on your website are having a great time - and one of the easiest ways for their robots to determine if their experience is a friendly one is by page views. Each time a visitor on your website clicks into another page on your website during their visit that counts as one page view. So how do you make sure that you get those page views?
When my clients come to me they usually have a very high bounce rate - which means that visitors rarely visit more than the first page they come in on. I work to create and design a strategy for their website that works with how a bride likes to ‘work’ online. It’s important to guide people online. I’m not sure about you, but the minute I pop in a website I lose all sense of ‘having a brain’ I forget that I can make decisions. At that very moment of entering into a company’s website I want to be told what to do - where to go - I want new ideas I never even knew I cared about to be presented to me in a well designed way so that I have fresh options - are you the same way? The SECOND (not minute) I get frustrated or can’t figure out where to go: I’m OUT OF THERE. People these days don’t have time to search for stuff - we are busy. So it’s important for your website to take your visitors on a journey - to never leave them at a dead end. Keep your visitor happy by TELLING THEM WHAT TO DO. Page views are critical to making Google love you and feel you are worthy of their attention.
Below are 'windows in' to 6 websites I designed that hold VERY high page views per visitor. My strategy for these websites worked and it shows in the analytics for these clients of mine:
It’s also important to remember that these days not everyone comes into your website through the homepage - so make sure that EVERY main page of your website is well designed - well branded - something that attracts the target market you are trying to reach. Decrease your 'bounce rate' by making sure EVERY page that a client could potentially come into your website 'through' is GORGEOUS!! In an industry where what was ‘in’ last week is ‘out’ this week it’s important to stay updated. The people coming up under you are HUNGRY - they want what you have now and they are tech savvy - they are hiring design companies to build them amazing and well designed websites - photography workshops are dangerous! If I really wanted to, I could go buy a Contax 645 and some Fuji 400h film, take a Jose Villa Photography Workshop, get an instant portfolio, hire an amazing website designer to build me a website, and what did I just do???? I placed myself as an incredible wedding photographer to my audience - get some Instagram followers and network - and I may just pass someone who’s been doing this for YEARS by. I am not saying it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 to become successful in this industry, but it certainly has changed from what it was before - the organic growth and ‘old ways’ to build a business have been replaced with who can get to 10,000 Instagram followers the fastest - overnight success is now achievable and that can be a very scary thing for a business owner who is in direct competition with these ‘fast growing’ start up companies - so stay current online - one of the best ways to keep current is through your website - the WINDOW IN to your company!